The Graduate School of the University of Colorado Boulder considers the employment and training of graduate teachers to be a professional apprenticeship that shapes the professoriate of the future. To recognize graduate teachers who devote time to improve their teaching, the Graduate School offers the Certificate in College Teaching (CCT) through our program.  Although such certificates are not official recognized at the state or college level, more than 80 research institutions offer similar certificates to graduate students.  Moreover, those who have earned the CCT report that it is an asset to those seeking teaching appointments.

Please contact the Graduate Teacher Program office at (303) 492-4902 when you are ready to submit your materials. Submit to GTPCert@Colorado.Edu

What are the Requirements for Completion of the CCT?

Classroom Teaching

To qualify for the Certificate in College Teaching, graduate students must teach on the CU Boulder campus for two full semesters with their own students This teaching may involve courses, recitations, or laboratories.

Please note: Guest lecturing does not count.

GTP Workshops

Certificants must complete 20 Graduate Teacher Program workshops (which vary in length). Workshops address the needs of beginning and experienced graduate teaching assistants and instructors. Graduate teachers should choose activities that are appropriate for their personal level of experience. Workshops cover topics from the following areas:

  • General pedagogy (beginning and advanced)
  • Personal and professional development
  • Issues in teaching and course design
  • Academic policies (discrimination and harassment, academic ethics)
  • Assessment and evaluation (self, course, and student)
  • Preparation of teaching portfolios
  • Technology and teaching
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning and teaching as research 
  • Timely topics

All GTP workshops featured at events like the Fall Intensive, Spring Conference, or the COPFFN Forum, as well as different workshop series like Monday Workshops, TIGER 1 & 2 Workshops, Intercultural Workshops, Friday Forums, the Summer Series Workshops, and occasional special workshops, are eligible for workshop credit. Sign-in sheets are used at each workshop to document credit for attendance.

Discipline-Specific Requirements

All graduate teachers purusing certification are required to complete a minimum of 20 real-time hours of teacher training in their discipline (however, the department may require more.)

Departmental activities

  • courses on teaching
  • workshops or regular meetings with the faculty supervisor, faculty mentor, or with the lead graduate teacher may fulfill the discipline-specific requirement.

If the department does not provide 20 real-time hours of discipline-specific training, potential certificants can substitute attendance at additional Graduate Teacher Program workshops.

However, departmental workshops may not replace GTP workshop credit.

Videotape Consultations (VTC)

Two videotape consultations (based on recitation sections, laboratory sections, or courses the graduate teacher is teaching for a full semester) are required for certification. The graduate teacher, in consultation with a staff consultant or lead graduate teacher, develops a plan for improvement based on video self-assessment. The first videotape consultation should be completed early in the program; the second at least two months later. Consultations are confidential and non-evaluative.

Please note:

Public speaking engagements, talks in colloquia, or single lectures given in the place of a faculty member may not be used to complete the videotape consultation portion of the Certificate in College Teaching (such talks may be used for the Professional Development Certificate.)

Faculty Observation and Evaluation

A faculty member from the home department must observe and evaluate each candidate for certification during a regular class, recitation, or lab session. To qualify, candidates must meet departmental standards for proficiency in teaching.

The faculty member may decide to recommend the graduate teacher for certification or may request that the graduate teacher attain a higher level of proficiency and undergo a follow-up evaluation prior to certification.

Faculty may use any format they choose or respond to the questions listed on the Faculty Observation and Evaluation

A written observation and evaluation report by a faculty member must be sent to the Graduate Teacher Program office:

A copy should also be kept in the graduate teacher's personal and departmental file.

Teaching Portfolio

Aspiring certificants are required to prepare a teaching portfolio.

See the Teaching Portfolio Outline

Samples of past Teaching Portfolios are available for viewing in the GTP office during normal business hours.

Final Assessment and Exit Survey

Upon recommendation from the department, the director reviews each candidate's file and portfolio and decides if the candidate is approved for certification.

The candidate then completes an online GTP Exit Survey prior to receiving the signed certificate.

It is important that the candidate notify the GTP upon completion of the Exit Survey by sending an email to gtpCERT@colorado.edu, once the Exit Survey is completed.

Transcript

Completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript. 

NOTE: To ensure your certificate is added to your final transcript, the portfolio should be turned in to GTP for review at least two weeks prior to end of your final semester.

If you have any questions regarding certificates, please email the Graduate Teacher Program office at gtpCERT@colorado.edu

Who can be Awarded a CCT?

The Certificate in College Teaching may be awarded to all graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty who complete the requirements and evaluation successfully.

Requirements include classroom teaching, participation in GTP workshops and discipline-specific activities, videotape consultations, faculty observation, and completing a teaching portfolio.

What is the Time Commitment?

As learning to teach effectively is a developmental process, we suggest that graduate teachers complete the requirements over a minimum of 2 or more years, although several students have finished all requirements in 12 months.