Graduate Teaching Certificates
The GTC Requirements/Offerings have been updated for January 2021!
Graduate Teaching Certificate Program
- CTL Session Schedule:
- About This Program
- Program Registration
The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Trent University welcomes graduate students to enroll in the Graduate Teaching Certificate (GTC) program. Often, graduate students come into their role as a teaching assistant (TA) without any formal training or experience. This can make their initial experience a point of significant stress and difficulty. The GTC was developed to help transition Graduate TAs into their role by providing an opportunity for developing professional teaching skills and expanding pedagogical knowledge. This is a free program facilitated by the CTL and members of the Trent University teaching community.
If you are interested and want to be added to the Blackboard Course for the GTC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter 2021 Introduction to Graduate Teaching: Key Concepts, Considerations and Tools
Date: Tuesday February 2 9 am – 12 pm
- for more information and to register, please visit this workshop's webpage
The development of the GTC program was informed by the Framework for Teaching Assistance Competency Development, created by the Teaching Assistant Graduate Student Advancement (TAGSA) group of the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) (Korpan, Le-May Sheffield, & Verwoord, 2015). This framework has identified competencies that articulate what being a capable TA looks like in terms of skills, performance, and responsibilities.
Reference: Korpan, C., Le-May Sheffield, S., & Verwoord, R. (2015). Teaching assistant competencies in Canada: Building a framework for practice together. CELT, 7, 219-230.
The purpose of the Graduate Teaching Certificate (GTC) is to provide graduate students with an opportunity to develop professional teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge. In successfully completing the certificate requirements, participants will be able to:
Identify their values, goals, and responsibilities as a TA within your discipline.
Gain effective teaching experience and create a teaching portfolio of this experience.
Seek out knowledge about pedagogy and teaching strategies that enhance your TA work.
Cultivate a positive learning environment that accommodates the learning needs of students.
Engage in reflective practice and recognize how this and other forms of feedback can inform your approach to TA work.
Develop professional teaching skills including interpersonal communication, time management, and conflict resolution.
New Requirements for January 2021
Participants in the Graduate Teaching Certificate (GTC) are required to fulfill three components: Online Modules, One Virtual Live CTL Session (Introduction to Graduate Teaching: Key Concepts, Considerations and Tools), and a Capstone Project. The certificate will require a total time commitment of 36 hours (in line with university recommendations for an academic course). Specific requirements for each component are highlighted below:
- LinkedIn Learning Online Modules
- Focus: Professional teaching skill development
- Platform: LinkedIn Learning
- Requirements: 6 out of 10 modules from Section 1
- Requirements: 6 out of 10 modules from Section 2
- Duration of Sessions: 1-2 hours
- Total Time Requirement: 30 hours approximately
- CTL Sessions:
- One Virtual Live CTL Session (Introduction to Graduate Teaching: Key Concepts, Considerations and Tools)
- Duration of Sessions: 3 hours
- Capstone Project:
- Facilitator(s): Independent work with help from CTL as needed
- Requirements: One (1) demonstrable piece of high impact practical work and a one (1) page reflection.
- Total Time Requirement: 5-10 hours
Note: Tracking of attendance and submission of the Capstone Project occurs through blackboard. If you would like to be added to the GTC course, please email email@example.com.
What is a Capstone Project?
A Capstone Project is an experiential education opportunity. It allows Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) to take the skills they have developed and refined over the duration of the certificate and apply it to an area of interest. Specifically, all GTAs will engage in a high impact practical exercise and write a brief reflection of their experience completing it. Examples of this practical exercise include: pedagogical research (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - SoTL), developing a teaching dossier, presenting a teaching communication (e.g., present at a conference), and engaging in collaborative teaching practice (e.g., designing a tool, assessment, or lecture). The responsibility of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will be to provide support and guidance in the completion of the project. However, this will be primarily independent work.
Capstone Reflection Submission Requirements
Please complete the capstone reflection assignment. Your submission is to be min. 1500 to max. 3000 words, in APA or MLA format. Submit your paper to firstname.lastname@example.org with CAPSTONE Reflection in the subject line. This assignment is the final stage of the Graduate Teaching Certificate program.
Pick an event or an experience that you can reflect upon to demonstrate your learning that has occurred while you have been working within the GTC program. Please contact email@example.com if you want to discuss your assignment.
Consider the following questions.
What? What happened? What did you learn? What did you do? What did you expect? What was different? What was your reaction?
So What? Why does it matter? What are the consequences and meanings of your experiences? How do your experiences link to your academic, professional and/or personal development?
Now What? What are you going to do as a result of your experiences? What will you do differently? How will you apply what you have learned?
