Vol 44 No 3 (2014): Special issue

Exploring the Context of Canadian Graduate Student Teaching Certificates in University Teaching

Natasha Kenny
University of Calgary
Gavan P.L. Watson
Western University
Claire Watton
University of Guelph
Published December 31, 2014


A growing number of Canadian universities offer graduate student certificate programs in university teaching. This paper examines such programs at 13 Canadian universities and presents a discussion of program structures and practices. The findings suggest that most programs were offered over one to two years, and upon successful completion, participants were issued a centre-approved certificate paired with a more formalized method of recognition, such as a transcript notation. The core focus of certificate programs appears to be divided between those that emphasize practical skill development (46%) and those that offer practical skill development along with a focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning (54%). Most certificates included active and authentic assessment methods, such as dossiers (69%), and practice teaching sessions (62%). These findings help to inform the continued evolution of graduate student teaching certificate programs.



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