Advanced Graduate Teacher Certificate (AGTC)
The Advanced Graduate Teacher Certificate (AGTC) program is centrally administered by the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE). This program is designed for a select group of graduate students who have achieved an advanced level of teaching experience, skill and success.
The AGTC can assist graduate students who aspire to be excellent teachers in a number of ways. First, the AGTC helps prepare the future professoriate by approaching teaching from a discipline-based perspective, incorporating interaction with peers and applying multiple tools in the assessment of teaching. Second, the AGTC honors graduate students who have made exceptional contributions in classroom teaching, inquiry into teaching and service related to teaching. Finally, the AGTC equips graduate students to confidently advance into the professoriate.
Graduate students who fulfill AGTC requirements and demonstrate excellence in teaching will have their applications reviewed by the AGTC committee.
Classroom Teaching Experiences
Tier 1: Teach a minimum of one class each semester on the Purdue campus for at least four semesters. Teaching a class is defined as having University-scheduled teaching duties with students on a daily, semiweekly or weekly basis in a classroom, studio or lab. Responsibilities consisting only of grading and/or writing tests/exams, holding office hours and proctoring tests/exams do not fulfill this requirement.
Tier 2: Teach a class as the primary instructor, creating a syllabus, selecting reading materials, designing student assessments, and developing creative, effective teaching and learning strategies.
Tier 1: Enrolling in and completing a CETA-approved campus course on college teaching is the general requirement. In rare instances, participation in 18 or more hours of approved workshops or seminars on college teaching beyond the pre-semester orientation can be accepted. Graduate seminars on teaching and learning (such as College Teaching Workshops Series) are examples. All courses, seminars and workshops must be CETA-approved to apply to this requirement.
Tier 2: Participate in 30 or more hours of continuous education beyond the pre-semester orientation and the requirement for Tier 1.
Teaching Other Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
Tier 1: Work with other GTAs to support good teaching, both on campus and in the graduate student's department, for a minimum of 10 hours. Options include working as a head GTA, supervising other GTAs for a minimum of one semester; facilitating at a pre-semester orientation for GTAs and/or international GTAs; or facilitating continuous improvement seminars for other GTAs. The 10-hour minimum must include at least one activity teaching other GTAs in the graduate student's own department and at least one activity teaching GTAs outside the graduate student's department. Documentation must include a reflective narrative.
Tier 2: Facilitate and teach sessions for other GTAs on improving teaching techniques and issues related to teaching for an additional 10 hours. Documentation must include a reflective narrative.
Tier 1: There are two components to this requirement: being mentored and being a mentor. Being mentored includes meeting with a faculty member on a specified basis. Being a mentor includes meeting one-on-one on a weekly or semiweekly basis for a minimum of one semester with a junior GTA. Documentation must include a reflective narrative.
- Being mentored: meeting with a faculty member on a weekly or semiweekly basis for a minimum of one semester to discuss issues related to teaching. Academic units and/or the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) can assist graduate students in identifying mentors.
- Being a mentor: meeting one-on-one on a weekly or semiweekly basis for a minimum of one semester with a junior GTA to discuss issues related to teaching and do reciprocal teaching observations.
- Meet with a mentor for a minimum of two semesters.
- Mentor at least two other GTAs for a minimum of two semesters each.
Documentation must include a reflective narrative.
Tier 1: Provide a minimum of 10 hours of discipline-based service on campus or in the community. Examples are accounting majors helping community members with tax returns, kinesiology majors coaching youth teams, English majors tutoring in literacy programs, agronomy majors assisting with 4-H programs, completing a for-credit Service Learning course and serving on department, college campus-wide or professional committees. Documentation must include reflection.
Tier 2: Provide an additional 10 hours of discipline-specific service(s). Documentation must include reflection.
Investigation into Teaching and Learning
Tier 1: Investigate a minimum of one area related to your teaching and student learning and present results in a campus setting such as a graduate seminar, colloquium or workshop. An example might be comparing two different teaching methods used with different sections of a course and comparing the differences in student learning outcomes.
Tier 2: Present an investigative study on teaching and learning at a professional conference or in a refereed journal. Documentation must include a reflective narrative.
Instructional Technology Utilization
Tier 1: Utilize technology to enhance the learning environment. Possible uses of technology for instruction are communicating regularly with students through email, WebCT or conferencing software.
Tier 2: Adapt, develop or implement a creative interactive use of technology for instructional settings such as interactive computer testing, videoconferencing, and/or distributed or distance learning.
Tier 1: Construct a teaching portfolio that includes a personal teaching philosophy, samples of lessons, tests, feedback to students, a sample syllabus, assessment and evaluation results, personal narratives reflecting on your progress, and if possible, student narratives selected from evaluations to support teaching effectiveness. Become knowledgeable about teaching portfolios by attending a Purdue portfolio workshop sponsored by CIE and/or an academic unit.
Tier 2: Include a concrete, creative and original contribution to teaching in the portfolio that you have made (a survey and documentation of experiences are not enough). Include careful analyses of semester-by- semester teaching improvement and list crucial stages of development in teaching.
Teaching Effectiveness Measures (Tier 1 accepted only)
Teaching effectiveness will be determined through a criterion-referenced assessment based on classroom observations, a PICES (Purdue Instructor and Course Evaluation System) global item score and the teaching portfolio. A criterion-referenced system allows for the setting of a consistent standard of excellence rather than a comparison between individuals produced from a norm-referenced system.
Two observations will be conducted. The GTA's course supervisor observes an actual classroom teaching session. CETA will observe a videotaped classroom session.
The graduate student's two highest scores for the global item "Rate the instructor's overall teaching effectiveness" will be weighted. A minimum weighted average of 4.0 for the two highest-rated classes is required for certification. Teaching portfolio: The contents of the teaching portfolio will be evaluated by CETA and rated on a pass/fail scale.
Graduate students interested in the AGTC are encouraged to begin working on it as soon as they begin their teaching assistantships. Upon application, a representative from CIE (Center for Instructional Excellence), CETA (Committee for the Education of Teaching Assistants), or a departmental faculty or staff member will assist the graduate student in individualizing the AGTC program and provide guidance throughout the process.
Graduate students who fulfill AGTC requirements and demonstrate excellence in teaching are eligible to have their applications reviewed by the AGTC committee.
While graduate students are encouraged to complete the Graduate Teacher Certificate (GTC) program prior to completing the AGTC, it is not mandatory to do so (see the companion brochure on the GTC). Requirements fulfilled for the GTC can be applied to the AGTC program. Application to begin the AGTC program can be made through CIE by emailing CIE@purdue.edu.
Graduate Teacher Celebration
The annual Purdue Graduate Teacher Celebration will recognize exceptional Graduate Teaching Assistants, and will honor students who successfully complete the AGTC by March 1 of any given year. A certificate will be awarded to those graduate students who successfully complete the AGTC program.