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Teaching Certificate Program

Please note that the Teaching Certificate Program is ending during the 2012-13 academic year. The program is being replaced with the Certificate in College Teaching.

Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and the Graduate School

The Teaching Certificate program has been designed to help Vanderbilt graduate students, professional students, and post-doctoral fellows develop and refine their teaching skills through three cycles of teaching activities, each consisting of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection phases. Participants who complete the program receive a Teaching Certificate from the Graduate School and the Center for Teaching. The Teaching Certificate is designed to help you:

  • Clarify your goals for current or future students’ learning
  • Develop proficiency in effective instructional methods that recognize cognitive diversity
  • Improve your capacity for assessing and understanding current or future students’ learning
  • Value teaching as a community endeavor
  • Approach teaching in a scholarly manner that has an impact on teaching practice

Components of the Teaching Certificate Program.

The Teaching Certificate program is made up of three cycles, each of which includes phases of inquiry, experimentation and reflection. Each of these cycles, the program planning, and exit interview, are described below.

  • Program Planning Process
    The program planning meeting is designed to orient participants to the program and to develop a program plan. The program planning process includes an online application and program plan meeting. After the meeting, you will add your program plan and teaching statement to your personal Teaching Certificate wiki.
  • Cycle One: Building a Teaching Foundation
    The purpose of this cycle is to build a strong foundation of understanding and practice in basic teaching practices. During the cycle, participants will focus on one or more teaching practices to develop and/or refine. 

    • Inquiry
      Participants attend one or more teaching workshops focusing on their chosen teaching practices.
    • Experimentation
      Participants then experiment with ideas encountered in the workshops through a classroom observation sequence in which a CFT consultant observes the participant teach.
    • Reflection
      After a post-observation discussion with the CFT consultant, participants write a summary of their experience in this cycle.
  • Cycle Two: Putting Pedagogical Theory into Practice
    During the second cycle, participants directly engage the literature on teaching and learning in higher education. 

    • Inquiry
      Participants explore the established literature on teaching and learning in higher education either on their own or in a CFT Reading Group.
    • Experimentation
      Participants then experiment with ideas encountered in the literature through a classroom observation sequence in which a CFT consultant observes the participant teach or conduct a workshop on teaching in their department.
    • Reflection
      After a post-observation discussion with the CFT consultant, participants write a summary of their experience in this cycle.
  • Cycle Three: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    In the third cycle, participants design and implement a scholarly project on student learning, joining a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Working Group for this purpose. The goal is for participants to reflect on their own teaching by analyzing evidence of student learning. 

    • Inquiry
      Participants draft a project proposal describing the goals or questions they have identified for their project and detailing the teaching and assessment activities planned to address those goals or questions.
    • Experimentation
      Participants conduct the teaching and assessment activities detailed in their project proposal.
    • Reflection
      Participants then analyze the evidence of student learning gathered during the Experimentation phase and share their project in an appropriate public setting.
  • Finishing Process
    As the final part of the program, finishers participate in an exit interview which provides them with an opportunity to synthesize and reflect on their experiences in the program. Prior to the exit interview, participants prepare and submit a synthesis of the materials from their electronic portfolio and an updated teaching statement.

Program Planning Process

Program Planning Meeting
Upon receipt of a participant’s application through the online system, the CFT will schedule a program planning meeting with the participant and CFT consultants, in which they will orient the participant to the program, help him or her identify goals for development as a teacher, and draft a plan for meeting those goals through the program. In addition, the new participant will be instructed in how to use his or her own Teaching Certificate wiki.

Drafting a Program Plan
Following the program planning meeting, the participant writes a plan for his or her participation in the Teaching Certificate program using the “Program Plan” template provided in the Teaching Certificate wiki. This plan outlines his or her individual goals for participating in the program, the teaching skills and experiences he or she wants to develop, and the activities by which he or she will complete the requirements of the program. Most of the time during the program planning meeting will be spent helping the participant develop this program plan, so this second step largely consists of documenting that discussion.

