More than 450 undergraduate students took advantage of 380 courses through cross-registration among Consortium institutions during 2011-12.
Certificate in College Teaching
The Consortium Certificate in College Teaching represents a collaborative institutional response to the ever-present challenges of promoting exemplary teaching in today's complex higher education environments. Most college professors have not had the benefit of formal training as teachers. Preparation for the college classroom involves more than a solid base of knowledge in a discipline; it requires a systematic inquiry into the pedagogies and processes that facilitate learning. Our certificate program is grounded in the latest educational research of best practices in college teaching, and is designed to enhance the teaching and learning experiences for faculty and students in higher education.
The primary focus of the Certificate is to prepare graduate students, adjunct and full-time faculty who aspire to, or who are currently engaged in, a career in academia. Research has shown that graduate students with some formal preparation in college teaching have a substantial advantage in the academic job market. Once hired, the new faculty members are better prepared to assume their teaching duties and are, consequently, more productive in developing their research programs. Similarly, more experienced college faculty can also benefit from such teaching certificate programs, as they may be very well prepared in their disciplines, but desire formal training in the pedagogy of teaching. NOTE: See the feature article describing the CCT program in the May 2007 issue of The Teaching Professor.
"In addition to helping improve my teaching, the CCT classes continue to help me in my career. The program was instrumental in helping me get my job at Worcester State, which led to my involvement in the Center for Teaching and Learning. I have recently been selected to take part in a year-long research residency on the scholarship of teaching and learning in biology; my participation in the CCT program is part of the reason that I was chosen. They were looking for professors who had pedagogical training and were ready to take the next step to pursue research projects regarding the effectiveness of their teaching and student learning." - Daron C. Barnard, Assistant Professor of Biology, Worcester State College
Goals of the Program
- Graduates will engage in ongoing systematic documentation of and reflection on their teaching practice and their students' learning.
- Graduates' teaching practice will be grounded in personal values, accepted professional standards, and a research base.
- Graduates will employ, appropriately and responsively, a diverse toolkit of teaching methodologies that promote active engagement and learning.
All certificate courses carry graduate credit granted through Worcester State University. Students who wish to register for Certificate courses should consult procedures for students and then complete and submit the pre-enrollment form. Faculty interested in teaching in the certificate program and/or proposing courses to be included in the program should consult procedures for faculty.
Current students, faculty and staff from Consortium member institutions pay a reduced tuition rate of $299/credit. Tuition for non-Consortium participants is $479/credit. (Because Worcester State University is the CCT program’s credentialing host, WSU current students, faculty and staff pay $265/credit.)
What Program Participants Say . . .
"I really got a lot out of the assignments in my courses and they were all immediately useful and relevant. I'm convinced my new and improved teaching philosophy won me the job offer at Wellesley!"
- Allison Hunter, PhD student, WPI
"I want to thank you for an incredibly enlightening and enjoyable experience. This was my first online course and both of you helped to make the transition from the brick and mortar classroom to the cyber classroom very easy. I will certainly recommend this course to anyone I encounter who may be interested in college teaching; I'll also recommend it to quite a few who are already college teachers!"
- Rayanne Drouin, Nichols College (speaking about the Online Seminar in College Teaching, fall 2008)
“Thank you. This is the first time I've taken a class [Seminar in College Teaching] in which every single particle – what’s analyzed, the analysis itself, what I‘m reading, the discussions in class, the topics presented, the way they are approached – has such specific, important and immediately applicable significance for me. As far as significant learning goes, this is the tops!”
- Yvonne Conybeare, Instructor, Theatre Arts, Clark University
"The Seminar in College Teaching course is just what I needed to learn the techniques and skills involved in college teaching. With this on my resume, I was able to land my first teaching job for the fall semester. The department head who interviewed me said she was confident about giving me a chance because I participated in this course. I also am confident and excited about putting my new skills into action.
-Rosa Croughwell, Middlesex Community College
"I found the Seminar class to be extremely beneficial in providing me with the opportunity to develop a crisp set of skills to pursue a career in higher education. There was a direct link between the skills I developed in this class and the career opportunities at the college level. Last fall I accepted a faculty position at an area college."
- Craig Brown, Instructor of Computer Science
"The Seminar left a strong impression on me as an excellent opportunity to learn about teaching and learning and then to apply theory to practices. This high level of preparation made a significant difference in the quality of my teaching and helped me encourage creativity and focus the instruction I provide. The Seminar was the best possible preparation I could have asked for!"
- Douglas H. Borden III, Instructor, Quality Systems Management Master's Degree Program, The National Graduate School, and former Physics Instructor, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
What Certificate Completers Say . . .
"I enrolled in the certificate program to increase my professional skills. The certificate courses helped me clarify my personal teaching philosophy and gave me an opportunity to devise practical tools to apply in the classroom setting. The capstone Practicum course was invaluable in providing me with an opportunity for collaborative feedback from colleagues in diverse disciplines. I recently completed the Certificate in College Teaching Program with a well-developed, professional teaching portfolio!"
- Jessica L. Willis, Women's Studies Ph.D. Program, Clark University
"After 20 years in business and industry, I was hired as an adjunct faculty member to teach writing. I knew my subject matter well, but needed to learn teaching strategies, theories of learning styles, and techniques for student-centered instruction - and the Certificate program was an ideal choice for me! I learned how to design assignments and learning assessments that actually make teaching easier. I also have a professional portfolio of my work and a well-honed teaching philosophy that will serve me as I broaden my teaching prospects. I highly recommend this program to every adjunct faculty member who has ever felt at a loss for where to turn for help, in anything from legal issues in the classroom - to promoting classroom discussion - to knowing how to grade. It will be time very well spent!"
- Linda Grochowalski, Adjunct Professor, Humanities, Quinsigamond Community College
"I firmly believe that the Certificate in College Teaching (CCT) helped me tremendously in my teaching and responsibilities as a TA (as well as an instructor in Spring 2007) . . . this award is certainly a testament . . . to the strengths of the CCT and all that I learned while taking the Seminar in College Teaching as well as my other electives, and then the Practicum!"
- Danielle Fontaine, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University (Recipient of Clark's Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for 2007-08)
The information, syllabi and program/course descriptions on the Colleges of Worcester Consortium Certificate in College Teaching site are proprietary and intended for the use of current students, faculty and staff as well as prospective students of the program. Any other use without written permission is an infringement of copyright laws. Requests may be made to Program Director Susan Wyckoff at swyckoff [at] cowc [dot] org.