Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA) Certificate in College Teaching

Certificate in College Teaching Program Director: Dr. Jeanine Belcastro Went
Phone: 508-755-9400
Email: jwent@heccma.org

Program Goals

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.

Program Structure

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

    CT-911Teaching With Discussion1
    CT-912Legal Issues in College Teaching1
    CT-913Teaching With Technology1
    CT-914Learner Centered Assessment1
    CT-915Designing Assignments & Activities to Promote Learning1
    CT-916Applying the Scholarship of Teaching And Learning to Enhance Classroom Effectiveness1
    Classroom Effectiveness
    CT-917Teaching With Writing1
    CT-918Developing and Teaching an Online Course1
    CT-919Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom1
    CT-920Teaching With Cases1
    CT-921Mentoring Undergraduate Research1
    Teaching in a Disipline
    CT-931Teaching Engineering1
    CT-932Teaching Humanities1
    CT-933Teaching Foreign Languages: Methodology in Practice1
    CT-934Teaching in the Sciences1
    CT-935Universal Design for Learning1
    CT-936The Learner's Perspective: Engaging Students in Their Own Learning1
  • 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.