Posting the Plan
The participant will post the program plan on his or her Teaching Certificate wiki. Since a participant’s goals and teaching opportunities may change over time, he or she should update the program plans after each cycle in the Teaching Certificate program. These updates will keep the participant on track for completion, and will ensure that the CFT consultants understand what the participant may need as he or she progresses toward the certificate.

Prepare Initial Teaching Statement
After completing the Program Plan, the next step in the Teaching Certificate Program is to write a Teaching Statement. This process is designed to help participants reflect on their goals, values, and practices as teachers. The teaching statement also provides CFT staff with insight that is useful in helping participants plan their participation in the program. Participants are likely to find the CFT’s guide on writing teaching statements useful as they write this first draft. It is meant be a starting ‘snapshot’ describing who participants are as teachers when they enter the program. We thus encourage participants not to take too much time composing this teaching statement—they should use it to “get started” in thinking about how they want to grow as a teacher. Later, at the end of the program, participants are required to revise their first drafts, giving them an opportunity to note their progress and create a teaching statement that may be submitted to hiring committees when applying for faculty positions. Participants will post their Teaching Statement to their wiki, inform the CFT that they have done so, therefore signaling that they are ready to start with Cycle One.

Cycle One: Building a Teaching Foundation

Cycle One offers participants the opportunity to build a strong foundation of learning about basic teaching practices, and then to apply that understanding. Examples of such teaching practices include, but are not limited to lecturing, leading class discussions, facilitating in-class cooperative learning activities, and designing course syllabi.

When selecting teaching practices on which to focus during Cycle One, participants are encouraged to consider the kinds of teaching they expect to do in the future in relation to their teaching experiences thus far. For example, a participant who has graded papers and held office hours as a teaching assistant for a few semesters, but who expects to be teaching his own seminar courses as a future faculty member, might consider focusing on discussion-leading skills during Cycle One. In other words, we encourage participants to consider future faculty teaching roles when planning and carrying out teaching activities to complete the Teaching Certificate program.

During the experimentation phase of Cycle One, participants experiment with the teaching practices they have decided to develop during Cycle One. As a result, participants should also consider the teaching opportunities they are likely to have in the near future when identifying their Cycle One goals. For example, a graduate student acting as a lab assistant may be able to practice her lecturing skills during the “pre-lab lecture” portion of a lab session. She may be able to experiment with her approach to working one-on-one with students during lab, as well. However, she is not likely to have the chance to design a course syllabus as a lab assistant. Participants are encouraged to think creatively, but realistically, about matching their Cycle One goals with their available teaching opportunities.

In summary, participants choose one or more teaching practices to develop or refine during Cycle One. Factors influencing the choice include: their future faculty teaching roles, opportunities to teach in the near future, and available CFT workshops.

Inquiry Phase

Required: During the Inquiry phase of Cycle One, participants are required to attend at least one teaching workshop addressing the teaching practices they plan to develop or refine during Cycle One. Participants also may participate in workshops offered by other units on or off campus, including various departments and programs, the Writing Studio, the Office of Medical Education, and at various professional conferences. Participants having trouble finding an appropriate workshop are invited to email or call the CFT for suggestions. After attending a workshop, participants respond to reflections questions in their Cycle One wiki.

Optional: In addition to attending teaching workshops, Cycle One participants are also invited to consider observing an instructor (faculty member or graduate student), with his/her permission, and then meeting with him or her to discuss that observation. Participants are encouraged to review the teaching observation guidelines available from the CFT prior to their observations and discussions.

Experimentation Phase

Required: During the experimentation phase of Cycle One, participants experiment with ideas and strategies they learned about during the inquiry phase. To do so, participants must teach a class session or otherwise interact directly with students in which they are observed teaching by a CFT graduate teaching fellow (GTF). Participants meet with the CFT before and after the classroom observation to plan for and reflect on their teaching experiences.

