Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Preparation Certificate Program

The GTA 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 portfolios. The program is designed primarily for those who are new to teaching or for experienced treachers who would like consultation and feedback.

You should understand that there is a significant time commitment involved with attaining the GTA Teaching Preparation Certificate. During the 10-week program (offered in fall, spring, and summer), candidates must complete all of the following criteria:

  • Attend the initial program orientation meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 3:00pm in the LT&ITC (LIB 348).
  • 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, 5-7 minute mini-lessons, based on utilizing a lesson plan, taught in front of a small audience; first session video-recorded). After the first microteaching activity, you will meet with the LT&ITC staff to watch and discuss your video. After the second microteaching activity, you will receive immediate feedback from the audience.
  • 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). Only one reflection paper is needed for this part, in which you compare and contrast the teaching styles and approaches of the two professors you observed.
  • Construct a Teaching Philosophy Statement and have it reviewed by an LT&ITC staff member.
  • Create a final Teaching ePortfolio that contains all of the major artifacts from your program participation for review by LT&ITC staff.

GTAs who are interested in applying for the Summer 2019 program cohort should submit their completed application form and accompanying materials to by Friday, May 17, 2019 for consideration.

Please refrain from using any non-MTSU issued email address(es) for application purposes. Using your email address will ensure that you receive the auto-generated application follow-up email, which includes the instructions for submitting the requisite accompanying materials.

We will notify you via email to inform you of your program admission status. Students who complete all program requirements will receive a certificate of program completion from the LT&ITC as well as a stipend of $200, which is generously provided by the College of Graduate Studies and the University Provost’s Office. GTAs may complete the Teaching Preparation 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.