Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning, offers an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in University Teaching. The Certificate is presented in cooperation with academic departments and administrative units that support teaching and learning. The goal of the Certificate is to provide doctoral and terminal professional degree students with a multifaceted program that supports the enhancement of the student’s teaching skills, prepares them for future academic positions, and provides an academic credential that should enhance students’ opportunities for academic employment. Graduate students interested in the Certificate should submit a formal application as soon as they have formulated plans for pursuing the Certificate. The application should include a letter of support from a faculty member who will serve as a mentor during the student’s pursuit of the Certificate. Although it is desirable that this individual be a member of the graduate student’s advisory committee, this is not required. The mentor may be an individual in the student’s department, a Teaching Academy member, or a faculty member teaching one of the courses accepted as part of the Certificate. In addition to the application, students should submit a plan of study for approval by the Certificate director. This plan of study should be submitted as early as possible after the student has decided to pursue the Certificate. Judy Milton, Certificate director (jmilton@uga.edu) is more than willing to assist the student in developing the plan of study.

Graduate students enrolled in the program will satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  1. Four Sections of Teaching at UGA: Provide instruction in at least four sections at the University of Georgia as teacher of record, or as discussion or laboratory TA with significant responsibilities. Submitted documentation should include the sections with course number, date (to be) taught, and a brief description of the graduate student’s responsibilities.
  2. Nine Hours of Course Work: Complete nine credit hours in course work related to teaching development from at least three of the four categories listed below. Courses taken to satisfy the certificate requirements cannot count toward the degree requirements unless previously approved in writing by the student’s advisory committee and graduate coordinator.
    1. Teaching strategies (three semester hours of GRSC 7770 or an equivalent course in the student’s academic department– note that three hours are required, but GRSC 7770 is offered for variable credit),
    2. Student learning and assessment of the learning environment (three semester hours on how students learn, classroom management, grading and testing),
    3. Technology to support teaching and learning (three semester hours of instruction on using technology to support teaching and learning),
    4. Professional development for the academy (three semester hours of instruction based on the student’s need and approved by Certificate program director).
  3. Approved Courses: Select from the list of approved courses in each category.
  4. Request Course for Approval: Other courses, not yet approved for use in the Certificate program, may be included. To request use of a course in your plan of study that is not listed in the Course Options, send the following information to the Certificate Director for review:
    1. Name, academic department, email address and telephone number
    2. Certificate category that the proposed course would satisfy (i.e., teaching strategies, student learning and assessment, technology to support teaching and learning, or professional development for the academy), UGA course title, course prefix and number, credit hours, and a copy of the syllabus or synopsis of the course
    3. Name and signature of your Certificate mentor supporting the request Requests will be evaluated and the student notified of the decision. Courses approved will be added to the list of course options.
  5. Teaching Project: The purpose of the project is to demonstrate creativity or innovation in the teaching of a discipline and to be able to show the effectiveness of the project. The project can take many different formats. Some examples include creation of a case study used in class, writing or making major revisions in lab manuals, creating and teaching new laboratory exercises, creating or modifying games or simulations used in class, involvement in course or curriculum revisions, effective mentoring of new TAs, or creation and use of other new teaching techniques.  Teaching projects should be approved by the Certificate Director prior to beginning the project.  The results of the project are often used to fulfill the Scholarship of Teaching requirement.  After completion of the teaching project, a brief report describing the project, the results, and a reflection should be submitted to the Certificate director. Examples of how other students have prepared this report are now available online.
  6. Scholarship of Teaching: Disseminate the results of the scholarship of teaching through submission of a publication-ready manuscript or a presentation or poster at a peer-reviewed professional meeting.  Graduate students who may be unfamiliar with the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) can find resources to support the development of these skills in the Graduate School, the Center for Teaching and Learning, CIRTL@UGA, and the Science Educators Engaged in Research (SEER) Center.
  7. Teaching Portfolio: Develop a twelve-page teaching portfolio that is submitted for evaluation and approved as part of the UGA Teaching Portfolio program. The portfolio is a method to document the culmination of teaching excellence demonstrated by graduate students during their UGA experience, and often is submitted toward the end of an academic career.

For any additional comments or questions concerning the Certificate in University Teaching, please contact Judy Milton, jmilton@uga.edu, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Certificate program.