Participants with regular teaching opportunities, such as those teaching their own course or acting as teaching or lab assistants in courses taught by faculty members, may select any one class or lab session to fulfill the requirements of this experimentation phase. Participants with more limited teaching opportunities are encouraged to think creatively about opportunities they may have to interact with students. For example, participants may be able to arrange one of the following teaching opportunities:

  • A guest lecture in a course, perhaps on a topic with which the participant is particularly familiar or for a faculty member away at a conference
  • A review session for a course, particularly if the course is one that the participant has taken or for which the participant has acted as a teaching assistant in the past
  • A class session taught as part of a Vanderbilt Summer School course
  • A class session taught as part of a course at another Nashville-area college or university

Participants ready to begin the experimentation phase should:

  • Contact the CFT by phone or email to schedule a three-part classroom observation sequence with a graduate teaching fellow. The three parts consist of a pre-observation consultation, the classroom observation, and the post-observation consultation. Please let the CFT know as soon as possible.
  • Respond to the reflection prompts in the Cycle One section of their Teaching Certificate wiki before their pre-observation consultation.
  • At the pre-observation consultation, discuss a particular aspect of teaching they have explored in the inquiry phase and situate this aspect in the context of the goals for the teaching session to be observed.
  • Update the wiki to include an outline or lesson plan for the teaching session to be observed to the Cycle One section of their Teaching Certificate wiki.
  • At the classroom observation, experiment with the aspect of teaching identified in the pre-observation consultation by teaching a class, discussion session, lab session, review session or other teaching opportunity. The teaching session is observed by a GTF and may optionally be videotaped.
  • Respond to the reflection prompts in the Cycle One section of their Teaching Certificate wiki before their post-observation consultation.
  • During the post-observation consultation, participants and the GTF consultants discuss the teaching session in light of their discussion in the pre-observation consultation.

Reflection Phase

Required: After the post-observation consultation, participants write a summary of their experience in this cycle, reflecting specifically on “What actions did you take to refine the teaching practices in your targeted areas?” and “How well did those efforts seem to work? Did you discern any impact on student learning?”

Once participants have completed documenting and reflecting on their work in Cycle One, they should email the CFT. Once the participants wiki has been reviewed, the CTF will provide any appropriate feedback on the document and note that the participant has completed Cycle One and is ready to move on to Cycle Two.

Cycle Two: Putting Pedagogical Theory into Practice

In Cycle One, participants’ encounters with pedagogical theory are mediated by CFT workshop leaders and consultants. During Cycle Two, participants directly engage the research literature on teaching and learning. The second cycle challenges participants to continue the work of the first cycle by interrogating literature that addresses issues of pedagogy relevant to their discipline. Participants will emerge from Cycle Two with a deeper understanding of the issues they explored through Cycle One, and a stronger foundation for beginning the work of Cycle Three.

Inquiry Phase

Participants have two choices for engaging in the inquiry phase of Cycle Two:

Option 1: Cycle Two Reading Group

Participants may join a CFT-sponsored reading group, providing them with a community in which to explore the literature on teaching and learning in higher education. Every semester, the CFT organizes one or more reading groups for Teaching Certificate participants. Participants read and discuss selections from the established literature on teaching and learning in higher education. Initial meetings focus on core texts with broad, cross-disciplinary relevance. Later meetings offer participants the opportunity to focus on specific pedagogical topics, techniques, or methods related to their individual needs and interests.

Reading List
Each reading group reads the following core texts:
What the Best College Teachers Do, Ken Bain.
“Teaching as Community Property,” Lee Shulman, Change, November 1993
They also select one of the following as a third core text:
Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds, Richard Light
Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind, Gerald Graff
Understanding by Design, Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, edited by John Bransford and Ann L. Brown
The Skillful Teacher, Stephen Brookfield
A Handbook for Teaching and Learning, Heather Fry, et al.

