Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning

The Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning is a year-long (September 2024 through September 2025) teaching development program that supports the development of graduate students’ expertise in teaching and learning. It serves both graduate students seeking excellence in teaching and learning in their future roles as faculty, as well as those who will apply the skills outside of traditional faculty roles. The Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning prepares graduate students who seek faculty positions focused on teaching and learning specifically, and more broadly creates a cohort of graduate students positioned for future educational leadership.

The Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning consists of the following elements:

  • Blended Cohort — Meets twice per month on Friday afternoons for two hours per meeting, and includes two hours of online work per month.
  • Practicum — The Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning requires that you arrange 2-3 one-hour (minimum) practical teaching experiences per term as a guest instructor, in the community, or in industry (total of 6 over the period of 1 year). You will also observe 3 one-hour sessions taught by your mentor or your peers per term. Please see the Practicum Guidelines for more information.
  • Mentoring — You will work with a mentor, under terms to be discussed with your mentor, but which will include some classroom observation and some classroom discussion. Please see the Mentorship Guidelines for more information.
  • SoTL — You will engage in a small-scale Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) pilot project based on the work you have done in your practicum.

Please note there is a one-time program fee of $500 when you are accepted to the program.

Program instructors

Joseph Topornycky, PhD
Shaya Golparian, PhD

Who can apply?

The Program is open to all UBC graduate students who have completed an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and will remain graduate students until September 2025. If you have not completed the ISW, but are interested in the program, please contact ctlt.gcpinfo@ubc.ca

How do I apply?

Applications for the Fall 2024 cohort are now open. This Cohort will be meeting alternating Fridays from 12:00-2:30 from September 2024-Sept 2025 (but not during the Summer). Note that as part of the application process, you will need to select a potential mentor, and line up an opportunity to teach 6 guest lectures between September 2024 and August 2025. For more details on the Mentorship and Practicum, please see the registration form. Also, please note that if you are successful in getting into the program, there is a $500 registration fee.

Please fill out the following application form. Applications are due May 31, 2024.

For any questions, please e-mail ctlt.gcpinfo@ubc.ca


2017/18 cohort members discuss their experiences in the program 

Program facilitator Joseph Topornycky outlines the Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning

CTLT Certificate in Advanced Teaching and Learning Killam Award Winners

In recognition of the valuable role that Teaching Assistants play in teaching and learning at UBC, UBC annually honours 16 GTAs with the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. Successful candidates will have met criteria that demonstrate a high level of respect for the candidate from undergraduate students and supervisors.  The following people are Certificate in Advanced Teaching and Learning students and alumni who have received the Killam Graduate Teaching Assistant Award:

  • Emily Cadger, Art History, Visual Art and Theory, Faculty of Arts, 2023-2024
  • Pedro Villalba González, Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science, 2023-2024
  • Brooke Hoppstock-Mattson, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, 2023-2024
  • Meet Upadhyay, Materials Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2023-2024
  • Leena Alkhammash, Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, 2022-2023
  • Tessa Blanchard, Zoology, Faculty of Science, 2022-2023
  • William Chen, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2022-2023
  • Tala Maragha, Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, 2022-2023
  • Charlotte Trainor, Mathematics, Faculty of Science, 2022-2023
  • Ismália De Sousa, Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science, 2021-2022
  • Julie McNutt, Chemistry, Faculty of Science, 2021-2022
  • Tiera Naber, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, 2021-2022
  • Lisa Trainor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, 2021-2022
  • Abiola Adeniyi, Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, 2020-2021
  • Carly Jones, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2020-2021
  • Parham Pashaei, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2020-2021
  • Yulia Egorova, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, 2019-2020
  • Deborah Good, Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science, 2019-2020
  • Katelyn Janzen, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Science, 2019-2020
  • Jeff Bale - Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Applied Science, 2018-2019
  • Stephanie Cheung - Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine (TA in Botany, Faculty of Science), 2018-2019
  • Roquela Fernandez - Creative Writing, Faculty of Arts, 2018-2019
  • Roza Vaez Ghaemi - School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2018-2019
  • Idaliya Grigoryeva - Geography/Economics, Faculty of Arts, 2018-2019
  • Rhy McMillan - Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, 2018-2019
  • Mabel Ho, Sociology, Faculty of Arts, 2017-2018
  • Amir Maleki Zamenjani, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, 2017-2018
  • Geralyn Ruissen, Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, 2017-2018
  • Emily Scribner, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, 2017-2018
  • Christine Sumner, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, 2017-2018
  • Lachlan Caunt, Peter A. Allard School of Law, 2015-2016
  • Magdalena Wojda, Peter A. Allard School of Law, 2014-2015

FAQ for the Certificate Program in Advanced Teaching and Learning (CATL)

CATL Application FAQs:

General Application Questions:
  • How does CATL compare to the ISW?

