Certification in STEM Teaching

Participants engage in opportunities to fulfill requirements to receive non-degree certificates in STEM teaching, which are approved by the Provost's office and may be included on a C.V. and in a teaching portfolio. Three certification levels that vary in the rigor can be obtained.  Though specific requirements vary by institution, these levels and the associated learning outcomes for each are consistent across the 42 universities of the CIRTL Network.

Associate Level
- have the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers, where they are able to implement research-based "best" practices in different learning environments

Practitioner Level - have a level of knowledge and skills that allow them to be scholarly teachers, where they are able to use Teaching-as-Research to improve their teaching practice. Scholarly teaching builds on what others have learned in an ongoing way, seeks evidence of learning, and uses evidence to improve practice

Scholar Level - have the knowledge and skills to add to the knowledge-base of teaching and learning through the sharing of the results of Teaching-as-Research projects with peers.  Scholars go beyond scholarly teaching and are driven by a desire to understand how students learn effectively and how teaching influences this process.

How to submit your requirements for CIRTL Certification?

  1. Email April Dukes (aprila@pitt.edu) to be added to the Pitt-CIRTL CourseWeb/BlackBoard Organization.
  2. See instructions for uploading Certification requirements>> Navigate the Pitt-CIRTL Courseweb page


Level Requirements    
Associate Take one course or multi-day teaching workshop that introduces the Alignment Model and evidence-based teaching practices    e.g.
  • Prep for the STEM Classroom - Pitt course (Fall)
  • The College Classroom - CIRTL Network course (Spring)
  Create a teaching philosophy statement    
  Attend two online CIRTL Network one-hour seminar events   e.g.
  • CIRTLCasts (Webinars)
  • CIRTL Reads (Online journal club)
  • Teaching in the US (Webinars designed for international PhD students and postdocs)
Practitioner Complete a mentored Teaching-as-Research (TAR) project and present findings to the Pitt-CIRTL learning community   
  • With the guidance of a mentor, design and implement a small STEM education-related project
  Take one additional one-credit seminar-based course OR participate in professional development seminar series (8hrs total) focus
  • CIRTL Network online courses (https://www.cirtl.net/courses/upcoming)
  • Pitt-CIRTL local courses (e.g. Engr 3000, Engr/Biosc/Chem 3002)
  • Career development or teaching development seminar series for STEM (e.g. OACD, UCTL, and dB-SERC seminars and workshops)
  Submit updated version of teaching philosophy statement      
Scholar Complete and disseminate TAR project    e.g On-campus or off-campus conference poster or conference paper
  Create a teaching portfolio   or Engage in STEM education research in a SoTL manner
  Actively mentor others    e.g. TAR project mentor, design a professional development workshop