Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching


The Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching provides a professional academic standard by recognizing the discipline-specific pedagogy programs, and related mentoring and supervision achieved by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). GTAs who can demonstrate that they have met and exceeded these standards are eligible for the Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching, and will have the certificate noted on their official University transcript.

Have your achievements recognized. Email Jennifer Hall at jenniferhall@gsu.edu for information on how to apply.

To earn the Certificate of Teaching Excellence, a graduate teaching assistant must teach for AT LEAST 3 full semesters as instructor of record (or equivalent) and display mastery of:

  • Applying professional literature about enhancing student learning in higher education.
  • Planning a course in higher education, including writing course syllabi, planning and teaching lessons, and developing assessment instruments.
  • Developing skills in promoting student engagement—leading discussions, cooperative/collaborative groups.
  • Implementing strategies that respect and accommodate diversity.
  • Using technology appropriate for promoting student engagement and learning.
  • Demonstrating strategies to assess multiple levels of student learning, skills, and dispositions.
  • Applying strategies that foster reflection and course revision, including portfolio development and peer review strategies.
  • Independently demonstrating the integration and application of appropriate practices and skills to promote student learning, including effective written and oral communication skills and writing to enhance student learning.
  • Demonstrating ethical and professional behavior.

Apply for the Certificate of Teaching Excellence

Students wishing to apply for the Certificate of Teaching Excellence must teach for AT LEAST THREE FULL SEMESTERS as an instructor of record or equivalent and submit:

1. Minimum of 2 Recommendations
Each applicant must submit a minimum of two recommendations — one from their department chair and one from their mentor.

2. Create a Digital Portfolio
Applicants must also create an online teaching portfolio on a WordPress site or another site of the candidate’s choosing that includes the following documentation:

  1. Evidence of a grade of A or Satisfactory in a three-hour course on teaching and learning in higher education OR appropriate alternative training to be accepted by the CETL on a case by case basis, along with related experiences that incorporate the elements above.
  2. A copy of the pedagogy course syllabus and a description of other related experiences, for example, conferences related to teaching in higher education (CETL Annual Conference) and attendance of CETL workshops. If a student is substituting alternative training, he or she will need to provide proof of participating in alternative training.
  3. A description of the teaching internship/mentoring experience which is supported by the letters of recommendation provided by the candidates mentor and chair.
  4. A statement of your philosophy of teaching and learning.
  5. Course materials that the your developed, including syllabi, instructional materials, assessment materials, and technology resources. If you taught with department-provided materials or runs a lab, you must create the above materials for a course you would like to teach in the future.
  6. Evidence demonstrating effective instructional skills (lecture materials, videos created for class, a written reflection of successful teaching instances, etc).
  7. Evidence of being the instructor of record of a course, Student Evaluation of Instruction ratings, and an interpretation of these ratings. Lab instructors should contact our office for information on providing alternative evidence.
  8. Demonstration of the use of strategies to promote reflection and improvement, for example, Group Instructional Feedback Technique (GIFT). *(request a GIFT for your class at cetloe@gsu.edu)
  9. Documentation of student learning, especially assessment of learning, written feedback given to students, and products of students’ work as appropriate to the discipline.

3. Submit Your Materials
Once a student has their materials ready to submit, he or she should contact Jennifer Hall at jenniferhall@gsu.edu to be added to our iCollege course.

All materials, except student evaluations, faculty recommendations, transcripts and copies of student-submitted class work, should be placed in an online portfolio, on a WordPress site or another site of the candidate’s choosing; all materials not submitted in the online portfolio, should be submitted in our iCollege class.

4. Certificate Award
Materials will be reviewed by the CETL faculty. Within three weeks of receiving the materials, the CETL faculty will either recommend that the candidate be awarded the Certificate, that the candidate be denied the Certificate, or that the candidate submit additional documentation.

For more information email Jennifer Hall at jenniferhall@gsu.edu