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CTL Teaching Development Program

Are you a doctoral or MFA student looking for a way to document and showcase your teaching development? CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) allows you to cultivate, document, and articulate their teaching development across the arc of your graduate school career. Graduate students can participate in the TDP program on either of two tracks: Foundational or Advanced.

Completion of a TDP track earns a letter outlining track competencies and certifying completion from the Center for Teaching and Learning. Completion will also be noted on Columbia transcripts in most schools. For more information, read program details below.

Fall 2023 info sessions

Join us for overviews of the TDP program, and get your questions answered! Students currently in the TDP program as well as those thinking about jumping in are invited to join us.

  • TDP overview, Foundational Track questions – Friday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, 212 Butler | Register
  • TDP Advanced Track and portfolio questions – Friday, October 6, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, 212 Butler | Register

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Teaching Development Program


The Teaching Development Program is now open for current Columbia University doctoral students (and MFA students in the School of the Arts). To sign up, click the button above to visit the TDP site and access the registration form. CTL will review and send confirmation of registration, with instructions for getting started.

Five things to know about the TDP

As a graduate student at Columbia, you can benefit from the TDP in many ways. Here are a few.

  1. The TDP earns you certificationWhen you complete a TDP track, CTL certifies that you have achieved a set of defined competencies (outlined below). Your TDP completion will be noted on your transcript (for doctoral programs in Arts and Sciences, SEAS, Mailman, Nursing, Social Work, Business, Journalism, and GSAPP — as well as MFA programs in the School of the Arts).
  2. The TDP helps prepare you for the job market The basic rhythm of the TDP is simple: attend a workshop or activity, reflect on it afterwards. By building up an archive of reflections and artifacts, you document the evolution of your teaching development—laying the groundwork for powerful teaching statements and portfolios.
  3. You work through the TDP at your own pace Every graduate student’s program and situation is different, so TDP is structured to be as flexible as possible. Make progress on track completion on your own schedule as you move through your program.
  4. Many programs satisfy TDP requirements There are many ways to complete a TDP track; you decide what you’re interested in and what makes sense for your context. Each semester you can choose from a broad range of CTL seminars and workshops, Lead Teaching Fellow offerings in departments, and services such as teaching observations, mid-course reviews, and microteaching practice sessions.
  5. You decide how far to go in the TDP Everyone starts on the Foundational Track, which can be completed in as little as one semester. Exit the TDP with Foundational certification, or decide to keep going on the Advanced Track. The Advanced Track takes more time to complete, but it connects you to programs and colleagues on a deeper level and it sets you up with digital teaching portfolio support.

Foundational Track

The Teaching Development Program’s Foundational Track introduces graduate students to fundamental concepts and practices in student-centered teaching. It helps to deepen the experience of TAships, connecting early instructional experience to proven and sustainable pedagogical practices.

Graduate students who complete the Foundational Track will be able to:

  • Describe and implement pedagogical practices that draw on evidence-based educational research
  • Develop learning goals and aligned assessment strategies that are clear and measurable
  • Receive and apply peer-to-peer feedback on teaching practice
  • Articulate and reflect on student-centered approach to teaching

For details about Foundational Track requirements and support, visit the TDP Program Overview page.

Advanced Track

Graduate students wishing to develop advanced teaching practices and engage more deeply with a community of peers are invited to continue into the TDP’s Advanced Track. This track puts special emphasis on transferable professional skills that are cultivated through teaching practices and culminates in the development of a digital teaching portfolio.

In addition to the Foundational Track skills listed above, graduate students who complete the Advanced Track will be able to:

  • Define and pursue inquiry-based development as a teacher
  • Create a portfolio of teaching artifacts, strategies, and outcomes
  • Demonstrate organized, engaging, and distinctive communication practices that can extend into future professional settings

For details about Advanced Track requirements and support, visit the TDP Program Overview page.

The CTL is here for graduate students.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.