The CTL Teaching Certificate provides Penn doctoral students with support to hone and reflect upon their teaching, and with recognition of their commitment to developing as teachers. The program encourages graduate students to become self-reflective teachers and to enhance their awareness of additional teaching practices by engaging in discussions about teaching.
The CTL Teaching Certificate offers a structure through which interested graduate students can both improve their teaching at Penn and prepare themselves to become faculty in the future. As the University of Pennsylvania’s statement that a graduate student who intends to teach on the college or university level has pursued advanced training in that teaching, the certificate is noted on a student’s transcript. The certificate can help demonstrate a job candidate’s commitment to teaching.
Participants in the program take part in a series of workshops and formal conversations about teaching and reflect on their own teaching with a fellow from the Center for Teaching and Learning who has observed them in the classroom.
The certificate contains four components.
1. Pedagogical Discussion and Training
Participants must complete five CTL-approved teaching workshops. Course in College Teaching may be substituted for three of the five training workshops. Our four week special topics mini-courses may be substituted for two of the five workshops.
2. Teaching Experience
Participants must complete at least two semesters as a teaching assistant or instructor.
3. Observation and Review
Participants must have a full teaching session observed and reviewed by a member of the CTL staff. Fill out the observation request form to request an observation. Please give us at least one week’s notice to schedule the observation, as it involves multiple people and a pre-observation meeting.
4. Teaching Philosophy
The program culminates with a discussion of participants’ philosophies of teaching. To facilitate this discussion, each participant develops a statement of teaching philosophy. We hold three of these sessions a year. One takes place at the end of each semester and another session takes place at the beginning of the fall semester. Once a participant has completed all the other requirements, he or she will be invited to the workshop.