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Certificate of Completion in Teaching Community College

Binghamton's Graduate School was one of the first in the nation to offer a university-wide Certificate of Completion in College Teaching. With the addition of Certificate in Community College Teaching, we are better able to support the professional development of current degree-seeking graduate students who are interested in future faculty positions at 4-year and 2-year higher education institutions. Securing these credentials may be integrated into academic studies at any point in a graduate student's academic career. Broome Community College (BCC) is the initial partner. Other possible community college partners might come from our current relationships.

What is the value of earning such an "add-on" certificate? Such professional development can help you obtain a position at a community college or 4-year liberal arts college; more than 50% of all college students are taught community colleges; and a large portion of faculty at community colleges are near retirement age, requiring community colleges to seek new faculty.


Total credits required: minimum of 12

Course Requirements: GRD 676 is required; and at least one from: GRD 678, 671, 672. Each student's "plan of study" (contract) can be tailored to meet the student's academic and professional goals. The Program Coordinator at the community college and Binghamton University's Graduate School must approve the student's plan of study.

Coursework Details:
The Community College (GRD 676) - 4 credits
Mission of community college, type of governance, financial structure, challenges for community college, student needs, learning styles, developing a learning environment, supplementary support for students, role of advising and related topics. Prerequisites: BA/BS degree.  

Instructional Design Basics (GRD 671) - 4 credits
Readings and exercises lead students through process of developing a course using the principles of instructional design. Topics include: What is intelligence? How do your students learn? How does prior learning affect acquisition of new information? How will you use technology and other teaching tools? How will you assess learning? Prerequisites: graduate status, or permission of the instructor.  

Fostering Intellectual Character (GRD 672) - 4 credits
Readings and exercises lead students through process of developing a course that fosters intellectual character. Topics include: Who are today's college students? What is "smart"?, Initiating a culture of thinking, Developing thinking routines, Instructor as a model of thinking, Learning to think by talking, Faculty who make a difference. Prerequisites: graduate status, or permission of the instructor.

To apply:

Develop a Learning Contract: Your Learning Contract will be a proposal (no longer than a page or two) documenting how and when you intend to accomplish the requirements for the teaching certificate. You'll work closely with your graduate director to create this document and to plan ways of fulfilling the requirements which meet the general rubric of the certificate's specifications. There may be various ways and combinations of fulfilling the requirements, and your plan might be individualized for your own course of study; the Learning Contract is a way to develop a plan that is meaningful and appropriate for you. Once you've written your Learning Contract, you'll need to submit a copy to both your graduate director and the Graduate School (, so that both parties will be made aware of your intent to pursue the certificate.

Upon Completing Your Requirements:  When you have completed your requirements, including the compilation of your teaching portfolio, you should submit the final document to your graduate director, so she or he can confirm your successful completion of all items. Please also submit a copy to the Graduate School.  Once your department has verified your completion, be sure to pay your $100 Graduate Certificate Fee to the Graduate School before the Degree Completion deadline has passed. Please also have your department submit written notification, signed by the graduate director, to the Graduate School Degree Completion Assistant formally verifying that all required courses have been taken and passed for the completion of the certificate.


Note: As you progress with your fulfillment of certificate requirements, be sure to document and make duplicate copies of all your activities related to your progress. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact The Graduate School's Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment, Kishan Zuber (


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Last Updated: 12/27/13