Each reading group participant also chooses one or more articles on pedagogy particularly relevant to teaching in their respective disciplines. Links to lists of disciplinary teaching journals are available on the CFT Web site.

Option 2: Cycle Two Individual Literature Survey

Participants may independently conduct a survey of pedagogical literature on their own. They may read selections on a pedagogical topic, technique, or method in preparation for a CFT workshop or conduct a survey of literature on a pedagogical topic, technique, or method relevant to teaching in their discipline. Participants are encouraged to meet with a GTF for assistance constructing reading lists. The reading list used by the Cycle Two reading group is a useful starting point for participants choosing to read independently (see above).

Response Document

In addition to discussing the reading during meetings of the reading group or reflecting on it through independent study, participants will prepare a brief document for inclusion in the Cycle Two section of the Teaching Certificate wiki. Each document will include an assessment of individual texts, a broader survey of the literature, and reflections on the implications of this literature for the participant’s teaching. The balance of each type of response should match participants’ particular goals and disciplines. An appropriate response document could be one of the following:

  • A comparison of two books advancing alternative or complementary approaches to a teaching topic that assesses the strengths and shortcomings of each, describes their influence on the participant’s teaching, and identifies related texts and questions for further exploration of the topic
  • An annotated bibliography organized around a teaching topic that provides limited analysis of a broader selection of texts and highlights passages relevant to the participant’s teaching practices
  • A reflection paper that focuses on a participant’s teaching with reference to relevant texts or passages

This document should help participants answer the following questions: “What are some insights you gained about your teaching practices from your encounters with literature on teaching and learning?” and “What are some steps you might take to enact what you’ve learned?”

Experimentation Phase

Participants then apply what they have learned from their exploration of the literature on teaching and learning in higher education through a classroom observation sequence similar to the one in Cycle One. In this cycle, however, participants may be observed in either of the following two settings.

Option 1: Teaching a class, discussion session, lab session, or review session, perhaps as part of their teaching assistantship or as a guest lecture in a faculty member’s class, or

Option 2: Facilitating a departmental or discipline-based workshop on a pedagogical topic relevant to teaching in that discipline.

Note that the workshop option is not available in the Cycle One classroom observation sequence. Option 2 is primarily intended for participants with extremely limited teaching opportunities (who may not be able to arrange for Option 1), and for participants with more extensive teaching experience who may not benefit as much from Option 1. Participants interested in pursuing the workshop option should consult with a member of the CFT’s professional staff for more information.

Regardless of the option they choose, participants will engage in a classroom observation sequence essentially identical to the sequence conducted in Cycle One (see that description in the Cycle One section for more information). Accordingly, they will update their Teaching Certificate wiki with a plan for this process, as directed by a prompt provided in the Cycle Two section.

Reflection Phase

After the post-observation consultation, participants write a summary of their experience in this cycle the Cycle Two section of the Teaching Certificate wiki. Once participants have completed documenting and reflecting on their work in Cycle Two, and updating their Program Plans, they should inform their Cycle Two GTF consultant. He or she will provide feedback as needed, and will note that the participant is ready to move into Cycle Three.

Cycle Three: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

In Cycle Three, participants engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). As explained in the CFT’s teaching guide on the topic, SoTL involves:

  • asking questions about student learning and the teaching activities designed to promote student learning in an effort, at least in part, to improve one’s own teaching practice
  • answering those questions by systematically analyzing evidence of student learning
  • sharing the results of that analysis publicly in order to invite review and to contribute to the body of knowledge on student learning in a variety of contexts

Participants share results by designing and completing Cycle Three projects intended to help participants 1) develop deeper understandings of teaching and learning processes, 2) realize ways in which they can approach their teaching in a scholarly manner, 3) contribute to the larger community of teachers, and 4) prepare for future faculty roles in assessment and accreditation efforts.

Examples of past Cycle Three projects include the following:

See this collection of past projects for more examples.

