About IEA | Institute for Educational Advancement

Our goal at the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is to ensure that each gifted child’s specific needs are met so that they can work towards meeting their full intellectual and personal potential.



In 1998, Elizabeth D. Jones, former Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Director of the Western Region; and Jim Davis, former Superintendent of La Cañada Unified School District in California; founded IEA to address the pressing needs of gifted children.

Almost 20 years later, IEA continues this legacy, creating a community for gifted students who seek to understand their intellectual and creative gifts. Our approach is based on the knowledge that an optimal match is the ideal learning method for the gifted student. IEA believes that, in order to fully actualize their abilities, highly able students require strong academic and personal development programs provided by skilled educators, administrators, and professionals. IEA is not limited to one approach to learning, but seeks the best strategy for each individual student, school, or school district. As one of the nation’s leading organizations for gifted and talented youth, we value the person above the test score. IEA is committed to the whole child, inspiring students to grow and find balance among all five aspects of self: intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical.



The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is dedicated to the intellectual, creative and personal growth of our nation’s gifted and advanced youth. Central to the mission of IEA is a commitment to the development of the whole child through engaging educational experiences that promote optimal challenge, mentorship, exploration of ideas and recognition of personal potential. IEA seeks to connect like-minded individuals and supports a diverse community that creates a sense of belonging and affirmation.





IEA’s philosophy is based on the belief that highly able students require strong academic programs provided by skilled educators, administrators, and business professionals to fully actualize their talents. IEA follows the Optimal Match Philosophy, the basic tenet of which is to match a student’s assessed needs with the optimal educational resources. IEA advances this philosophy as it works with each individual student, school, or school district to seek the best learning strategy for each unique child. IEA crosses traditional educational boundaries by working in public, independent, parochial, and alternative schools. IEA initiatives foster intellectual curiosity, the acquisition of knowledge, confidence, creativity, responsibility, and moral decisiveness.




To achieve our mission, IEA will:

• Serve as a catalyst for identifying and implementing the best practices for teaching highly able youth
• Advance public knowledge and understanding of the need to enable and nurture society’s most able-minded students
• Support the needs of highly able youth by training teachers, informing parents, and identifying and soliciting the participation of mentors for exceptionally gifted students
• Create partnerships with individuals, foundations, non-profit organizations, businesses, and universities to support the development of highly able students who will advance society as a whole
• Encourage each gifted student to pursue his or her full intellectual and personal potential and develop respect for individual differences
• Take a leadership role in policy-making for gifted youth throughout the nation



IEA is an advocate for all gifted students. Giftedness occurs in every culture and every ethnic and social group, and our participants are diverse. IEA is committed to ensuring that all gifted youth, regardless of cultural background, ethnicity, national origin, race, faith, ideology, income, educational background, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation have the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.


As an organization, IEA celebrates differences. We teach tolerance, respect and acceptance for all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or background. We hope to inspire change in our nation by modeling integrity, respect and understanding. IEA strives to offer a welcoming space for conversation and healing, a space where uniqueness is honored, and discrimination and violence are never tolerated. Click here to learn more. 

Golden Ratio –
The Perfect Balance

At IEA we work to create the perfect educational balance for gifted youth nationwide.  The Golden Ratio, a mathematical constant used to create such perfect buildings as the Parthenon, is an apt mark for IEA.  Finding the right ratio, that perfect balance for your child, reflects our commitment to ensure gifted young people grow into adults living meaningful, purposeful lives in whatever way they choose.