The Center has four year-long Teaching Certificate programs open to Brown graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty:
- Certificate I: Sheridan Teaching Seminar - Reflective Teaching
- Certificate II: Course Design Seminar - Principles + Practice
- Certificate III: Professional Development Seminar
- Certificate IV: Teaching Consultant Program
Teaching Certificate Program registrations for 2013-14 will open in Summer 2013. Please click here to add your name to the waitlist for next year’s Certificate I Program. Please click here to request to be notified when the registration for the 2013-14 Certificate II & III Programs opens.
The Sheridan Certificate programs are all designed to help participants develop a reflective teaching practice, improve their effectiveness as an instructor and prepare for careers in higher education. All Sheridan Certificate program graduates are recognized at an annual reception, where they receive a certificate.
- an understanding that effective teaching requires careful planning;
- knowledge of one's audience and the ability to engage different learning styles;
- a recognition of the importance of establishing learning goals (and means to determine if such goals have been achieved); and
- a willingness to be innovative.
Core features of the Sheridan Certificate programs:
All Certificate programs foster the continued development of a reflective teaching practice. This is accomplished through:
- The opportunity to interact extensively with peers/ colleagues across the disciplines.
The perspectives gained from this experience help participants cultivate a more inclusive teaching approach to effectively reach different audiences.
- The opportunity to regularly give and receive peer feedback.
This process reiterates the reflective teaching practice.
Certificate I (Sheridan Teaching Seminar - Reflective Teaching)
In Certificate I, members of the Brown teaching community develop and reflect on their teaching practice. Participants are introduced to the fundamental components of reflective teaching: careful planning and continuous refinement of one’s practice; establishing learning goals and gauging your students learning; engaging learners and acknowledging one’s audience. Finally, using a rhetorical lens, participants will refine the persuasive communication skills that are fundamental to every academic career. Click here for further information.
Completion of Certificate I is a prerequisite for the other Certificate programs, which can be completed in any sequence.
Certificate II (Course Design Seminar - Principles + Practice)
This program gives participants the opportunity to explore a variety of pedagogical topics and consider them in the context of a single course of their own design. Certificate II is comprised of seven (7) interactive workshops. Click here for further information.
Certificate III (Professional Development Seminar)
Organized around the concept of the Teaching Portfolio and its component parts, and designed to help participants prepare for the academic job market, Certificate III teaches participants to document the scholarship of their teaching as thoroughly as they document the scholarship of their research. This program is comprised of seven (7) interactive workshops. There are separate sessions for the humanities & social sciences, and for the life & physical sciences. Click here for further information.
Certificate IV (Teaching Consultant Program)
This program provides selected participants with the opportunity to serve as Sheridan Teaching Consultants. They receive professional training in the development and application of peer observation and feedback skills, and in the development of leadership and discussion facilitation skills. Certificate IV is comprised of four (4) workshops. Click here for further information.
Time spent cultivating one’s reflective teaching practice makes one more confident and competent as a teacher and is effective preparation for an academic career.
For graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, a Sheridan Certificate is a demonstration of their tangible commitment to teaching. This can be of great benefit in today's increasingly competitive academic job market, where colleges and universities routinely ask applicants to provide evidence of teaching effectiveness.
For faculty, a Sheridan Certificate provides an opportunity for ongoing professional development which empowers them to better meet the needs of their learners.
1. When should I take the Certificate programs?
- We suggest that graduate students enroll in Certificate I in their second year.
- Certificate III should be taken in one’s penultimate year of the doctoral program.
- Certificates II and IV can be completed at any time after Certificate I completion.
2. Do I have to take the programs in a particular order?
- You must complete Certificate I before enrolling in any other programs. The other programs can be taken in any sequence (see also FAQ 1 above).
3. How many programs should I enroll in a year?
- We suggest that you take no more than one or two programs in any given year.
4. Can I complete a program over the course of more than one year?
- No. All programs are designed as year-long courses.
5. When do the programs meet?
- See individual program page for program dates
6. How much of a time commitment do the programs require?
- In addition to the lectures and/or workshops, the programs each have assignments and other requirements. Please see the relevant web pages for each program.
7. What a Certificate Program is NOT:
- A substitute for departmental TA training (Sheridan programs are meant to complement departmental initiatives).
- Formal certification in teaching. Completion of a Sheridan Certificate documents professional development as college-level instructors and assists in preparing participants for academic careers. The Certificate does not appear on official transcripts, but may be included in your curriculum vitae. Please note that the Sheridan Certificate does not represent any kind of certification; it is NOT a teaching license or credential for K-12 instruction from the State of Rhode Island.
- A formal course (it will not appear on university transcripts)