Iowa State University • Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching • www.celt.iastate.edu
Iowa State University

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Graduate Student Teaching Certificate (GSTC)

College Teaching Certificate programs are developing at universities across the nation to help better prepare graduate students who wish to become professors. ISU’s Graduate Student Teaching Certificate (GSTC) aims to enhance the professional development of graduate students who want to become professors in four-year schools of higher education emphasizing teaching. The certificate provides teaching knowledge and experience, focused as much as possible in the home discipline, for graduate students across the university. It is not a state teacher certification program.

General description:

Students will take 12 credits, including at least 3 credits of a teaching methodology course and 3 credits of an approved teaching practicum, 6 credits of approved electives, and attend 4 Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) teaching events. The certificate has 2 tracks: Track 1 is for students admitted to the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program and Track 2 is for non-PFF students.

Admission standards and prerequisites:

Students must already have a graduate degree or be admitted to a graduate program at ISU, where they have completed at least 9 hours, before being admitted to this certificate program. NOTE: Previous courses may be used for GSTC credit, but at least one course must be taken after admittance.

Courses and seminars:

Track I: Preparing Future Faculty (12 credits)

Students who wish to participate in Track 1 must also be admitted to the PFF program. See PFF application procedures.

3 credits, teaching methodology course such as (Note: register early for these courses, they fill quickly, and some are restricted to majors only)

  • Hg Ed 561, College Teaching
  • Ag Ed 520, Instructional Methods for Teaching in Ag Ed
  • Chemistry 555, Chemical Pedagogy
  • English 500, Teaching English Composition
  • Psychology 633, Teaching of Psychology
  • VPth 530x, Teaching and Learning in Veterinary Medical Education
  • Other teaching courses approved by certificate administrator

3 credits teaching practicum (supervised by PFF’s Gr St 587: PFF Teaching Practicum, and departmental faculty mentor)

4-7 credits of PFF courses, not counting Gr St 587. Other PFF courses are

  • Gr St 585, PFF Introductory Seminar, 1 cr
  • Gr St 586, PFF Intermediate Seminar, 3 cr
  • Gr St 588, PFF Special Topics, 1-3 cr

If using fewer than 6 credits of PFF (not counting 587), then select 3 credits from this list of sample elective courses or other pedagogical courses related to college-level teaching. Courses not on this list must be approved by the certificate administrator for use on the GSTC POS.

Attend minimum of 4 CELT teaching events and submit a signed form from each event.

Track II: non-PFF (12 credits)

3 credits, teaching methodology course such as

  • Hg Ed 561, College Teaching
  • Ag Ed 520, Instructional Methods for Teaching in Ag Ed
  • Chemistry 555, Chemical Pedagogy
  • English 500, Teaching English Composition
  • Psychology 633, Teaching of Psychology
  • Other teaching courses approved by certificate administrator

3 credits teaching practicum in disciplinary department, supervised by disciplinary department; can be independent study (590) if necessary. See the teaching practicum list for examples.

6 credits from list of elective courses or other pedagogical courses related to college-level teaching. Courses not on this list must be approved by the certificate administrator for use on the GSTC POS.

Attend minimum of 4 CELT teaching events and submit a signed form from each event.

Application Process:

To participate in the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate program, you must already have a graduate degree or be admitted to a graduate program at ISU, where you have completed at least 9 hours. If North American English is not your native language, you must have proof of the following requirements:

TOEFL Paper (PBT) 587
TOEFL Internet (iBT) 95
IELTS 7.0
Oral English Certification Test (OECT) Level 1

To apply, you must submit a packet including the following to the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate office:

In addition, submit to your DOGE a "Request to Pursue a Certificate in Addition to a Graduate Degree" form found on the Graduate College's Forms site under "Graduate Certificate Forms."

Contact Information:

Mailing Address: Graduate Student Teaching Certificate
3024 Morrill Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2170
Phone: (515) 294-4065
Fax: (515) 294-8627
E-mail: gstc@iastate.edu