Teaching in Higher Education Certificate for Graduate Students

What is it?

The Teaching in Higher Education Certificate is a university credential that can be earned by Temple graduate students. It is recorded on the official university transcript upon completion of your degree program. In this program, Temple graduate students learn general principles of teaching and learning, as well as specific teaching issues in their own academic areas.

Why do it?

If you are considering a career teaching at a college or university, the Teaching in Higher Education Certificate will help you:

  • become a more effective educator
  • improve your students’ learning
  • develop high-quality teaching materials
  • stand out in a competitve job market

How do you get it?

Complete the certificate by following the steps below.

Step 1: Take the Teaching in Higher Education Seminar

This three-credit seminar addresses key issues in teaching and learning theory and practice. Students develop documents to support teaching and future job searches, including a statement of teaching philosophy, a lesson plan and a course syllabus.

Students enroll in courses according to their academic discipline. For instance, a humanities course would be designed for any graduate student in the humanities disciplines. Similarly, a physical science course would be open to all graduate students of physical sciences.

Courses Offered

Teaching in Higher Education Seminar courses are not offered in the spring semester. Please check back in March to see available Summer and Fall courses.

Course Schedule and Registration

View the Temple graduate course schedule online, and register through the Banner System in TU Portal

Step 2: Complete the Reflective Practicum

The non-credit reflective practicum is individually designed by each student. It must include teaching with a TA or Adjunct appointment (e.g. as TA lecturer/recitation leader, instructor of record, Writing Center tutor, or lab leader) and engaging in reflection on that experience.


The primary goals of the Reflective Practicum are:

  • for students to reflect on their teaching experience, including its relationship to the seminar, with an experienced mentor;
  • for students to examine selected aspects of their teaching through reflective scholarly writing.


While there is some flexibility, the practicum must include three key components: (1) Teaching, (2) Mentor Meetings, (3) a Reflective Journal.

  1. Teaching with a TA or adjunct appointment
    You could be instructor of record, discussion section or lab leader. We also accept TA appointments through the Writing Center or Math and Science Resource Center. Although grading is an important aspect of teaching, direct student interaction is essential to the reflective practicum. If you cannot secure a TA appointment, or if your appointment is limited to grading, but you still want to complete the certificate, contact Pete Watkins (pwatkins@temple.edu) about potential options.
  2. Mentor Meetings
    Reflect on your teaching experience through ongoing dialogue in bi-weekly meetings with disciplinary mentor. It is your responsibility to find an instructor in your discipline who will be your mentor throughout the Reflective Practicum and make arrangements to meet with him/her once every two weeks for discussion.

    Recommended Mentors
    The following faculty members are all knowledgeable about the Teaching in Higher Education Curriculum you just completed. We recommend that you invite someone from this list to serve as your mentor for the Reflective Practicum, but you may also select a mentor who is not on this list. Download the list of recommended mentors.

    Guidelines and Log
    Please read the Reflective Practicum: Guidelines for Mentorship and share it with your mentor. We ask you and your mentor to fill out the Mentor Meeting Log providing the dates met and signatures. Again, you must meet once every two weeks (at least 7 times during the semester).
  3. Reflective Journal
    As part of the reflective practicum you will be required to keep a reflective journal where you write about a recent event in your teaching experience for example, an event that made you feel satisfied or frustrated, proud or angry, successful or unsuccessful. In the entry, we ask that you reflect on the experience and what it means to you as a teacher. You should also draw upon what you learned at the Teaching in Higher Education Seminar. You are encouraged to use these journal entries as a springboard for discussion when you meet with your mentor. You should discuss with your mentor specific requirements for the reflective journal such as word count, frequency of entries, and how your mentor would like them submitted (email, Canvas etc.)


You must be registered and participating in the Reflective Practicum by the end of the first week of classes.  Click here to register for the Reflective Practicum.

Step 3: Submit completed materials

Upon completion of both the Seminar and Reflective Practicum submit the following materials to CAT  by the deadlines outlined below.

  1. Reflective Journal (see Step 2: Reflective Practicum)
  2. Mentor Meeting Log (see Step 2: Reflective Practicum)
  3. Certificate Application
  4. Evidence of Teaching form (signed by Department Head or Advisor)

The Certificate Application and Evidence of Teaching forms can be filled out online and then printed for submission to:

The Center for the Advancement in Teaching
The TECH Center, Suite 112
1101 W. Montgomery Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19122
TU Zip: 286-09

If you have Adobe PDF writer, you can also save the forms and submit them digitally to CAT at cat@temple.edu.

Completion Deadlines

Requirements completed duringSubmit materials to CAT by
Fall SemesterDecember 15
Spring SemesterMay 1
Summer SessionAugust 1

Receiving the Certificate 

Once you have completed the requirements for the certificate, we will send you a letter and certificate of completion. According to university policy, the Teaching in Higher Education certificate will be officially added to your transcript upon graduation from your degree program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to earn the certificate?
The time frame is typically one (1) year, but it varies according to the participant's teaching schedule. The time limit for the completion of the Certificate is three (3) years. Preferably, the Reflective Practicum will be completed in the semester following the Teaching in Higher Education Seminar, but the two components can also be completed concurrently.

What if there is no seminar offered in my discipline?
Currently, almost every school or college offers the seminar during the academic year. Although you may not see something specifically for your major, courses are taught by faculty within students' areas (i.e. humanities, public health, social sciences, foreign language, etc.). All of the courses are designed to address general principles that can be applied across disciplines.

How many mentor meetings and journal entries are required for the Reflective Practicum to earn the certificate?
The requirements depend upon the semester you are teaching.

During the Fall & Spring semesters, the requirements are: 
  • meetings with mentor every other week, minimum = 7
  • weekly journal entries, minimum = 10
During the Summer Sessions, the requirements are adjusted for the shorter term:
  • meetings with mentor are weekly, minimum = 6
  • weekly journal entries, minimum = 6

I received an automatic email about a change to my graduate record. What does this mean?
We processed a ‘Change of Program’ form to add the Teaching in Higher Education Certificate to your graduate record because you are currently enrolled in the reflective practicum component of the certificate program. At this time there is no action for you to take. Once you complete the practicum, you will submit your paperwork as specified on our program web page. Once you have completed the requirements for the program, we will send you a letter and certificate of completion. The certificate will be awarded on your transcript after you have applied for graduation from your program of study.

Additional questions
For general questions about the certificate program, please email cat@temple.edu. If you are experiencing difficulty registering or submitting documents for the Reflective Practicum, please contact Pete Watkins (pete.watkins@temple.edu) for assistance.

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