MA + Community College Certificate

MA in French/Italian/Spanish + Community College Teaching Certificate

Students pursuing this combination will simultaneously complete a language MA, offered by the department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and a Certificate in College Teaching, offered by The Graduate School (TGS), without adding extra courses or extra terms. Intended for students interested in teaching language at the postsecondary level (community college, college, university), this combination is designed around three main goals:

  1. Offer solid preparation in the target language and culture;

  2. Provide tools that enable teachers to effectively develop original teaching materials, as well as lesson plans and curricula; 

  3. Work one-on-one with students in mentorship and practical learning.

In addition to graduate courses in the language of specialization, students will take courses on college teaching, develop teaching experience, and participate in university-wide and discipline-specific professional events.

Students combining a language MA and a Certificate in College Teaching will be able to take summer and winter courses to finish both trainings earlier. Students in the combined or accelerated language BA/MA program are also welcome to pursue the option that combines their graduate degree with the College Teaching certificate. The coursework required for this combination is as follows:




French/Italian/Spanish - 6


Elective in TGS - 2

"The Community College"

"Instructional Design Basics" or "Fostering Intellectual Character"



 Independent Study - 1
Teaching Methods (to be taken at the same time as the Teaching Practicum)
Teaching practicum - 1
In an introductory or intermediate language class
Total # of courses - 9

Evaluation system

Students pursuing this combination will follow the evaluation system of the French/Italian/Spanish MA, which consists of a comprehensive exam on a core reading list and submission of required papers. The required papers, in this case, are a set of documents focused on the subject of language pedagogy, which will make part of the student's teaching portfolio. The student will develop her or his portfolio through the elective courses, the independent study taken in conjunction with the teaching practicum, and the participation in professional events.

Description of all the evaluation components


In preparation of the exam, students review some of the most representative works of their language's literary traditions, included in a core reading list.

On the day of the exam, students will develop at least two questions (out of three or four choices) on the texts included in the core reading list. Exams are taken in the Romance Languages and Literatures department, with a time limit of 2 hours per question. Students will answer the questions in writing and will have access to dictionaries and primary sources only.

Teaching portfolio

Guided by the experience gained in the teaching practicum, and the knowledge acquired in the independent study, the elective courses, and the professional events, students will produce their own teaching portfolio. The instructor leading the practicum will work with the faculty in charge of the independent study to provide guidance and orientation to students while developing their teaching portfolio.

Teaching practicum

During the practicum, graduate students will assist an experienced language instructor in the classroom with different tasks that encompass taking attendance, keeping grading records, grading assignments, teaching lessons, and helping students in the learning process. The instructor will guide the graduate student in all aspects of lesson planning, teaching, and assessment. They will have weekly meetings to discuss teaching methods and tools as well as any other subject of interest that will aid graduate students with the development of their teaching portfolio.

Independent Study

Teaching Methods In this course, students meet weekly with a faculty adviser, to learn about teaching techniques, discuss evidence from their practice, and develop their own teaching portfolio. The course focuses on how to teach French/Italian/Spanish as a second language as well as on the process that starts with curriculum development and ends in lesson delivery and student assessment. More specifically, in this course students learn key aspects of the French/Italian/Spanish language through main notions of second language acquisition. Moreover, this course delves into the different aspects of curriculum development that culminate in strong lessons. Students will reflect on the steps involved in curriculum development and lesson planning, according to the proficiency and characteristics of different audiences. They will develop critical thinking skills in preparation for selecting and creating relevant materials and assessments that align with their projected objectives.


To declare your intent to pursue the certificate, develop and submit your learning contract (a proposal, no longer than 2 pages), documenting how and when you intend to fulfill the requirements for the teaching certificate of completion. You will work closely with your graduate director to create this document.

Once you have written your learning contract, submit copies to your graduate director and to the Graduate School at