Graduates & Postdocs

Certificate in Teaching and Learning

An important aspect of the Center for Teaching Excellence’s mission is to provide resources both for graduate students who are currently TAs or instructors of record at Rice, as well as for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who wish to build academic careers in which teaching will play a significant role. As a part of these efforts, we recently established an accredited certificate program in pedagogy. Once completed, this Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (GCTL) will appear on students' transcripts, providing a valuable credential to add to their CVs. The program was officially approved by the Faculty Senate on November 12, 2014.

The GCTL provides participants with a combination of formal pedagogical training, practical experience, and mentoring that will prepare them to be effective college teachers. The courses that comprise the GCTL are:

  • UNIV 500 Principles of Effective College Teaching: This course provides an overview of essential, research-based methods used by college instructors to enhance the quality of student learning. Topics include course and syllabus design, student engagement, classroom management, and more. The course will culminates with the development of a teaching philosophy and a sample syllabus. Offered during the Fall semester only.
  • UNIV 501 Research on Teaching and Learning: This course explores scholarship on teaching and learning in detail with special attention to the breadth of approaches and methodologies. The culminating project will be a literature review in an area of interest. Offered during the Spring semester only.
  • UNIV 502 Practicum in College Teaching: This practicum allows students to design and deliver teaching demonstrations and to receive feedback on their work. The course will also focus on the place of teaching in the broader landscapes of higher education and the academic job market. Offered during both Fall and Spring semesters.
  • UNIV 599 Teaching Portfolio: This independent study serves as a capstone to the UNIV sequence on teaching and learning. Students will meet individually with the instructor to plan and complete a teaching portfolio. Offered during both Fall and Spring semesters.

Currently, some departments have pedagogy seminars on the books, whereas many others do not. We do not envision this certificate program competing with departmental pedagogy courses, but instead providing a complement to these disciplinary offerings, because we will be addressing the broad landscape of pedagogical techniques and research. By the same token, students in departments that do not have such courses can benefit from a close study of best practices in teaching and learning. Students who have taken a 3-credit, department-level pedagogy course may substitute it for UNIV 500 by contacting the GCTL Program Director.

To officially apply to the certificate program, current graduate students should complete "Graduate Declaration of University Certificate" located in the Registrar's form database. Postdoctoral fellows who wish to enroll in or audit UNIV courses may do so, but must obtain the permission of their supervisor and the course instructor through a special registration process as required by the Registrar’s Office.