About 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
    COPFFN Forum
    Lead Network Seminar
    CU Diversity on Campus (DOC)
    TIGER ROAR (Research on Academic Retention)
  • Weekly Workshop Series
    Monday Workshops
    TIGER Workshops
    Friday Forums
    The Inclusive Classroom
    Special Workshops
  • COPFFN Site Visits (Fall and Spring)


    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.

What resources does the GTP offer on graduate teaching?

Go to Resources Page

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

  • Consultations
    • Individual Consultations
    • Video Teacher Consultations (VTCs)
  • Graduate Teaching Resources
    • Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)
    • International Graduate Teacher Services
    • Lead Graduate Teacher Network
  • Other Resources
    • The Tutor (Our Newsletter) The Tutor explores aspects of graduate and professional education that are especially relevant to graduate teachers. The TUTOR is currently being replaced with a more convenient blog on our site. Archived copies of The Tutor will be in the Resources section.
    • Information about Diversity and Gender, Publications
    • Web Links available under Resources (to both internal and external recourses)

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 to receive GTP workshop credit.

Which certificates may I pursue?

The Graduate Teacher Program offers two certificates in teaching and professional development.  Completion times vary, but most graduate students take approximately 24 months to complete a certificate (equivalent to 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. About the Lead Network

What are Video Teacher Consultations? (VTCs)

The Video Teacher 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 films the class during a lab, recitation, or course session that the individual is teaching. Following the classroom filming, 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.

*Instructions for operating the cameras used for VTCs (available to borrow from the GTP office) can be found on the "About the Lead Network" page. 

What is TIGER (Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research)?

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 43 institutions working together to improve STEM teaching and learning at the college level.

What activities does TIGER support?

TIGER supports graduate education research through the following activities:

  • TIGER Workshops highlight issues in teaching and learning in STEM fields.
  • 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.
  • CU Diversity on Campus (DOC) CU DOC training is designed to help CU Boulder graduate teachers (TAs, RAs, and GPTIs) incorporate diversity and inclusion into their classroom environments and be prepared to enter a diverse teaching and workforce environment.
  • TIGER TARGET program brings together faculty and students in College of Engineering to study aspects of teaching and learning within engineering. 

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 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:

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:


Grant Street » directions
1800 Grant Street, Suite 725
Denver, CO 80203
303-813-7935  Fax: 303-813-7956

To mail a gift to the CU Foundation:

Checks should be made payable to the University of Colorado Foundation OR the CU Foundation. Please download our mail-in form and enclose the completed form with your check. Mail checks to:

University of Colorado Foundation
PO Box 17126
Denver, CO 80217-9155