UMSL Certificate in University Teaching

Whether you plan to have career in academia, industry, business, education, public service, or the health professions, UMSL's graduate Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) will be of value to you. This program, jointly sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Graduate School, is open to all UMSL graduate students - both Master's and PhD candidates - and faculty and graduate students from other campuses. 

This year, we have tried to streamline the process, so the CUT program looks different from prior years. Current CUT participants will be able to complete the original program they started (with numbered units). If you have any questions about CUT, contact Jennifer McKanry.

CUT 2020-2021 Flyer

Explanation of changes to CUT

How Do You Participate?

CUT is not a linear program, meaning the units may be taken simultaneously when available, and in any order, with one exception. Unit F: Higher Education Foundations, must be completed prior to Unit C: Teaching Practicum Capstone. 

CUT participants may register for a full academic year or one semester at a time.   

Faculty and staff colleagues from UMSL and other campuses are welcome to register for one or more CUT units. Please contact Keeta Holmes to discuss related fees.


Attend the Teaching Assistant Academy - no fee

Fall - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 (Virtual via Zoom)

The Teaching Assistant Academy (TAA) is a day-long professional development conference for all Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Instructors. The Academy provides resource and development opportunities for teaching assistants across all disciplines. Specialized sessions address the needs of GA's for surviving and thriving in graduate school and for successful teaching and learning. The Academy is also a great venue to connect with other new and returning Graduate Assistants. 

Register for TAA

Higher Education Foundations - $50

Fall Semester

Unit F will help build foundations for teaching in higher education. This unit will explore theories and begin building tools for an academic career, as well as provide practical examples of teaching and learning in higher education.

Unit F includes all of the following workshops:

  • Grading
  • Course Design
  • Active Learning
  • Designing Assessments
  • Inclusive Teaching
  • Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
  • Theories of Learning and Motivation
  • Teaching Resources Portfolio
  • Understanding How Implicit Bias Shapes Expectations
  • Philosophy of Teaching

Teaching with Technology - $50

Fall or Spring 

In this unit, participants will experience working in an online environment and develop examples for setting up the learning environment in an online class. Unit T includes a short course component plus attendance at a conference. The CTL’s Teaching with Technology modules will be offered in a blended format (online modules with two face-to-face meetings).


  • Unit begins with in-person meeting in late October and ends with in-person meeting in late November
  • Attend Focus on Teaching & Technology Conference (FTTC) in late September (requires separate registration; $25 student fee)


  • Unit begins with in-person meeting in mid-March and ends with in-person meeting in mid-April
  • Conference options will be provided.

Professional Development - $50 


This unit is designed to prepare you for your academic career. All of the following components must be satisfied:

  1. Attend at least four of the following workshops:
    • University Jobs 101
    • Writing in Graduate School 
    • Developing Your Academic CV and Letter of Application 
    • Finding and Getting Grants 
    • Salary Negotiation
    • Preparing for Campus Visits 
  2. Attend a colloquium or seminar offered by the CTL. Submit a one-page summary describing the program and reflecting on what you learned. Include with your teaching portfolio.
  3. Shadow a mentor in your discipline on a campus in the St. Louis area in or in the UM System. Submit a reflective, 2-3 page paper describing these experiences; include with your teaching portfolio.

Teaching Practicum Capstone - $100

Fall or Spring 

This practicum is offered in Fall and Spring semesters and is arranged to fit your teaching schedule. Its purpose is to provide feedback on how you apply the teaching strategies learned in CUT, to help you meet the needs of all learners, and to provide the opportunity to reflect on your teaching. This option may be fulfilled by teaching a face-to-face or online course, guest lecturing in a face-to-face course, or teaching a lab section. The practicum should be taken after completion of Unit F.

One semester prior to beginning Unit C:

  • Arrange to teach a course
  • Contact Jennifer McKanry or Keeta Holmes in the CTL
    to arrange for your teaching to be observed by CTL staff or departmental faculty member 3 times during the semester (roughly once a month)

During Unit C:

  • Complete weekly teaching logs and email to CTL
  • Meet with your practicum observer after each observation

If you are teaching an online course, the Practicum Supervisor will request access to your course
modules to offer feedback on assignments and activities. Submit weekly (or by module) teaching
logs to the Practicum Supervisor who will conference with you at least three times

Teaching Portfolio - no fee

After completing all other units - Required

After all coursework or all units are completed, submit a teaching portfolio that includes the various materials developed during CUT which showcase your teaching experience and expertise. The portfolio may be organized in a Google folder, developed as a website, or discuss with the CTL if there is a format most useful to your job search. The portfolio is due August 1 of the year you complete the CUT program; submit to the CTL. Remember to keep a copy for your job search!

Contents include:

  • A two-page introduction and reflection on how CUT has informed your teaching
  • Your philosophy of teaching
  • Professional Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • All syllabi and handouts, active learning activities, writing or homework assignments, and rubrics
  • Relevant artifacts such as summaries or midterm feedback and final course evaluation, letters from
    students, or graded papers
  • Your Teaching Resources Portfolio
  • Other evidence of professional development, e.g., programs from CUT, CTL or Graduate Student
  • Professional Development Conferences; certificates of attendance; honors and awards