Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Graduate Teacher Program?

What is the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP)?

The Graduate Teacher Program is a division of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado Boulder. Created in 1984, the GTP helps graduate students perform effectively as graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate part-time instructors (GPTIs) in classes, recitations, and labs, while at the same time helping them learn skills to serve in the professoriate once they attain their graduate degrees.

We also offer activities that help masters and doctoral students transition to careers in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. Because teaching preparation is preparation for any career—organization, planning, presenting, evaluating, and working in teams are essential skills for managers in any setting—research assistants, students on fellowships, and self-supporting students are encouraged to participate in Graduate Teacher Program activities.

The program also offers specialized workshops in grant proposal writing, resume and CV preparation, public speaking, job interview assistance, research misconduct, and professional career opportunities.

What activities does the GTP sponsor?
  • Training Events
    Fall Intensive
    Spring Conference
    The COPPFN Forum
    Lead Network Seminar
  • Weekly Workshop Series
    Monday Workshops
    Technology Workshops
    TIGER Workshops
    Friday Forums
    Cultural Workshops
    Special Workshops
  • One-on-One Consultation
  • Videotape Consultation on Teaching

Research Activities

The Graduate Teacher Program carries out research activities on teaching. A current study is gathering information on instructors’ (teaching assistants’, graduate part-time instructors, and other instructors’) approach to diversity in the classroom.

The Graduate Teacher Program supports research-based interventions to improve classroom teaching. See our TIGER Teaching-as-Research materials designed to help graduate students interested in pursuing teaching-as-research projects on student learning in their classrooms.

Provost's Fellows

Provost's Fellows for the University Libraries are required to pursue the Professional Development Certificate for Preparing Future Faculty. Activities include the development of a mentorship plan, guidance from a faculty mentor, attendance at the annual COPFFN Forum, participation in relevant home department, library, and GTP activities, completion of the plan, and a portfolio for academic librarianship.

Does the GTP offer resources on graduate teaching?

The Graduate Teacher program has assembled many resources to assist you in your teaching and professional development.

  • Consultations
    • Individual Consultations
    • Videotape Consultations (VTCs)
  • Graduate Teaching Resources
    • Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)
    • International Graduate Teacher Services
    • Lead Graduate Teacher Network

Additionally, you are always welcome to call (303-492-4902), email, or stop by our office (201 ATLAS) to ask specific questions.

How can I get involved?

Any University of Colorado Boulder graduate student, staff, postdoc, research assistant or fellow, faculty member or member of the Colorado Preparing Future Faculty Network may attend our workshops, intensives, and seminars. Be sure to sign in at each event.

Which certificates may I pursue?

The Graduate Teacher Program has three certificates that graduate students may pursue. Completion times vary. However, most graduate students take at least 24 months to complete a single certificate. Each certificate is comparable to approximately a 6-credit hour load.

To participate you must be a registered CU-Boulder graduate student in good standing, a CU-Boulder postdoctoral fellow with departmental approval, or a CU-Boulder instructor or faculty member. The completion of the certificate will be noted on the graduate students’ transcripts.

If you have any questions regarding certification, please email us. 

What is the Lead Network?

The Lead Network is a cross-campus academic and professional development network for experienced graduate teachers serving as leads in the academic departments.  Working with the Graduate Teacher Program, leads learn skills such as academic management, academic leadership, pedagogy and course assessment, interdisciplinary teamwork and conducting teaching consultations.  Using these skills, leads work to improve classroom training of teaching assistants in their home departments.  For more information on the Lead Network, click here.

What is Videotape Consultation? (VTCs)

Videotape consultation (VTC) is an important means of self-assessment in the Graduate Teacher Program.  A lead graduate teacher, lead coordinator, or the director of the GTP meets with the teacher for a pre-consultation, then videotapes the class during a lab, recitation, or course session that the individual is teaching. Following the classroom videotaping, the consultant meets with the TA or GPTI to review the tape and create a plan for improvement.  VTCs are non-evaluative and confidential. The consultant is not there to evaluate the instructor’s abilities; rather, the instructor is given the opportunity to reflect on his/her performance. The role of the consultant is to assist with devising strategies for improvement and to suggest resources. Two VTCs are required for the Certificate in College Teaching.

What is TIGER?

The Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research (TIGER) was formed in 2006 to address issues of graduate teaching and undergraduate learning in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines on the CU-Boulder campus.  Through TIGER we host workshops on teaching in the STEM disciplines, support college pedagogy course design projects, and guide graduate students in their development of teaching-as-research projects. 