The ISW is mostly focused around the completion of mini lessons, and learning from your peers' experience of your teaching, all framed by the model and theoretical support provided by the ISW facilitators. The ISW is theory-informed, but practice and peer-feedback heavy. CATL is much more deeply engaged with teaching and learning theory, with the cohort meetings mostly focused on learning theory, design, and with a heavy focus on the specific relationship of your academic discipline or profession to teaching, or all of these at once. The practical component is important, but is covered through the practicum experience, done in coordination with your mentor in a “real” classroom, usually in the context of a course, and unlike the ISW, your peers tend to be less involved in the practicum, or, more often, not at all.

  • Can I apply to CATL even though I haven’t taken my ISW?

The short answer is yes - you will need to complete an ISW before starting CATL. If you haven’t done the ISW yet, you need to sign up to take the ISW before the end of the summer- however, if your application is otherwise successful, but you haven’t yet made it into an ISW that you tried to register for, we will place you in an ISW before CATL begins.

  • I have conflict on Fridays during the fall. Is it ok that I arrive late or leave early?

CATL program allows for a maximum of 5 hours of absence in the cohort sessions (which take place every Friday) for the entire duration of the program. Late arrivals and departures count towards the 5 hours of absence.

  • Can you help me arrange a mentorship?

We do not choose mentors as part of this program. We intentionally designed the process so each candidate would seek mentorship from someone whose teaching they admire. The goal here is to create an opportunity for you to learn from someone you already identify as an exemplary instructor in your discipline/area of practice. If you are stuck with this, please reach out to us at ctlt.gcpinfo@ubc.ca

  • How many mentors do I need/can I have?

You can have 1-3 mentors as part of this program. We would like you have have one mentor and one back-up mentor. So it is essential for you to reach out to at least two people for this purpose. People’s plans change often and we wouldn’t want you to not have a mentorship plan in case the first mentor you choose is no longer available. You may choose to work with 1 to 3 mentors throughout the program. 1 mentor allows for more in depth conversation with one person while more than one mentor allows for the possibility of wider conversations with different focus areas. It is up to each candidate to decide which option works best for them.

Teaching Practicum
  • Can I teach my practicum in [insert location] context?

Generally, we expect that the practicum teachings that you arrange are for a group of adult learners, and be on something related to your academic discipline. These lessons can be taught in university, college, or community contexts, so long as they fulfill those requirements, and the lesson you teach must be one that is designed by you.

  • I am a TA in a course and leading tutorials, can I use this as my practicum teaching space?

Probably not. TA tutorials are often pre-designed, or have an already determined structure to them (like a science lab), or are just intended to be open discussions among students. The practicum is intended for you to have a space to try out some of the techniques and approaches you will be learning in CATL, and most of the time, tutorials do not have the space for this. We can entertain exceptions, if the tutorials allow for you to design the session, with the use of different active learning techniques based on what you learned in CATL. .

  • The instructor for this course is happy to let me teach, but insists that I use their lesson plan exactly as written? Is this allowed for the practicum?

This is definitely not allowed, because the practicum is intended for you to have a space to try out some of the techniques and approaches you will be learning in CATL, most of which need to be implemented in the design of the lesson. Teaching someone else’s lesson plan is not useful for this goal. .

  • The instructor in this course has a specific topic with learning outcomes already decided that they want me to teach on, but I’m allowed to design my own lesson. Can I use this for the practicum?

Yes, so long as you are able to design the lesson itself - it is not especially relevant to us that you choose the topic, or even the learning outcomes, so long as you are given free space to help your students achieve those objectives in ways that you see fit.

  • I am already collaborating/working on a SoTL/TAR project, can I use that for CATL?

In the CATL program we are teaching a particular orientation to SoTL specific to the goals of the program, so we prefer that you create a separate project based on our criteria for SoTL. That being said, it is possible for you to make changes to an existing SoTL/TAR project to include what we are looking for in CATL. You would not be able to use already collected data for the SoTL project in CATL and you wouldn’t be able to combine CATL SoTL project with other SoTL projects if you do not have the flexibility to make changes or additions to that project.

  • I am not experienced with SoTL, it’s an entirely different kind of research than I am used to. Does this mean the program is inappropriate for me?

Absolutely not! The assumption we make at the beginning of CATL is that participants are not experienced with SoTL. The point is to learn about SoTL, and get started doing it - this is why we expect a small scale project, that need not be publishable, and will make various resources (including a whole session) available to you to learn about SoTL. The Instructors are also available for office hours to specifically offer additional support around SoTL. We expect there will be some mistakes - our hope is this experience prepares you to do a full scale project after SoTL.

  • Can i use my SoTL project to fulfill the CIRTL Scholar requirements at CIRTL @ UBC?

You may, though it does require an additional step - SoTL projects for CATL are covered by a classroom-based Ethics review process, which, among other things, does not allow for presenting or publishing results outside the classroom. If you would like the additional CIRTL certification, you will need to complete and be approved with your own BREB application. This is advised only for people who have some prior experience with SoTL or education research, though it is an option o9pen to anyone who wants to take on the additional work.

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/CTLT_Certificate_in_Advanced_Teaching_and_Learning_Killam_Award_Winners