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Graduate Teacher Certificate (GTC)


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The Graduate Teacher Certificate program is documentation of a graduate teaching assistant’s classroom teaching and teacher development activities, e.g., pre-semester teaching assistant orientation and workshops; Micro-Teaching with consultative feedback; classroom observations, together with student and colleague feedback and self-analyses.

For optimal benefit, graduate teaching assistants are encouraged to start the GTC as soon as they begin their teaching appointments on campus. 

Click on the button to the left to enroll in the program. 

Classroom Teaching Experiences

To be certified, a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) must have at least two teaching experiences as a GTA. Teaching a class is defined as having scheduled teaching duties with students on a daily, semiweekly or weekly basis in a classroom, lab or studio. Responsibilities consisting only of grading and/or writing tests/exams, holding office hours, and proctoring tests/exams do NOT fulfill this requirement. Having only ONE teaching experience does not fulfill this requirement either (visit the GIDC page if you do not have enough teaching experience to get the GTC). 

Classroom Observations

To be certified, the graduate students must participate in the following activities:

Observe one experienced faculty member in your home department or the department in which you teach.

Observe one experienced teaching assistant in your department or the department in which you teach.

Be observed while teaching a scheduled class and complete a consultative feedback session. The observation should be done by a faculty member from your department or the department in which you are teaching. If this is not feasible, contact CIE for alternatives. Meet with your observer afterward to discuss the experience.

Write a 1-2 page reflection regarding the observations that you completed.


Micro-Teaching (as offered by CIE) is the teaching of a brief, seven-minute lesson in front of a group of peers while utilizing a lesson plan. After teaching, you will receive feedback from peers and then meet with a CIE staff member to watch and discuss your video. Finally, you will submit a reflective essay discussing your experience. This is a certificate requirement on its own and it does not count towards the teacher development activities. 

Teaching Assistant Orientation

Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAOr) for new GTAs is conducted in the fall semester on the Wednesday prior to the first week of classes. Students looking to meet the criteria for the GTC may either attend the all-campus TAOr, which is facilitated by CIE, or an equivalent program offered in the department in which they hold their teaching appointment (the orientation must cover an equivalent amount of teaching topics). GTAs who did not attend TAOr prior to their first semester of teaching should contact CIE in order to register for a future orientation experience or enroll in additional workshops.

Instructional Development

To be certified, the graduate student must complete a minimum of nine hours of instructional workshops, classes or seminars (beyond the pre-semester orientation) during the semesters in which they are being mentored. Typical workshop topics may include: improving teaching through the use of student feedback, test construction, administering and grading tests, classroom ethics, motivating students, and/or weekly sessions on "how to teach" upcoming classes. CIE and other Purdue academic units provide classes and workshops of this nature each semester. Click here to visit CIE's workshop page.

Student Feedback and Evaluation

The GTA must utilize Early Feedback (EF) and end-of-the-semester course and instructor evaluations for classes taught in the most recent semesters of teaching (the ones listed on Teaching Report 1).

In one to two pages, GTAs provide a self-reflection and analysis of each teaching experience.


Complete documentation for the Graduate Teacher Certificate is required and resembles a pilot teaching portfolio. All documentation is to be completed under the supervision of and validated by a CIE staff member. Supplemental documents include: 3 1-page reflections, copies of the EF and end-of semester evaluations for each of the classes listed on Teaching Report 1.

Graduate Teacher Celebration

The annual Purdue University Graduate Teacher Celebration recognizes students who successfully complete the GTC requirements by April 1 of any given year. The teaching certificate program helps graduate students realize growth and satisfaction by providing teaching and mentoring experiences and instructional development that can be assessed and documented for career purposes. A certificate will be awarded to those graduate students who successfully complete the GTC program.