Doctoral Student Courses & Teaching Certificate

Doctoral students at CEU have multiple opportunities to develop their knowledge and practice of teaching. In addition to workshops, lectures, consultations, and other informal opportunities, formal teaching preparation takes place in one of two pathways:

  • The Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education is a comprehensive pathway for early-career academics, incorporating a Teaching Practicum (TA-ship) for hands-on experience, as well as courses. Both the Certificate and the materials students create in it (e.g., syllabus, teaching portfolio, sample lessons and assignments) can be invaluable preparation for academic jobs.
  • Students who do not pursue the Certificate can still obtain support for their mandatory Teaching Practicum through the Getting Started courses offered by the Elkana Center.

Course details and times can be found here.

Beginning Your Teaching Development at CEU

Regardless of whether you pursue the full Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education, all doctoral students at CEU are required to complete a Teaching Practicum. The Teaching Practicum is similar to a teaching assistantship, with an emphasis on developing teaching skills in partnership with a faculty member in the classroom. It is organized by doctoral programs, and participants receive two or more credits. Paid teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis after completion of the Teaching Practicum, with preference given to those who have completed Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education (YELC 6101/3) and especially, the whole Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education. 

Graphic representation of the certificate requirements.

We recommend that you take the Getting Started as a TA course (YELC 6001), a one-credit course, during your Practicum to learn skills and expectations that will help you have a better experience. This practice-oriented course provides tools to help you set and manage expectations, navigate classroom and online technology, create inclusive and accessible learning environments, grade, and get the most from the experience - including comradery from peers going through the TA-ship at the same time. The course is required in some doctoral programs and counts (for all students) towards the Teaching Certificate.

We further recommend that you take Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education around the time of your Teaching Practicum. (The ideal timing varies, based on the other requirements in your doctoral program.) Foundations is a 3 US credit course, consisting of a seminar (YELC 6101) and practicum (YELC 6103). Foundations is the gateway to the rest of the Teaching Certificate, and completion gives preferential access to paid teaching asssistantships. That said, we understand that some students plan on completing their teaching development after the TA-ship. For these students, we recommend taking Getting Started Lecturing and Facilitating (YELC 6002) at the same time as the Getting Started as a TA and Practicum. (The Getting Started courses are scheduled on different weeks, so the effect is a 12-week, 2 credit course, altogether.)

Certificate Requirements (CEU Doctoral Students)

In August 2022, new Certificate requirements for doctoral students came into effect. The revised program is designed to better support students with their teaching assistantships and to better prepare them for academic job applications and initial teaching appointments. These changes also align the program more closely with CEU scheduling practices, other CEU certificate programs, and international standards (e.g., the UK Professional Standards Framework).

A brief summary of Certificate requirements for CEU doctoral students follows:

  • Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education (YELC 6101 and 6103). 3 credits. Students are required to enroll in and complete both the seminar and practicum.
  • Learning by Design (YELC 6105). 2 credits.
  • Electives worth 2 credits in total (either two, six-week courses, or one twelve-week course. The Getting Started course, if taken for credit, can count for one credit.)
  • Creating a Teaching Portfolio (YELC 6107). 1 credit
  • Evaluation of a teaching portfolio. Components are created during the Certificate courses and revised during YELC 6107. Please see the handbook for details.

Course Registration (CEU Doctoral Students)

Students should generally register for courses through the normal SITS registration process. Course registration is open during the normal registration periods, and students who have general restrictions on their general registration in SITS will need to resolve these. Most Elkana Center courses can be found in the SITS menu under Extracurricular Courses (YELC - Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education). For some doctoral programs, one or more courses count towards the degree program, and can be found alongside other courses. Please consult your departmental coordinator in programs where Elkana Center courses count as mandatory courses or as electives.

Students Who Began Courses with the Previous Certificate Structure

Prior to Fall 2022, the Center for Teaching and Learning organized courses with the CTAL course prefix, within the Program for Excellence in Teaching in Higher Education for Doctoral Students. CEU doctoral students who completed CTAL-prefixed courses receive credit for the equivalent course in the new program structure. Furthermore, CEU doctoral students who successfully completed CTAL6007 (Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education) prior to July 2022 may elect to follow the previous certificate program structure (6 credits, instead of 8).  

Students who completed other CTAL-prefix courses, such as electives but not CTAL6007 (Foundations), must follow the new program structure.  

More information can be found on page 9 of the Program Handbook.

Program Handbook

Please find the complete details of the revised Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education in the program handbook, below, including detailed information for all three tracks, as well as for students who began coursework in the old Certificate format.