Becoming the most effective teacher that I can is something that I am very passionate about. To that end, I have taken advantage of various resources and opportunities provided by the Center for the Integration of Research, Training, and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 43 research universities dedicating to training the next generation of effective university teachers.
“The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.” (uab.edu/cirtl)
In accordance with that goal, CIRTL offers 3 levels of teaching certification–CIRTL Associate, CIRTL Practitioner, and CIRTL Scholar.
To become a CITRL Associate one must complete 3 courses offered through the graduate school:
- GRD 705: Teaching at the College Level and Beyond
- GRD 716: Teaching Portfolio
- GRD 750: CIRTL Teaching and Learning Seminar I
Becoming a CIRTL Practitioner requires an additional 10 credit hours, including:
- GRD 751: CIRTL Teaching and Learning Seminar II
- GRD 755: CIRTL TeachingPracticum
- GRD 728: Professional Writing and Publishing
- GRD 720: Developing and Maintaining Your Professional Image
Finally, to reach the highest level of CIRTL certification–CIRTL Scholar–one must undertake a teaching-as-research project designed to improve some aspect of instruction withing one’s chosen STEM discipline.
- GRD 759: CIRTL Teaching-as-Research in STEM Courses
- GRD 760: CIRTL Teaching-as-Research Project
As of Fall 2015, I have successfully completed all three CIRTL certifications. In addition, my teaching-as-research project, which involved adding innovations to the statistics lab I teach, has been presented at multiple conferences and has been used by UAB’s graduate school to promote the CIRTL@UAB program.
For more details on the specifics of my teaching-as-research project, please see the Make it Work! section of “Teaching Innovations”.
For more information on the CIRTL network in general and the specifics of teaching certifications, please visit http://www.uab.edu/cirtl/