Program participants begin Cycle Three by participating in a sequence of four orientation sessions offered each semester by the CFT. These one-hour sessions are designed to help participants develop an understanding of the term SoTL, learn about print and Web resources useful for engaging in SoTL (including a Cycle Three wiki designed specifically for Cycle Three participants), identify questions about student learning that participants may investigate in their Cycle Three projects, learn about ways to collect evidence of student learning that may help them answer these questions, and reflect on the ethical issues associated with conducting SoTL projects. Participants use portions of Enhancing Learning through the Scholarship of Teaching by Kathleen McKinney as a text for the series.

After completing the orientation to Cycle Three, participants join the Cycle Three working group consisting of other Cycle Three participants, a graduate teaching fellow (GTF), and a member of the CFT’s professional staff. The working group provides participants with support for and feedback on their projects as they design, implement, and make sense of them. While there is a fixed time for Cycle 3 working group meetings, the group meets only when members have information to share about their projects and/or would like input or feedback on their projects. As a result, group meetings occur initially on a weekly basis then according to an “as needed” schedule as participants advance in their work on their projects.

Participants are advised to complete the orientation to Cycle Three and join the Cycle Three working group well in advance of the teaching opportunities in which they intend to conduct their Cycle Three projects. Designing a SoTL project takes time, and it is in participants’ best interest to solicit and to incorporate feedback on their project designs from their working group colleagues before attempting to implement their projects. For example, if a participant intends to conduct her Cycle Three project in October of a particular fall semester, she may complete the orientation series during the summer prior to that semester and join the working group at the start of the semester, sharing her initial project plans during one of the first meetings of the working group.

Inquiry Phase

After completing the orientation to Cycle Three and joining the Cycle Three working group, participants begin the inquiry phase of Cycle Three by identifying one or more questions about student learning that may be answered by collecting evidence of student learning during teaching opportunities available to the participants. Participants are encouraged to share their initial ideas with the working group, particularly if they find it difficult to identify a particular inquiry question amenable to study. Participants often start with a broad topic (e.g. the impact of cooperative learning activities on student learning) that is refined to a researchable question through working group discussions.

Once participants identify one or more lines of inquiry, they then determine what evidence of student learning they should collect during an upcoming teaching opportunity in order to answer those questions. Student comments, behaviors, and written work can all be evidence. Participants should determine how and when they plan to collect and analyze this evidence. They are encouraged to share their plans for teaching and assessment activities that may generate this evidence with the working group. Discussions about options for collecting quantitative and qualitative evidence, as well as direct and indirect evidence of student learning, can help participants collect evidence that more readily helps them answer their questions about student learning.

Participants then draft a project proposal describing their inquiry questions and the teaching and assessment activities planned to address those questions. The CFT provides a template for this proposal on the Teaching Certificate wiki with question prompts designed to help participants think through various aspects of their projects.

Participants should share their completed proposal either with the working group (if they have not already shared details of their projects with the group) or with the CFT staff member facilitating the working group. Participants should revise their project plans based on feedback on their proposals.

At this point, participants may submit their project to Vanderbilt’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. This is required for participants interested in sharing their project results beyond Vanderbilt (perhaps at a conference or in a publication). Once a project is submitted to the IRB, the review process can take anywhere between two days and two months (or more) to complete, so participants should factor this into their timetables. Participants who are not interested in sharing their projects outside of Vanderbilt may skip this step. The IRB review process is described in detail during the orientation to Cycle Three.

Experimentation Phase

For the experimentation phase of Cycle Three, participants conduct the teaching and assessment activities outlined in their project proposals. This effort requires participants to teach in some appropriate setting. See the Cycle One portion of this handbook for suggestions for identifying possible teaching opportunities.

