Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Certificate in University Teaching and Learning

FIU’s two-tiered certificate program is intended to equip graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) with the important basic skills for successful college teaching. This is an important professional development program for graduate students, which will assist them to launch their future careers within or outside of the academic setting. The program aims to instill a strong focus on student learning, thereby improving the quality of undergraduate education at FIU.

Requirements for Tier 1: Certificate in University Teaching and Learning include the following:

  • Attendance at the TA orientation session and completion of the online orientation component that includes a quiz on important policies
  • Attendance at a minimum of six “Fundamentals” workshops and reflection papers applying the material covered in the workshops to the student’s own teaching
    • Required workshop topics: Syllabus and Course Design, Assessing Student Learning, and Culturally-Responsive Teaching. The other three workshop topics are electives
  • Teaching observations and reflection: the student’s teaching must be observed for comment and reaction at least once. Guest lectures, lab sessions, and “micro-teaching” sessions are eligible for observations if the GTA is not an instructor of record. The observation will be preceded by a consultation with CAT staff, and followed by a debriefing and analysis.
  • Observation of teaching, by the GTA, of the teaching of at least two faculty members. At least one must be from the student’s own discipline, but the second may be from another field. The student will write an analysis and reflection on the effectiveness of particular choices and strategies.
  • A draft of a Statement of Teaching Philosophy, to be revised with feedback from CAT staff.

After successful completion of Tier 1, you are eligible for Tier 2.

Requirements for Tier 2: Advanced Certificate in University Teaching and Learning include the following:

  • Teaching experience for a minimum of two semesters at FIU
  • An additional observation of the student's teaching
  • Collection of informal mid-semester and formal end-of-semester feedback from the TA’s students, proceeded with an analysis and consultation
  • Participation in a book group and reflection paper applying teaching strategies discussed to the student’s own teaching
  • Teaching Portfolio - The teaching portfolio would include:

    1. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
    2. Teaching Experience
    3. Feedback on Teaching: Mid-semester and end-of-semester summary of results
    4. Samples of lessons, tests and/or feedback to students
    5. Student Assessment and Evaluation Results
    6. Syllabus and Course Design: Sample of original syllabus with a course description, rationale and learning objectives, course topics, weekly assignments, course policies, and basis for evaluation (assignments, exams, and any other assessment mechanisms).
    7. Other sections of your choice (optional)

In order to apply for the program, students must submit a 1-2 page Statement of Purpose. This should explain the applicant's reasons for wishing to pursue the Certificate, and should explore her/his goals as an educator.

To submit the Statement of Purpose, you must first click here to sign up for the Certificate program. Once there, click on View Courses, then search for University Teaching and Learning and click Learn Now. Clicking on Learn Now will automatically enroll you in the course. Log in to Canvas with the same FIU credentials as your email and you will see it on their list.

Once you submit your Statement of Purpose and it is accepted, you will gain full access to Tier 1 of the certificate program.

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