Graduate certificate in pedagogy for individuals who plan to teach in a college or university.

College Teaching Certificate

The  College Teaching Certificate (CTC) is a three-semester (9-credit) graduate certificate in pedagogy for NDSU graduate students from across campus who plan to teach in a college or university and individuals who already have a graduate degree and work on campus. Students study contemporary education research and gain experience in the teaching and learning process through microteaching modules, field experience, peer observations, and a structured practicum.

Students enrolled in the CTC program must be concurrently enrolled in a graduate program leading to a degree or already have a graduate degree and work on campus.



College Teaching Certificate Postcard
View in PDF  |  Audio (MP3)

Distribute this card at your next faculty, staff, or graduate student meeting.



Sample Plan of Study

This sample plan of study is a guide to show you what your courses might look like. Your actual plan of study for this program may vary. Discuss your course plan with your advisor to ensure these courses are still available and that your selected courses are the best choice for your specific needs.

While it is recommended students complete the program in three semesters, it may be possible to complete the program in two semesters, depending on course availability.

Students must either complete the foundational course and elective course prior to the start of the practicum OR complete one of the courses and be co-enrolled in the practicum and remaining course.


Foundation Courses (Choose 1):

COMM 702 Introduction to College Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences (3 CREDITS)
ENGL 764  Classroom Strategies for TAs (3 CREDITS)
HDFS 802 Teaching Developmental Science (3 CREDITS)
STEM 810 Teaching College Science (3 CREDITS)

Electives (Choose 1):

COMM 790: Graduate Seminar: Emerging Trends in Teaching and Learning Online (3 CREDITS)
EDUC 728 Instructional Technology for Teaching and Learning (3 CREDITS)
EDUC 753 Managing and Monitoring Learning (3 CREDITS)
EDUC 853 Instructional Methods for Adult Learners (3 CREDITS)
HDFS 880 Supervision and Teaching Couple and Family Therapy (3 CREDITS)
STEM 820 STEM Curriculum and Instruction (3 CREDITS)
STEM 840 Designing Technology-Infused Learning Environments in Higher Education (3 CREDITS)

Required Teaching Practicum (Choose 1):

EDUC 792 Specialized Studies for K-12 Teachers* (3 CREDITS)
XXXX 892 Graduate Teaching Experience (3 CREDITS)

Total Credits: 9 CREDITS

* For their practicum, students should sign up for 792 or 892 in their major field of study. For example, an HDFS major would take HDFS 892 with their practicum supervisor listed as the instructor of record. This experience requires a minimum of 15 face-to-face teaching hours, with the remaining credit hours to be dedicated to preparing lesson plans, evaluating student data, and developing assessments. The field experience will be designed in consultation with a faculty teaching mentor. Students will prepare a 2-page field experience proposal for approval from the CTC director during the semester prior to the experience.


  1. This schedule is subject to change.
  2. Every course has an enrollment cap. Please check with the course instructor about this.
  3. Once requirements are completed a student must submit the Verification of College Teaching Certificate form or call 701-231-7981 for a more accessible version of the form. 



Courses Offered

The following courses are offered in the semesters listed, assuming there are enough students registered.

  • COMM 702 will be offered in Fall Semester 2021.
  • ENGL 764 will be offered in Fall Semester 2021.
  • STEM 810 will be offered in Spring Semester 2022.



Teaching Portfolio

The Teaching Portfolio is a living document, and should change as you practice and grow professionally. The portfolio is for your current and future use. We will make sure that it adheres to the guidelines and outcomes listed below, but it is, more than anything else, your record of who you are and what you are about as a teacher. Regarding the portfolio, itself: The document should include the Verification Sheet.

View the Preparing for Your Practicum and Portfolio checklist
PDF  |  Audio (MP3) >>


Required Elements

  1. Teaching philosophy.
  2. Sample teaching materials. These may include course syllabi, assignments, lesson plans, presentation slides, extension publications, etc.
  3. Sample of diagnostic, formative, and/or summative assessments that align with and measure learning outcomes.
  4. Annotated bibliography of research that informs your approach to teaching.  The scholarship included should provide answers to the following questions.
    • What do we know about how people learn?
    • What do we know about how people learn?
    • How do we assess student learning?
    • How do we increase student engagement?
  5. Application of scholarship. Here you will take something from the literature, apply it to your field experience, and assess how it went. Your portfolio should include a copy of the article selected, a lesson plan demonstrating how you implemented the idea, and a written assessment of the implementation.
  6. Evaluations of teaching by supervisors, peers, and/or students.
  7. Reflective essay on how you have changed as a teacher since the start of the program. It should include what you have learned from your CTC coursework, the scholarship of teaching and learning, observations of your mentor, and your field experience. The essay should also address how your current teaching reflects evidence-based strategies of teaching and learning.

