A. Orientation to college teaching and student learning

Resource Title:
GTC: A. Orientation to college teaching and student learning
Course Type:


Learning about teaching Instructional practice Mentorship on teaching Reflection on instructional practice


To gain an orientation to college teaching and learning at U-M, participants must complete one of the following:


An entire CRLT Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching Orientation or Engineering GSI Teaching Orientation

Orientations must include both practice teaching and a classroom climate session. Practice teaching involves: (1) teaching a 5-20 minute sample lesson or an office hours session to undergraduate or graduate students and (2) receiving positive and constructive feedback from the students and the session facilitator (a trained consultant or experienced instructor).  Do NOT submit your departmental training if it did not include practice teaching and classroom climate sessions.  You may submit documentation for GSI orientations attended prior to participation in the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate program.




At least eight hours of departmentally-based GSI Training, which includes practice teaching AND classroom climate sessions

The U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate Advisory Committee must approve the curriculum of all departmentally-based GSI training programs. When you submit documentation in the My Portfolio section of the Certificate web page, you must supply the name and contact information for the person coordinating the departmental GSI training. Do NOT submit a departmental orientation that did not include practice teaching and a session on classroom climate.




The LS&A ELI 994 course for prospective international GSIs whose undergraduate education was not conducted in English

The LS&A ELI 994 course satisfies both Certificate requirements  A (orientation to college teaching and student learning) and B (learning about teaching.) Workshops from other GSI orientations or departmentally-based new GSI trainings do not fulfill requirement B (learning about teaching.)


Resources and Support

The following college- or campus-wide GSI orientation programs are available to GSIs at U-M:

GSI Teaching Orientation

  • sponsored by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT)
  • open to all U-M graduate students
  • 1.5 day program offered the Monday and Tuesday before Labor Day
  • 1 day program offered the day before U-M classes start each Winter Term
  • includes practice teaching and classroom climate sessions

Engineering GSI Teaching Orientation

  • sponsored by the College of Engineering and CRLT in Engineering (CRLT-Engin)
  • open to all graduate students in the College of Engineering with a GSI appointment during the current semester
  • 1 day program offered the first Saturday after U-M classes start during Fall and Winter Term
  • includes a classroom climate session and two practice teaching sessions; the second practice teaching session is video-taped, focuses on implementing active learning, and occurs on a week night following the main orientation program

LS&A ELI 994 Course

  • co-sponsored by the English Language Institute and CRLT
  • open to prospective international GSIs from the College of Literature, Arts and Sciences
  • 15 day workshop offered each August
  • 2-credit course offered each Winter Term
  • includes multiple classroom climate sessions and multiple practice teaching sessions

Departmental GSI Orientations

To find out what departmentally-based GSI training is available, check with the GSI Coordinator for the department in which you are teaching

CRLT provides the following additional resources for GSIs

Source URL: https://crlt.umich.edu/um.gtc/focal_area_a_resources_and_support