Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Preparation Certificate Program

The Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Preparation Certificate Program is designed to provide Graduate Teaching Assistants with a structured experience that prepares them for classroom and laboratory teaching.  The program allows you to develop and document your classroom teaching and teacher development activities and it provides you with several self-reflection and consultative feedback opportunities.  It also provides several documents that can be included in your professional and teaching portfolio.

You should understand that there is a great deal of time and effort involved with attaining the GTA Teaching Certificate.  During the program (10-week duration when taken during fall or spring and 8-week duration when taken during the summer), candidates must complete all of the following criteria:

  • Attend the initial program orientation meeting, scheduled for Friday, May 19, 2017 at 3:00pm in the LT&ITC (LIB 348).
  • Complete the pre-program assessment.  This is just to provide us with additional information to allow us to better tailor the program to meet your needs.
  • Attend at least four LT&ITC workshops related to teaching and pedagogy.  The LT&ITC offers multiple workshops each fall and spring semester and also has an extensive video archive of past workshops that you may view.
  • Write 1- to 2-page reflection papers on each workshop you attend or view.  These papers should indicate what you learned from the workshop and how you envision utilizing some of those lessons learned into your own current or future teaching practice.
  • Participate in two microTeaching activities (i.e., brief, 5-8 minute mini-lessons, based on utilizing a lesson plan, taught in front of a small audience and video-recorded).  After each microteaching activity, you will receive feedback from the audience and then meet with an LT&ITC staff member to watch and discuss your video.
  • Write a 1- to 2-page reflection paper describing your microTeaching experience that incorporates feedback received during your post-activity follow-ups.
  • Observe two different professors while they are teaching and write a 1 to 2-page reflection paper on what you have learned from those observations.  You may conduct your observations in courses in which you are currently enrolled.  Or, you can observe other professors (with their permission).
  • Construct a Teaching Philosophy Statement and have it reviewed by an LT&ITC staff member.
  • Create a final Teaching ePortfolio that contains all the major artifacts from your program participation.  LT&ITC staff will review your final portfolio.

GTAs who are interested in applying for the Summer 2017 program should send their application and accompanying materials to by Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 8:00am for review.

We will notify you via email by Thursday afternoon to let you know if you've been accepted into the program.  Students who complete all the program requirements will receive a certificate of program completion from the LT&ITC.  GTAs may complete the Teaching Certificate Program only once.

Frequently Asked Questions about the GTA Teaching Certificate Program

  • Is this Teaching Certificate Program a requirement for all GTAs?
    No, it is not.  It is an optional program for those graduate students who are interested in improving their teaching skills, will be responsible for labs or classes during their time as a GTA, and/or who intend to teach in a college or university setting.

  • Is the Teaching Certificate Program free?
    Yes, there is no cost to the participants.  It is a service provided by MTSU and the College of Graduate Studies.

  • Where will this Teaching Certificate be recognized?
    There's no formal "recognition" associated with this program certificate.  This means that it should be good for wherever you go or work.  It is an MTSU program that has no formal connection with any other accrediting body.  It is designed to be a certificate that GTAs can include in their teaching or professional portfolios.

  • Can I select what semester I participate in the Teaching Certificate program?
    The College of Graduate Studies will issue an invitation to participate in the program during the fall, spring, and summer academic terms.  GTAs who would like to participate should submit their application materials during the term in which they would like to complete the program.

  • Can I complete the workshop requirement online?
    Yes, the LT&ITC has a large number of archived workshops on its website that are devoted to a variety of teaching topics.  You may use these workshops to meet this requirement.  Please pick the topics that best meet your individual interests and needs.

  • Are there any program events set up for a particular date and time?
    The only program components that is set for a specific date/time is the initial Orientation Meeting.  The microTeaching sessions will also have specific dates and times, however, we typically offer 2 different days/times that participants can choose from to attend these sessions.

  • Are any credit hours associated with the Teaching Certificate program?
    There are no credits associated with completing this program.

  • What if I already have a teaching or professional portfolio?
    If you already have a portfolio, you can use that for this program and use your experiences in this program to supplement that portfolio.  A major goal of the program is to help GTAs improve their overall portfolio.

Our previous program completers have offered some words of wisdom for future program participants.

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