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The CETLI Teaching Certificate provides Penn doctoral students and terminal master's degree students with support for improving their teaching as well as recognition for their commitment to developing as teachers. The program encourages students to become self-reflective teachers and to enhance their awareness of additional teaching practices by engaging in discussions about teaching.

The CETLI Teaching Certificate also offers a structure through which interested doctoral and terminal master's degree students can prepare themselves to become faculty in the future. The certificate is noted on the student's transcript, as a statement from the University of Pennsylvania that a graduate student has pursued advanced training in teaching.

Participants in the program take part in a series of workshops and formal conversations about teaching and reflect on their own teaching with a fellow from the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Innovation who has observed them in the classroom. These elements may be undertaken at any point during one's graduate studies, with the exception of the Teaching Philosophy workshop, which comes last. All components must be completed prior to graduation.

The Certificate Contains 4 Components


Pedagogical Discussion and Training

Participants must complete five CETLI-approved teaching workshops. The Course in College Teaching may be substituted for three of the five training workshops. Our four week special topics mini-courses may be substituted for two of the five workshops. Here are our upcoming workshops.


Teaching Experience

Participants must complete at least two semesters as a teaching assistant or instructor while a Penn graduate student.


Observation and Review

Participants must have a full teaching session observed and reviewed by a CETLI Graduate Fellow. Fill out the observation request form to request an observation. Please give us at least one week's notice to schedule the observation, as it involves multiple people and a pre-observation meeting.


Teaching Philosophy

The program culminates with a discussion of participants' philosophies of teaching. To facilitate this discussion, each participant develops a statement of teaching philosophy. Once a participant has completed all the other requirements, they will be invited to sign up for one of the workshops.

To learn more about the Certificate, consult our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have other questions about any aspect of the certificate (or want to check on the workshops you've attended) email CETLI.