Why You Should Apply to UTC this Fall

By Judy Zhu |

When it comes to teaching, what is it that you find so attractive? Is it the immersion in topics you love and the ability to share that love with your students? Is it the look on a student’s face when they “get it?” Either way, teaching is a key part of our work as grad students and potential future teaching careers. Check out the top reasons why YOU should apply for the  University Teaching Certificate (UTC) cohort!

[Image Description: Jennifer Lopez looks at the camera and asks "Are you in?"]

Pictured: Join us!

No matter what brought you to the teaching profession, the University Teaching Certificate (UTC) Program is here to harness that commitment to teaching excellence and take it to the next level. This competitive, for-credit program is designed for folks who are interested in teaching careers. The program will hone teaching skills, as well as help develop best-practices in curriculum and assessment design, classroom management, diversity and rapport, learning technologies, and much more. The next UTC cohort starts in Winter 2023, and the online application deadline is Monday, 11/14, at 9 am.

The UTC program takes place over two quarters. The first quarter of the program is shaped as an in-person graduate-style seminar on advanced pedagogy. During your first quarter in the program, you will enroll in GDIV 301 (11:00 am MW). On Mondays, you will lead discussions and participate in a graduate seminar-style discussion about pedagogical texts geared toward university-level pedagogy. On Wednesdays, guest faculty and graduate resource speakers will talk to you about various topics including, but not limited to, the psychology of learning, diversity/inclusion/trauma-informed pedagogy, effective feedback, student motivation techniques, and much more! You will also have an opportunity to delve deeper into a pedagogy topic that interests you and present it to your peers during finals week.

In the second quarter of the program, you will create a teaching portfolio that can include a teaching statement, a syllabus, a reflection of your teaching strengths and weaknesses, a teaching careers week presentation, an advanced pedagogy essay, or an outline of an engaging teaching technique. You will have opportunities to get feedback from your peers on your materials before you submit them for the certificate, so you will have a MASSIVE head start on your teaching job market materials.

[Image Description: Dwight and Michael from The Office raise their hands in the air to express their excitement!]

Pictured: Who's excited to apply for UTC?

While enrolled in the UTC program, you will have the opportunity to have the current UTC coordinator and/or the Director of GradSuccess give you some feedback on your teaching. Once you do, the Director of GradSuccess, Dr. Hillary Jenks, will write you a letter of recommendation that captures all the great things you do in the classroom. Who doesn’t want future employers to know about that?!?

Even if you don’t end up in a classroom career, the skills you learn in the UTC program will be valuable for employers in industry, government, or non-profits. At the end of the day, teaching is about making information accessible to an audience of interested (and, sometimes, uninterested) people. Being able to convey ideas and concepts to advanced or novice folks is ubiquitous in the professional world. And for the love of all that is good, it is never a bad idea to make presentations more interesting and learner-focused! UTC can help you strengthen these crucial communication skills.

[Image Description: The Simpsons characters cheering raising their hands and cheering in a classroom]

Pictured: We love teaching!

If you complete the UTC program, you will be eligible to apply to coordinate it in the following academic year. Regardless, you will receive a beautiful certificate that will enhance the appearance of any wall, filing cabinet, or bookcase in your office!