Penn State University

Course in College Teaching

The Course in College Teaching is on hiatus during Fall 2023. It will be offered again in Spring 2024. For those who are working to complete the Penn State Graduate School Teaching Certificate, allowable substitutions for the CCT include any of the following:

  • The CIRTL Network’s short course on The College Classroom. To register, you will need to create a CIRTL account using your Penn State email.
  • The CIRTL Network’s 8-week MOOC An Introduction to Evidence-Based STEM Teaching, plus participate in a learning community led by the Schreyer Institute.
  • An in-depth course on pedagogy in your discipline, department, or college, e.g., AEE 530.

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

    The CCT is open to Penn State faculty, graduate students, and post-docs with previous teaching experience. See participant eligibility standards below. Those without prior teaching experience should take the Instructional Foundations Series.

    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 share resources. Participants are expected to be able to connect their previous teaching experience to CCT activities, discussions, and assignments.

    If you have questions about course fit, please email

    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 required for participating in CCT. 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/served as a teaching assistant (as a graduate student or undergraduate student) responsible for planning and leading a lab or discussion section for a course (online, hybrid, or face-to-face)
    • Serving/served as an instructor or co-instructor for a course, including college or K-12 courses (online, hybrid, or face-to-face)
    • Providing/provided 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/developed and delivering/delivered outreach programs for groups of learners (e.g., extension service, informal learning courses, serving as a docent)
    • Successfully completed the Instructional Foundations Series


    The Course in College Teaching is on hiatus during Fall 2023. It will be offered again in Spring 2024.

    Reading Materials

    Readings are typically assigned from a variety of sources and are available through the University Libraries or publicly online.

    Professional Development Benefits

    This course does not result in an official certification. Participants can earn a completion certificate that most participants list in their CVs, teaching portfolios, or annual reviews as evidence of instructional development. To earn the CCT completion certificate, participants must meet all of the requirements listed on the syllabus provided at the beginning of the course.

    PLEASE NOTE: The Course in College Teaching completion certificate is different from the Graduate School Teaching Certificate. Please visit the Graduate School Teaching Certificate webpage before contacting the Graduate School with your questions at


Penn State University