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Graduate Teaching Initiative

For University of Oregon Graduate Students
Engage. Reflect. Inspire.

Graduate Teaching Initiative icon

What is the Graduate Teaching Initiative?

TEP’s new Graduate Teaching Initiative (GTI) offers UO graduate students structured and rigorous, yet flexible, pathways to develop as college teachers. Those who complete a series of core requirements earn a certificate of completion: GTI students participate in individual- and small-group teaching consultations, draft a teaching portfolio, observe classes taught by faculty and peers, and attend various workshops and conversations on teaching. In addition, students who develop a special project that makes a substantive, original contribution to the UO’s community of teaching and learning can earn an advanced certificate of completion. Graduate students who “take the initiative” to develop their teaching and earn a certificate of completion will be announced and celebrated at the end of each academic year. The initiative seeks to endorse and help frame excellent teaching development activities already offered by academic departments and other campus units, such as the Graduate School, Science Literacy Program, and Center on Diversity and Community.

The program is meant to develop creative, confident, and well-informed teachers who will, in turn, help shape the campus teaching culture.

Participating in the initiative is the choice of individual GEs; our process is not a substitute for departmentally based teacher training. 

Why should you participate in the Graduate Teaching Initiative?

The GTI helps give you a structured but flexible means of developing and enhancing your teaching. The initiative challenges you to: 

What does it take to earn a certificate of completion? Should I pursue an ‘advanced’ certificate?

Each level of the initiative incorporates various opportunities for growth and reflection as a teacher. Participants can complete and document the required components in whatever order and in whatever timeframe you choose, so long as all the components are completed by the end of your degree program. The advanced certificate of completion is distinct, but its required components complement the core program. In other words, someone who has completed the initiative’s core components will have made progress towards obtaining an advanced certificate of completion.

Brief descriptions of each component are included below. By applying to the initiative, you will have access to greater resources and communication from TEP to help you pursue these components at your own pace, beginning in fall 2015. Current students who already have completed required components may be able to count these activities toward a certificate of completion.

Click here for more information about the core requirements.

Earning the GTI’s advanced certificate of completion signifies not only that a graduate student has completed a comprehensive program of teacher training and reflection, but also is an active contributor to the study and practice of innovative pedagogy at a research university. Click here for more information about the Advanced Teaching Certificate requirements.

Click here to enroll in the Graduate Teaching Initiative


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Core Certificate Requirements

Basic Teaching Skills Training

Attend a TEP Basic Teaching Skills training session. TEP offers several Basic Skills sessions before the start of each academic year, and typically offers additional sessions later in the year. Basic Teaching Skills helps new teachers get started on the right path by providing them with a framework for teaching at the University of Oregon.

If you've taught as a GTF at UO for two or more terms prior to September 2015, you are not required to complete the “Basic Skills” requirement of the Graduate Teaching Initiative. If you still wish to attend a Basic Skills training session you may count the hours towards the Workshops requirement of the GTI program.

Workshops

Participate in at least three different TEP workshops, and five additional hours on topics related to teaching and learning hosted by TEP or other UO departments and programs, such as CoDaC and the Science Literacy Program. Up to three hours of workshops taken outside the UO can count towards the workshop requirement.

("Basic Skills" sessions do not count towards the workshop requirement, as attending "Basic Skills" is its own GTI requirement.)

Teaching Experience

Students must work at least one term as a GE with teaching responsibilities. These typically include leading a section or lab or teaching a course as a sole instructor.

MicroTeaching

Contribute to one microteaching session. A new service offered by TEP, a microteaching session provides an opportunity for students to practice teaching a 10-15 minute lesson to a small group of peers and TEP staff. Students gain confidence as a teacher, practice giving and receiving constructive peer teacher feedback, and hone teaching skills. Sessions are offered regularly each term.

Class Observations

Participate in a class observation exchange with another GTI program participant. Also, observe a second class. At least one observation should be of a course in your field of study. Complete a TEP Class Observation Reflection Form for each session. (TEP's staff is also available to observe classes in place of an exchange.)

Mentorship Experience

Reflect on the mentorship you have received from faculty through your work with them as a GE, or discussions about teaching you’ve sought out with faculty over the course of one term.

Teaching Portfolio

Using UO Blogs, draft and curate a brief, selective teaching portfolio you can use and take with you after graduating from UO. The teaching portfolio will include a statement of teaching philosophy linked to sample lesson and assignment materials, course syllabuses, and other items.

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Advanced Components

Basic Teaching Skills Training

Attend a TEP Basic Teaching Skills training session. TEP offers several Basic Skills sessions before the start of each academic year, and typically offers additional sessions later in the year. Basic Teaching Skills helps new teachers get started on the right path by providing them with a framework for teaching at the University of Oregon.

If you've taught as a GTF at UO for two or more terms prior to September 2015, you are not required to complete the “Basic Skills” requirement of the Graduate Teaching Initiative. If you still wish to attend a Basic Skills training session you may count the hours towards the Workshops requirement of the GTI program.

Workshops

Participate in at least five different TEP workshops, and eight additional hours on topics related to teaching and learning hosted by TEP or other UO departments and programs, such as CoDaC and the Science Literacy Program. Up to three hours of workshops taken outside the UO can count towards the workshop requirement.

("Basic Skills" sessions do not count towards the workshop requirement, as attending "Basic Skills" is its own GTI requirement.)

Teaching Experience

Students must work at least four terms as a GE with significant teaching responsibilities.

MicroTeaching

Contribute to one microteaching session. A new service offered by TEP, a microteaching session provides an opportunity for students to practice teaching a 10-15 minute lesson to a small group of peers and TEP staff. Students gain confidence as a teacher, practice giving and receiving constructive peer teacher feedback, and hone teaching skills. Sessions are offered regularly each term.

Class Observations

Participate in a class observation exchange with another GTI program participant. Also, observe a second class. At least one observation should be of a course in your field of study. Complete a TEP Class Observation Reflection Form for each session. (TEP's staff is also available to observe classes in place of an exchange.)

Mentorship Experience

Reflect on the mentorship you have received from faculty through your work with them as a GE, or discussions about teaching you’ve sought out with faculty over the course of one term.

Teaching Portfolio

Using UO Blogs, draft and curate a brief, selective teaching portfolio you can use and take with you after graduating from UO. The teaching portfolio will include a statement of teaching philosophy linked to sample lesson and assignment materials, course syllabuses, and other items.

Course on College Teaching

Enroll and participate in at least one credited course (of one or more credits) on teaching in higher education. You must earn a passing grade in order for this to count towards the Advanced Certification. [TEP and many academic departments offer pedagogy courses throughout the academic year; please contact TEP if you need assistance in identifying a course.]

Teaching and Learning Project

The capstone achievement of the Advanced Certificate, the Teaching and Learning Project is an opportunity to undertake substantive, original contributions to the UO’s community of teaching and learning through one’s scholarship, teaching, or service. There is no set format for the project, and TEP staff are available to help consult with students about their ideas and implementation of the project. Examples of the kinds of projects graduate students at the UO already pursue include publishing peer-reviewed original scholarship on teaching and learning, designing and teaching experimental courses, implementing new service-learning projects, and many other exciting endeavors.

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Click here to enroll in the Graduate Teaching Initiative.

Questions? Email tep@uoregon.edu