TIGER is aligned with the national Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 20 institutions working together to improve STEM teaching and learning at the college level.

What is a TIGER TAR or a TIGER DAD project?

TIGER supports the following activities:

1) TIGER Workshops highlight issues in teaching and learning.
2) TIGER Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects are funded to allow graduate students to study teaching practices in the classroom.
3) TIGER Design and Development (DAD) supports experienced graduate students to develop discipline-specific pedagogy courses for their departments.
4) TIGER Teaches supports TIGER TAR and TIGER DAD participants, providing them with the opportunity to interact with members of the TIGER Team and other TIGER TAR and DAD fellows, receive feedback on their projects, and establish a sense of community.

TIGER is aligned with the national Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL).

What is the Collaborative Preparing Future Faculty Network (COPFFN)?

The GTP established the Collaborative Preparing Future Faculty Network (COPFFN) in 1997 to advance and support the national PFF initiative's mission of exposing future faculty to a variety of postsecondary institutions. To this end, COPFFN, in collaboration with the COPFFN Advisory Board, maintains close working relationships with many colleges and universities. These inter-institutional relationships have worked on four national grants and supported numerous site visits, collaborative technology research projects and faculty mentorships (including COPFFN Fellows and the Provost's Fellows for the Libraries). The annual COPFFN Forum each spring provides opportunities for partner campus faculty and graduate students to meet each other, share ideas, and discuss the landscape of postsecondary education.

What is the Provost's Fellowship for the Libraries?

This Provost’s Fellowship for the University Libraries is a collaborative project supported by the Graduate Teacher Program and the University Libraries whose goal is to prepare future academic faculty for university libraries.  The Provost's Fellows in the Libraries work closely with a faculty mentor in the University Libraries to complete a project, prepare a professional portfolio, and learn about careers as academic librarians. Fellows may work in reference, cataloguing, or with the digitization of materials. The experience is designed for graduate students who are seriously considering pursuing a Master's of Library Science degree with the goal of becoming an academic librarian.

Do you have support for International Graduate Teachers?

The Graduate Teacher Program supports the needs of international graduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder. International teaching assistants, graduate part-time instructors, and graduate research assistants are all welcome at all Graduate Teacher Program activities and may all participate in our certificate programs. However, because adjusting to US academic culture and serving as a teaching assistant or graduate part-time instructor can be challenging, we also provide specific activities and services for international students. To help International Graduate Teachers think about and address classroom teaching issues, an International Graduate Teacher Manual is available for download on the GTP webpage. The International Graduate Teacher Manual contains basic information that is helpful for international teachers who are new to American classrooms. To access the IGT Manual for download, please click:  ITA MANUAL

ESL Resources
There are several resources in Boulder for internationals who would like to improve their English language skills. The International English Center (303-492-5547) offers writing courses and speech courses. Both the Center for Talk Mastery in Boulder (www.cleartalkcommunication.com) and the Clearly Speaking Program in the Speech Language and Hearing Sciences Department on campus (303-492-5375) offer pronunciation and accent reduction support. The ESL/Multilingual Program in the Student Academic Services Center (303-492-1405) offers a weekly pronunciation workshop that focuses on the phonetics of English vowels and consonants. The Boulder Public Library Outreach Department (303-441-4941) also has a free conversation group.

Information Sharing
If you would like to follow GTP activities on Twitter, our Twitter name is GTPCUB.

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GTPCUBoulder

International Graduate Teachers
Beyond Boulder
We work with the International Teaching Assistant section at Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). If you are interested in International TA programs at different universities, the web site provides more information:
http://www.tesol.org/

About Funding Support

Are there Donor Funding opportunities to support the Graduate Teacher Program at CU?

If you are a donor and are interested in supporting the Graduate Teacher Program at CU Boulder, the following opportunities are available.

Funding Opportunities:

  1. Graduate Teacher Program Foundation Gift Account
  2. Graduate Teacher Program Special Projects Fund
  3. Stiles Best Should Teach Fund

If you would like to donate money to any of the funds above, please make your check payable to the CU Foundation and indicate the name of the fund to which you would like to contribute the money. Mail your check to the address below:

CU Foundation

Campus Box 57
Boulder, CO 80309-0057
Tel: 303/492-5687 Fax: 303/735-4814

Or if you would like to contribute on-line, please go to the CU Foundation website at:

            http://www.cufund.org/