Your Teaching Portfolio should demonstrate the following outcomes of the CTC program.

View College Teaching Certificate Outcomes Rubric - PDF  |  Audio (MP3)

Students are expected to adhere to dates and deadlines established by the Graduate School; in order to be considered for certificate completion, portfolios need to be turned in by the first draft disquisition due date. This ensures CTC Board Members have adequate time to review the portfolio.

Additionally, CTC Board members often ask students to complete portfolio revisions. If revisions are requested, they need to be submitted by the final disquisition due date. See NDSU dates and deadlines for more information.


Summer 2021 deadlines:

Fall 2021 deadlines:

Spring 2022 deadlines:

Summer 2022 deadlines:


    If students do not meet these deadlines, or need to complete additional revisions the following semester, university policy requires all students to be enrolled. The enrolled credit could be in students’ home department (disquisition credit, for example), OR, if all credits are completed in their primary program, students can register for COMM 793 / 893 (see Dr. Vosen Callens for permission).


    Teaching Practicum

    At the beginning of the semester in which you plan to complete your teaching practicum, you need to make sure you have turned in your application and a one-page proposal, outlining your practicum experience.

    Items to address:

    • What class will you be teaching or assisting? 
    • Provide a brief description of the students (level, major, minor, nonmajor, gen ed, etc.). 
    • What will your role be?
    • Plan for practicum observations. 

    The proposal is important; it makes sure that the practicum experience meets the CTC requirements. Your one-page proposal should be emailed to Dr. Melissa Vosen Callens.



    Teaching Observation Guidelines

    The capstone teaching experience and associated teaching observations are critical components of the College Teaching Certificate program. The student and cooperating teacher should commit to adhere to the following expectations. Supervising faculty must meet regularly with the candidate to focus on and discuss key dimensions of teaching college courses: 

    • Planning: Detailed syllabus and lesson plans including a reflective statement about the goals and objectives of the course and lessons in that context.
    • Learner and Learning: Reflective statements about how instructional practices are intended to promote student engagement and learning, and the assessment practices that are used to monitor learning.
    • Content: Describe the core ideas of the course and lesson, why they are important, and some distinction between critical ideas that all students should gain and enrichment or extension ideas that may not be fully learned by all.
    • Instructional Practices: Describe and demonstrate instructional practices that promote student engagement and learning along with rationale for the selection of these strategies that goes beyond anecdotes and folk wisdom.
    • Professionalism: Demonstrate the responsibility and independence that is necessary for an instructor to be a critical reflective practitioner.
    • Reflection: Demonstrate the ability to honestly reflect on the accomplishments and shortcomings of the candidate’s teaching in relation to evidence of student learning.

    Early formative observations provide opportunities to identify strengths and weaknesses of the candidate while there is still plenty of time to make and evaluate changed practices. Final summative visits and evaluations document the quality of teaching and learning that has taken place during the semester.

    A student and a mentor should discuss course design, assignments, and/or learning activities prior to their implementation.  As a vital part of this discussion, the student should prepare a list of evidence-based teaching strategies to guide observations.

    Each class observation should include:

    1. a preliminary meeting to discuss instructional plans for the lesson in the context of the course and to identify things to observe;
    2. attendance of a full lesson and systematic collection of observational data;
    3. a written summary of the observation including instances of successful instruction and suggestions for changes; and
    4. a follow up meeting to discuss the observation report and to make plans for the next observation. After the final observation of the semester (at least three observations should take place during the semester) the faculty mentor should provide a letter summarizing the observations and development that has taken place.



    Admission Requirements

    To be admitted to the College Teaching Certificate program, the applicant must:

    1. Submit the College Teaching Certificate Application or call 701-231-7981 for a more accessible version of the form.
    2. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing.
    3. At the baccalaureate level, have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all courses of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applications should be submitted directly to the graduate school.
    4. Be a current degree-seeking student in a enrolled graduate program or have a graduate degree and be working on campus.



    Contact Information

    NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning
    Phone: 701-231-7015
    Email: Melissa Vosen Callens

    NDSU Graduate School
    Phone: 701-231-7981


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