Next, please complete the questions below and include your answers in the body of the email with your capstone reflection submission. We will be using this information to showcase GTC related capstone projects on the CTL website. Please indicate if you would like your project summary to be posted anonymously, otherwise your first name, and last initial will be posted. Reflections will not be posted – only the Name, Program, Title, & Summary statements.
- Your Name
- Your Department/Program
- Title of Capstone Project
- Summary (4–5 sentences)
Let’s take a look at the different types of projects one might complete:
Pedagogical Research (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - SoTL): The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) has been defined as “a broad set of practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning in order to improve their own courses and programs, and to share insights with other educators who can evaluate and build on their efforts.” (Hutchings, Huber, & Ciccone, 2011, p. xix). When individuals engage in activities like these and do so with the intent to explore and evaluate student learning, they are beginning to conduct SoTL. An important goal of SoTL is to enhance and augment learning among and between individual learners by investigating the many features of discipline-specific expertise and best pedagogical practice (McKinney, 2006). As McKinney (2006) describes, “the scholarship of teaching and learning … involves the systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations, performance, or publications” (p. 39). Therefore, a Capstone Project conducting SoTL could involve conducting a small research project on one’s teaching practices. For more information or direction regarding a potential SoTL project, please contact the CTL.
Developing a Teaching Dossier: A teaching dossier is a professional document that provides an overview of one’s teaching philosophy, experience, and abilities. Most professional teaching positions require a document such as this as part of the application process. Some items that may be included in a teaching dossier are: teaching philosophy, teaching responsibilities, examples of educational administration and leadership, and feedback from students and colleagues, to name a few. The purpose of developing a teaching dossier to provide a representation of you and you work by documenting your experiences and strengths as an educator by presenting facts, evidence, and self-reflection. The CTL hosts a session for graduate students on how to develop a teaching portfolio. The session will introduce the different types of teaching portfolios and their strengths and uses. We will also provide participants with criteria for: collecting resources and material for your teaching portfolio, selecting the most relevant evidence, and writing brief reflections to frame those samples. Attending this session is very beneficial to those who choose to develop a teaching dossier for their capstone project.
Present a Teaching Communication (e.g., present at a conference): Presenting a teaching communication such as a poster, presentation, or paper at a conference, is another way for graduate TAs to engage in a high impact practical exercise. As McKinney (2006) describes, “the scholarship of teaching and learning … involves the systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations, performance, or publications” (p. 39). Seeking out opportunities to share your experience as a TA is not only beneficial to your own professional development but the development of other TAs. What part of your TA experience went well and why? What didn’t go well? How could you improve? By reflecting on your experience and sharing this with others, you contribute to the development of teaching in higher education. If you are interested in this for your capstone project, the CTL is available to support you (such as ideas for possible conferences, or support developing the communication piece).
Collaborative teaching practice (e.g., designing a tool, assessment, or lecture): As a TA, you will be working alongside teaching faculty to present a course to students. During this time, you may have a chance to collaborate with teaching faculty to develop a piece of work used in the course. Examples of this might include an assessment (e.g., assignment rubric and outline) or a guest lecture. The collaboration with the teaching faculty will provide TAs with an opportunity for feedback and guidance.
What are the LinkedIn Learning Online Modules?
To complement the in-person CTL sessions and the Capstone Project, the CTL has collaborated with LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com) to provide a series of online videos tutorials. These include key topics relevant to graduate students in their role as teaching assistants and beyond, as they progress into other areas of professional employment. Some topics include conflict resolution, public speaking, teaching complex topics, professionalism in the classroom, and more. There are ten modules included in the playlist. As per the requirements of the Graduate Teaching Certificate, completion of six out of ten modules is required to obtain the certificate.
Students can access LinkedIn Learning free of charge through their myTrent Portal (in the 'Support' tab under 'IT Support').
A playlist containing these courses has been made available on the LinkedIn Learning webpage.
In order to register for the Graduate Teaching Certificate, you must complete the following steps:
- Application Process
Send an email confirming your interest in the GTC to Brandon Remmelgas (Administrative Coordinator, CTL & Trent Online) at firstname.lastname@example.org
You must include your Trent email and student number, as this is required to give you access to Blackboard and Lynda.com
Once your registration has been confirmed by Brandon Remmelgas you will be given access to the Blackboard course where you will find additional information including how to access the LinkedIn Learning modules, the schedule for CTL sessions, and the Capstone Project submission.
All progress is tracked by the students through Blackboard.
If you participated in the certificate program before and have partially completed some of the requirements, please send an email to email@example.com to learn more information about how to transfer any previously earned credits.
If you have ideas for a workshop, event, presentation, panel discussion or other events, please feel free to email the Centre for Teaching and Learning
For more information about the Centre for Teaching and Learning or events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.