The University of Windsor is now a national leader in post-secondary education – the only university that offers an internationally-recognized certificate program in university teaching.
Despite the fact that much of an academic’s life is devoted to teaching activities, and student learning remains a primary goal of the university, few have the opportunity to systematically develop their teaching abilities, build a scholarly knowledge base about teaching, reflect on how the various elements of their teaching practices fit together, or actively cultivate a critically informed teaching persona as disciplinary practitioners teaching from a deeply-rooted academic perspective. The University Teaching Certificate (UTC) program is intended to provide such opportunities.
The UTC Program is designed to help academics develop as scholarly teachers engaged in evidence-based, theoretically-grounded pedagogy, course-design, mentoring and assessment – which makes it useful to any academic in any teaching role, from full-time faculty members to graduate assistants. The UTC Program is academic in its scholarly basis, emphasis on critical reflection, and rigorous assessment – yet it is designed to be immediately flexible, adaptive, and practical, encouraging academics to apply what they are presently learning to their work as teachers. Completion of a certificate will be neither the first nor last step in anyone’s pedagogical education, but it will provide a scholarly framework for what has been, and will be, learned informally through experience.
Every element of the UTC Program rests on several key assumptions: that academics of all disciplines can make use of evidence-based, research-informed teaching practices; that critical reflection on scholarly information, in combination with cycles of practice and feedback, can improve any teacher’s effectiveness; that all academics have the potential to become more effective teachers; that there are many kinds of effective teaching; and that the best teachers draw upon a store of knowledge and skills to adapt to changing circumstances.
The UTC Program was developed as an outcome-based developmental series of experiences that is:
- supported by the theoretical and empirical literature regarding teaching and learning;
- informed by research into certificate programs at universities in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Belgium, Sweden, and the United Kingdom;
- fully compatible with the Ontario Council for Graduate Studies (OCGS) degree-level expectations (depth and breadth of knowledge, research and scholarship, level and application of knowledge, professional capacity and autonomy, level of communication skills, and awareness of limits of knowledge), and the Canadian Association or Graduate Studies (CAGS) and Tri-Council professional skills (communication, management, teaching and knowledge transfer, and ethics); and
- fully compliant with the best practices of the international educational development profession.
Please contact the CTL for more information.