Because the goal of the participants’ activities in this phase is to uncover evidence of student learning for later analysis, participants are welcome to invite members of their working group to observe some or all of these activities. Participants may also arrange to have some or all of the activities videotaped by the CFT in order to better document student learning.
Reflection Phase

After teaching and collecting evidence of student learning, participants then analyze the evidence they have gathered, attempting to answer the inquiry questions they have identified. Making sense of students’ written work, comments, and behaviors can be difficult, and so participants are encouraged to seek assistance from their working groups in identifying patterns in the evidence they have collected. There are a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods by which to analyze this kind of evidence, and Cycle Three participants often suggest methods used in their disciplines that complement the methods used by participants in other disciplines.

Once participants have analyzed their evidence and drawn some conclusions, they update their wiki using the question prompts provided on their Cycle Three wiki pages. In addition, participants are required to create a project poster using the template provided on this page below as an attachment. Or, participants may use another poster format of their choosing, as long as it can be converted into a PDF file and measures11 by 17 inches when printed. These posters are similar to those seen at poster sessions at scholarly conferences that outline their questions, methods, and results. Participants must share their posters with the CFT staff member facilitating their Cycle Three working group. This staff member will provide participants with feedback that they should use to revise the poster.

After sharing their completed (or nearly completed) projects in the context of the Cycle Three working group, participants are then required to share their project in some other appropriate public setting, perhaps by giving presentations in their departments, at regional or national conferences, or in sessions convened for this purpose by the CFT. For example, the CFT has organized panels of Cycle Three participants at the Graduate Research Symposium conducted each spring by the Graduate Student Council. Participants may submit an article about their project to a scholarly publication, but this is not a requirement of the Teaching Certificate program. In fact, Cycle Three projects are not intended to be large enough in scope to warrant a publication. Some participants treat their Cycle Three projects as pilot projects, planning to conduct a second version of the project at a later date intended for publication.

The CFT requires Cycle Three participants to “go public” with their projects because doing so is part of taking a scholarly approach to one’s teaching. Faculty members and graduate students share their disciplinary research at conferences and in publications in order to invite feedback and critique, and to allow others to learn from and build upon their work. Cycle Three projects are intended to be similarly scholarly, and so participants are required to “go public.” Participants identify an audience interested in learning about their projects and able to offer feedback on them. Many past participants have been able to find such audiences in various contexts at Vanderbilt.

Bear in mind that participants who do not obtain Institutional Review Board approval for their projects are not allowed to share their projects beyond Vanderbilt.

After going public, participants are required to submit their final poster by letting the CFT staff member who has facilitated their working group know that they have updated the Teaching Certificate wiki. The staff member will then communicate with participants about the finishing process for the Teaching Certificate (see details below) and place the participant’s poster in an online gallery of Teaching Certificate Cycle Three projects. In addition, posters will be featured at the Center for Teaching’s annual “Celebration of Teaching” event.

Finishing Process

Once participants have completed all three cycles, they write a statement synthesizing and reflecting on their experiences in the program as an introduction to what they have posted on the Teaching Certificate wiki. They also include a revised teaching statement. They then complete a short survey about their experiences in the Teaching Certificate program and participate in a focus group consisting of those finishing the program to provide feedback to the CFT on the program. Participants then receive a certificate from the Graduate School and the CFT during the CFT’s annual Celebration of Teaching. Graduate student participants also receive a cord to wear during their commencement and receive special recognition in the printed commencement program.

In order to help CFT staff meet internal deadlines regarding the Celebration of Teaching, participants will receive detailed information about the finishing process approximately six to eight weeks prior to the event.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the CFT make changes to the Teaching Certificate Program?
While we felt that the former Teaching Certificate Program was great (and we’ve tried to keep all of the best parts of it!), we listened to the feedback from participants and saw an opportunity to improve upon some aspects of the program. Particularly:

