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.
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
STEM 810 Teaching College Science | 3 Credits
Electives (Choose 1):
COMM 712 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
H&CE 743 Experiential and Learner Centered Teaching | 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):
* 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 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.
- This schedule is subject to change.
- Every course has an enrollment cap. Please check with the course instructor about this.
- Once requirements are completed a student must submit the Verification of College Teaching Certificate form with their portfolio.
"What I appreciated most about the College Teaching Certificate was the excuse to focus on teaching in an environment centered on research. We discussed trends and issues related to education, new pedagogical techniques, and the struggles of connecting with an audience zoned in on technology. The certificate didn't feel like extra work; rather, it felt like mentorship, with a shared goal to create better learning for all students - regardless if they were in the classroom today or would be tomorrow."
- Dr. Kyle Vareberg, former College Teaching Certificate student
The following courses are offered in the semesters listed, assuming there are enough students registered. Be sure to register early for these courses.
- COMM 712 (online) will be offered in Summer Semester 2023.
- COMM 702 (online) will be offered in Fall Semester 2023.
- ENGL 764 (on-site) will be offered in Fall Semester 2023.
- STEM 810 (hyflex) will be offered in Fall Semester 2023.
- EDUC 753 (online) will be offered in Spring Semester 2024.
- EDUC 853 (hyflex) will be offered in Spring Semester 2024.
- H&CE 743 (online) will be offered in Summer Semester 2024.
- COMM 712 (online) will be offered in Summer Semester 2024.
To earn the College Teaching Certificate, you will create a teaching portfolio. A teaching portfolio is a living document and should change as you practice and grow professionally. It is for your current and future use. It is, more than anything else, a record of who you are and what you are about as a teacher.
Required Portfolio Elements
- Teaching philosophy.
- Sample teaching materials. These may include course syllabi, assignments, lesson plans, presentation slides, extension publications, etc.
- Sample of diagnostic, formative, and/or summative assessments that align with and measure learning outcomes.
- 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?
- 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.
- Evaluations of teaching by supervisors, peers, and/or students.
- 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.
Materials from your coursework and practicum can be used in your portfolio. To help you identify what materials to keep, please view the Preparing for Your Practicum and Portfolio checklist:PDF | Audio (MP3)
- When you are finished with your portfolio, please submit a copy to Dr. Melissa Vosen Callens; she will distribute your portfolio to the CTC Board. Please keep in mind your portfolio is a collection of work and should be organized as such; do not submit individual files for each portfolio element. Candidates should organize their work in one PDF or a Google or OneDrive folder.
- In addition to your portfolio, please also submit the CTC Portfolio Checklist. The CTC Portfolio Checklist is a checklist for you and your practicum supervisor to ensure all necessary portfolio elements are included.
- Finally, when you submit your portfolio, please also fill out the Graduation Application, and list Dr. Melissa Vosen Callens as the Graduate Program Director. When the CTC Board approves your portfolio, Dr. Callens will approve your graduation application / certificate.
Portfolio Submission Deadlines
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 initial submission deadline (first draft disquisition). 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 submission deadline (final disquisition). See NDSU dates and deadlines for more information.
- Fall Semester 2022:
- Spring Semester 2023:
- Summer Semester 2023:
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).
Prior to the start of the semester in which you plan to complete your teaching practicum, make sure you have turned in your application and Practicum Proposal Form. In order to fill out the Practicum Proposal Form, you will need to have a conversation with your field experience supervisor about your practicum, including what class(es) you will teach and when you will be observed.
During your practicum, your field experience supervisor will observe you a minimum of three times. Your practicum and associated teaching observations are critical components of the College Teaching Certificate program. During the semester, you should meet regularly with your field experience supervisor 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 from your field experience supervisor provide opportunities to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher while there is still plenty of time to make and evaluate changed practices. Final summative visits and evaluations from your field experience supervisor document the quality of teaching and learning that has taken place during the semester.
Each class observation should include:
- a preliminary meeting to discuss instructional plans for the lesson in the context of the course and to identify things to observe;
- attendance of a full lesson and systematic collection of observational data;
- a written summary of the observation including instances of successful instruction and suggestions for changes; and
- 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.
"I am very grateful for the knowledge I gained from participating in the college teaching certificate program. Being that I had a background in teaching with my work at my previous university, I found an immense amount of knowledge from this program that greatly impacted my methods of teaching. I learned a vast amount of assessment techniques that I can use on a regular basis on myself and my students. The in-depth understanding of various assessment practices further enhanced my teaching philosophy and made me a better teacher in and out of the classroom."
- Lukus Klawitter, former College Teaching Certificate student
To apply for this certificate program, you must be an NDSU graduate student in good standing. The application fee is $35. You should attach proof of payment to the application form you fill out.
The deadline to apply is one month before the beginning of the semester you choose to begin.
Fall Semester = Begins the fourth week in August.
Spring Semester = Begins the second week in January.
Summer Semester = Begins the third week in May.
To be admitted to the College Teaching Certificate program, the applicant must:
- Submit the College Teaching Certificate Application.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing.
- 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.
- Be a current degree-seeking student in a enrolled graduate program or have a graduate degree and be working on campus.
NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning
Email: Melissa Vosen Callens
NDSU Graduate School