Resource Title:
Graduate Teacher Certificate Program: FAQs
Course Type:

1. How will I benefit from completing the Certificate program? 

By developing and reflecting on your teaching skills, receiving recognition for your teaching experience and training from the University of Michigan, and preparing and receiving feedback on your teaching philosophy, you will increase your marketability for faculty positions, become prepared for the job application and interview process, and develop the teaching skills needed to succeed as a junior faculty member. Almost all Certificate recipients report that the program gave them the skills and knowledge to enhance their teaching and increased their confidence in their ability to teach at the college level and discuss teaching and learning during job interviews.

2. Will the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate appear on my official U-M transcript? 

No. Only programs for which tuition is paid appear on official U-M transcripts. Participation in this program is free. However, you may include and highlight the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate on your curriculum vitae or in cover letters for job applications.

3. Is the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate a state credential or license for K-12 instruction? 

No. It is documentation of professional development activities in preparation for teaching at the college-level. It neither prepares nor qualifies one to teach at the K-12 level.

4. Do I need to complete the requirements in order? 

No. You may complete and submit documentation for the requirements in any order. However, it may be most beneficial to complete requirement E, Reflection on Instructional Practice, last because this reflective exercise is an opportunity to synthesize and integrate your entire experience in the Certificate program.

5. Can I submit documentation for requirements that I completed in the past (i.e., before enrolling in this program)?

Yes. Requirements completed at U-M from up to seven years before receiving the Certificate are acceptable.

6. Can the Certificate be awarded retroactively (i.e., after graduation)? 

Yes, you have through the end of the term after you graduate to complete and submit all requirements. Spring/Summer and Fall term graduates must complete and submit requirements in time for the certificate to be awarded the following May. Winter term graduates must complete and submit all requirements in time for the certificate to be awarded the following December. See also Q10 for deadlines.

7. Is there a time limit to finish the Certificate?

Yes. Documentation for all requirements must be completed within seven years of enrolling in the program.

8. How long does it take to finish the program?

It is possible to complete the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate in 1 semester, but we expect it will take 2-3 semesters, on average, to complete the Certificate requirements if you are a new GSI.

9. If I need help, resources, or advice completing a requirement, such as writing my teaching philosophy, what do I do? 

Investigate the "Requirements & Resources " section of this website to find information about resources and support for completing specific program requirements. For example, CRLT provides individual consultations, workshops, examples of teaching philosophies, and other resources on writing one's teaching philosophy.

10. When are Certificates awarded? Is there a deadline or due date for submitting documentation for program requirements?  How often is documentation reviewed (i.e., how can I track my progress towards completing Certificate requirements)? 

Certificates will be awarded each academic year in December and May. Documentation for program requirements may be submitted any time. However, documentation for ALL requirements must be submitted AND approved by November 15 and April 15 to be considered for the January and May awards, respectively. Documentation submitted for requirements A-D will be reviewed once per month. Documentation for requirement E: Reflection on Instructional Practice, will be reviewed bi-weekly because multiple drafts may be required to satisfy this requirement. Teaching philosophy statements (requirement E), must be submitted by October 15 and March 15 to allow enough time for review (and revisions, if necessary). Visit the My Dashboard portion of this website to submit documentation, track your progress, check the status of your submitted documentation and view feedback. Once your documentation has been reviewed and approved, you must complete an end-of-program survey before the certificate will be awarded.  

11. I have submitted documentation for all requirements and the documentation has been approved, but I have not yet received my Certificate. Why?

Certificates are issued twice a year, in December and May. Requirements must be submitted and approved by November 15 for January awards, and by April 15 for May awards. An end-of-program survey is sent to participants who completed all requirements by these deadlines. You must complete the survey to let us know where to email your certificate. Certificates are then emailed in late December and late May. 

12. If after exploring this web site I still have a question about the program, what should I do?

Send an e-mail to [email protected] Please allow at least one week for a response from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). All special concerns regarding program requirements or documentation will be considered and decided by the U-M Graduate Teacher Certificate Advisory Committee, comprised of U-M administrators, faculty, CRLT staff, and graduate students.

13. How do I enroll in the program?

Click on the "My Dashboard" link in the navigation bar above. Log in using your kerberos password. Then, click on the "Enroll in program" link located in the gray box on the left side of the page. Answer all the questions and click on submit, now you are enrolled in the program and may submit documentation for professional development activities using the other links in the gray box.

14. What additional opportunities are available at U-M to support my professional development as a teacher?

You can find a full list of CRLT resources and programs for graduate students on this page.