Course in College Teaching

This highly successful eight-week course provides an opportunity for faculty and graduate student instructors from all disciplines to share ideas and strategies for successful teaching. The Course in College Teaching (CCT) is a free, non-credit course that includes discussion and practice based on information drawn from the teaching and learning literature, as well as from the teaching experiences of individual participants. The course is designed to allow participants to collaboratively explore successful teaching and learning.

The CCT is open to Penn State faculty, graduate students, and post-docs with previous teaching experience*. Those without prior experience should take the Instructional Foundations Series. Those who have successfully completed the Instructional Foundations Series are eligible to take the CCT.

The course is not designed to meet the needs of first-time teachers. The CCT draws heavily upon participants’ own teaching experiences to generate discussion and resource sharing. Participants are expected to be able to connect their previous teaching experience to the new material.

If you have questions about course fit, please contact one of the course facilitators.

The Fall 2019 CCT will be facilitated by Chas Brua (, Deena Levy (, and Adam Smith (

Course Objectives

Upon successfully completing the course, participants should be able to:

  • apply effective principles of course design and planning to their own contexts;
  • integrate teaching and assessment strategies to enhance student learning; and
  • reflect on and articulate personal beliefs and practices about teaching and learning by referring to their own teaching experiences.

Participant Eligibility

*Teaching experience is defined as developing instructional plans and/or materials and using those plans/materials to reach multiple learners at once.

The following are examples of teaching experience:

  • serving as a teaching assistant (as a graduate student or an undergraduate student) responsible for planning and leading a lab or discussion section for a course (online, hybrid, or face-to-face)
  • serving as an instructor or co-instructor for a course, including college or K-12 courses (online, hybrid, or face-to-face)
  • providing supplemental instruction for groups of students in which you conduct review or discussion activities (e.g., serving as a learning assistant or supplemental instruction facilitator)
  • developing and delivering outreach programs for groups of learners (e.g., extension service, informal learning courses, serving as a docent).


The Fall 2019 CCT will be held Thursdays from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. in 315 Rider Building, University Park, beginning on September 12 and ending on October 31.

The CCT includes both face-to-face and online sessions. To earn the CCT completion certificate, participants must attend all but one of the course meetings, participate in and complete all online activities, and successfully complete the certificate assignments.

Reading Materials

Readings will be assigned from a variety of sources and will be readily available through the University Libraries or publicly online.

Professional Development Benefits

While this course does not result in a formal certification, it does provide documentation of participation in this course. This certificate may be included in a teaching portfolio as evidence of professional development as an instructor.

PLEASE NOTE: The course completion certificate for the Course in College Teaching is different than the Graduate School Teaching Certificate. For a complete list of the requirements for the Graduate School Teaching Certificate, please see

To Apply

Apply at Successful applicants will be notified via email on September 5.

Deadline: August 29

Note: First come, first served, assuming applicant meets eligiblity requirements.

Participants reading.

Participants writing on whiteboard.