Certification in Teaching Requirements & Description

The methods for fulfilling the requirements is flexible. The coordinators of the program will work with participants to develop a program appropriate for that student. In consultation with the Program Advisory Committee, the coordinator will determine when all requirements have been met. It is anticipated that the certificate program will require about two years to complete. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate from the College of Natural Science and Michigan State University indicating the student’s knowledge about and experience in teaching science or mathematics at the college level. Students do NOT receive a degree or state certificate in teaching.


  • A course in college-level teaching
    • MTHE 879, Teaching College Mathematics – 3 credits, offered fall semester of even years. This course addresses curriculum materials, case studies, approaches to teaching and student learning of particular mathematics topics.
    • ISE 870, Teaching College Science – 2 credits, spring semester. This course presents an introduction to the five core areas of the program, described below. Unique sections are available depending on your specific interest in science or mathematics. Check with the instructor.
    • ISE 820, College Student Cognition in Science - 3 credits, spring semester. This course provide an introduction to research methodologies and findings relevant to college student cognition in science disciplines. Material from education, psychology, cognitive sciences, and the science disciplines will be used to reveal college student cognitive processes as they relate to science fields.
    • MOOC Course 1 – An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching. Graduate students who take this option must also participate in two teaching experiences that are offered as part of ISE 870 each spring semester. Contact Dr. Joyce Parker to make arrangements.
  • Demonstrated knowledge about and competency in the following 5 core areas:

    These core components can be completed in a variety of ways including participation in workshops, seminar series, and course-specific TA training programs as well as completion of specific courses.

    1. Adult Students as Learners – Creating Learning Environments
    2. Teaching Strategies in Science and Mathematics
    3. Assessment of Learning
    4. Use of Technology in the Classroom
    5. Understanding the Academy – what it means to be a faculty member at a college or university
  • Two semesters of teaching experience, one of which is a mentored experience. The program coordinators will work with students to identify an appropriate faculty mentor. Guidelines for faculty mentors and students, outlining the mentoring activities, will be available from the Coordinator.
  • Preparation of a teaching portfolio. The portfolio will demonstrate the candidate’s accomplishments, documenting teaching philosophy, curricular development materials, faculty observations, student evaluations, and other supporting activities from the core components.