Four projects designed to improve the quality, scope and/or efficiency of programs at William & Mary were made possible this semester with support from the provost’s Creative Adaptation Fund. Among those projects chosen was Professor Pamela Eddy's project on College Teaching Certificates.
College Teaching Certificate
Investigators: Pamela L. Eddy
The university will soon offer a 12-credit, hybrid (online and in-person) College Teaching Certificate (CTC) program. It will be the first such credit program offered in Virginia.
The certificate targets community college faculty as well as on-campus doctoral students at William & Mary, and portions will be offered year-round.
“What makes the College Teaching Certificate such an exciting venture is how the initiative addresses several key issues facing higher education in general, and the state of Virginia in particular,” said Eddy, professor of education. “The changing nature of teaching and learning, the needs of today’s learners, and the retirement of vast numbers of seasoned faculty members provides a need in the field that the CTC addresses—especially for those in the community college sector.”
Most faculty are not trained on how to teach and instead use trial and error, teach as they were taught, or try teaching themselves about new classroom strategies, Eddy added.
“The College Teaching Certificate intends to teach about best practices in classroom teaching with an end goal to obtain improved student learning outcomes, and importantly to keep students on track for college completion,” she said.
The foundation for the certificate includes six, one-credit online modules that focus on the areas of college teaching and course design, teaching strategies, inclusive classroom design, the scholarship of teaching and learning, assessing student learning, and educational technologies and course content.
The second portion of the program will offer participants teaching academies and workshops. Students in the program will also be involved in hands-on learning projects in which they will have the chance to apply their new skills.
“The CTC is offered in a hybrid format to accommodate working professionals and models the type of authentic learning experiences participants can then use in their own classrooms,” said Eddy. “Importantly, a focus on the scholarship of teaching is a part of the program—this feature will allow graduates to continue to assess their own classroom practices and tweak them to enhance student outcomes long after they are done with the CTC. Our hope is that our own passion for teaching spreads among those participating!”
The one-credit modules are being developed this summer, and two of the content modules will be piloted on campus and with faculty at Tidewater Community College in the fall.
The program itself is expected to generate a pathway into graduate programs for participants and will create additional enrollments for the university. The format of this initial offering may lead to additional certificate program offerings.