  • The teaching certificate program was intended to be self-directed, yet many participants expressed a desire for it to be less so. So we’ve clarified some of the requirements, set “start” and “end” dates, and tried to create a program that still allows participants to have some self-direction but also provides structure so that participants complete the program in a timely manner.
  • One of the most popular aspects of the teaching certificate program was the cycle two reading group. In this group, participants got to interact with other participants (often from very different disciplines) and spend an hour each week discussing teaching. So we’ve kept that and expanded on it. In the new program, from day one, participants will be engaged in on-going conversations with their peers around teaching topics during the regularly scheduled meetings.
  • One of the most challenging aspects of the teaching certificate program (for many students) was the teaching observation requirement present in both cycle one and cycle two. Many participants got “stuck” at the beginning of cycle one waiting around for a teaching opportunity to arise and never progressed to some of the richer discussion taking place in cycle two. To address this issue, we rethought the observations and removed the in-class teaching observation from the Seminar. Now participants who might not have teaching opportunities can still join in, participate in the discussion, and complete micro-teaching in front of their peers. Those who do have teaching opportunities can then move on to the Practicum and undergo in-class observations. This separation allows those who don’t have available teaching opportunities the ability to stop after completing the Seminar and still have successfully completed a professional development activity.
  • The teaching certificate program contained three cycles – the third of which was to complete a small-scale research project that would assess student learning. While participants who completed cycle three felt like it was one of the most valuable parts of the program, the time commitment that the cycle required was often too intensive for many to complete. So we took cycle three and spun it off into the SoTL Scholars Program (read more about that here). By doing so, we hope that more students will be able to complete the Certificate and that those interested in learning more about the scholarship of teaching & learning will pursue the Scholars Program separately.


What if I’m a participant in the Teaching Certificate Program and I haven’t finished it yet?
Don’t worry! You have some options. Depending on where you are in the program, you may be able to finish it this academic year (2012-13). In general, we suggest that if:

  • You were in cycle 1, we ask that you simply start the new program. Let us know you’re interested in the Seminar and apply to join us this fall or in the spring.
  • You were in cycle 2, we ask that you either: (a) begin with the new program, or (b) finish cycle 2 and cycle 3 during the 2012-13 academic year. If you want to finish cycle 2, please be aware that the CFT will not be offering a ‘reading group’ and instead you’ll be asked to complete the readings individually.
  • You were in cycle 3, we ask that you finish cycle 3 or the SoTL Scholars Program during the 2012-13 academic year. If you are unable to do so at this time, we’ll be glad to have you participate in the new program or in the SoTL Scholars program in the future.

The CFT sent individual messages to each participant in the Teaching Certificate Program in July 2012. If you did not receive a message from us, please let us know.

I have questions and need information on the Individual Reading Plan. Where can I find out more about that?

Right here. We’ve put together a quick guide that provides an overview of the individual reading plan. As the cycle two tab on this page mentions, the goal of the “inquiry” phase within Cycle Two is to explore some of the vast literature of teaching and learning in higher education. Participants read from a group of selected readings and then write a response document integrating insights from the various readings with reflection on your own teaching practices. The guide also includes two sample response documents.

If I completed the Teaching Certificate Program, can I also participate in the Certificate in College Teaching or in the SoTL Scholars Program?
Sure! We’d be glad to have you. Simply apply and let us know you’d like to join us.

When I complete the Teaching Certificate program, will someone from the CFT write a letter of recommendation for me? What documentation will the CFT provide as to my participation in the Teaching Certificate program?
When you complete the Teaching Certificate program, the contents of your Teaching Certificate google site will provide a flexible way to document and share your participation in the program. You may choose to make your entire e-portfolio available online for academic job search committees or other interested parties, or you may choose to make only a portion of your e-portfolio available in this way.

The CFT is not in a position to write you a letter of recommendation since we will not be evaluating the quality of your work in the Teaching Certificate program. Instead, we certify that you have participated in the program in the ways listed in the program description. The value of your work in the program and the lessons you have learned about your teaching through the program will be evident in the contents of your e-portfolio. The CFT will, however, provide you with a letter describing the program, which you may use in your application materials to give context to your work in the program.


Other Questions?

Please visit the Teaching Certificate Portal for more detailed information about the process. Contact the CFT if you have further questions.