Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA) Certificate in College Teaching
Certificate in College Teaching Program Director: Dr. Jeanine Belcastro Went
The Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts’ Certificate in College Teaching represents a collaborative institutional response to the ever-present challenges of promoting exemplary teaching in today’s complex higher education environments. Most college professors have not had the benefit of formal training as teachers. Preparation for the college classroom involves more than a solid base of knowledge in a discipline; it requires a systematic inquiry into the pedagogies and processes that facilitate learning. Our certificate program is grounded in the latest educational research of best practices in college teaching, and is designed to enhance the teaching and learning experiences for faculty and students in higher education.
The primary focus of the Certificate is to prepare graduate students, adjunct and full-time faculty who aspire to, or who are currently engaged in, a career in academia. Research has shown that graduate students with some formal preparation in college teaching have a substantial advantage in the academic job market. Once hired, new faculty members are better prepared to assume their teaching duties and are, consequently, more productive in developing their research programs. Similarly, more experienced college faculty can also benefit from such teaching certificate programs, as they may be very well prepared in their disciplines, but desire formal training in the pedagogy of teaching.
Graduates will engage in ongoing systematic documentation of and reflection on their teaching practice and their students’ learning.
Graduates’ teaching practice will be grounded in personal values, accepted professional standards, and a research base.
Graduates will employ, appropriately and responsively, a diverse toolkit of teaching methodologies that promote active engagement and learning.
The Certificate in College Teaching is a 6-credit graduate program with all courses carrying graduate credit through Worcester State University. Courses may be taken individually, or as part of a six-credit program leading to a Certificate in College Teaching. Courses are offered in face-to-face, hybrid and fully online formats.
Seminar in College Teaching - a foundational course (2 credits) designed to acquaint participants with basic principles and theories of education and with instructional practices associated with effective college teaching. Course activities include readings, lectures, discussion and individual and group projects. Topics covered include an introduction to learning theories, cognitive development and motivation for learning; effective teaching skills such as lecturing, class discussion, active and cooperative learning, and use of instructional technology; evaluating student performance; and life as a college professor.
Three teaching methods electives (1 credit each, 3 credits total) representing a variety of teaching strategies and methodologies, such as
Course List Code Title Credits CT-911 Teaching With Discussion 1 CT-912 Legal Issues in College Teaching 1 CT-913 Teaching With Technology 1 CT-914 Learner Centered Assessment 1 CT-915 Designing Assignments & Activities to Promote Learning 1 CT-916 Applying the Scholarship of Teaching And Learning to Enhance Classroom Effectiveness 1 Classroom Effectiveness CT-917 Teaching With Writing 1 CT-918 Developing and Teaching an Online Course 1 CT-919 Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom 1 CT-920 Teaching With Cases 1 CT-921 Mentoring Undergraduate Research 1 Teaching in a Disipline CT-931 Teaching Engineering 1 CT-932 Teaching Humanities 1 CT-933 Teaching Foreign Languages: Methodology in Practice 1 CT-934 Teaching in the Sciences 1 CT-935 Universal Design for Learning 1 CT-936 The Learner's Perspective: Engaging Students in Their Own Learning 1
Practicum in College Teaching – a 1-credit capstone course culminating in a comprehensive teaching portfolio. (Acceptance into the certificate program and completion of the 5 credits of courses outlined above are required before taking the Practicum.) Note: Practicum proposals must be submitted no later than October 1 for a spring practicum.