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CTL Teaching Development Program

Are you a doctoral student looking for a way to document and showcase your teaching development? CTL’s new Teaching Development Program (TDP) allows Columbia doctoral students to cultivate, document, and articulate their teaching development across the arc of their 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 for doctoral students in Arts and Sciences, SEAS, Mailman, School of Nursing, and School of the Arts departments. For more information, read program details below.

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Teaching Development Program


The Teaching Development Program is now open for current Columbia University doctoral students (and masters students in the School of the Arts). To register, click the button above and fill out the registration form. CTL will review and send confirmation of registration, with instructions for getting started.

Spring 2022 TDP info sessions

Join us for informational sessions to find out more about the TDP and get your questions answered. Each session will run both online and in-person in 212 Butler Library. Join us however is best for you!

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 (see track descriptions below). Your TDP completion will be noted on your transcript (in most schools with doctoral programs at Columbia).
  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 their teaching practice
  • Articulate and reflect on their own student-centered approach to teaching

For more information, browse FAQs about the TDP program.

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:

  • Articulate and reflect on their own inquiry-based development as a teacher
  • Present evidence of sustained teaching development to potential employers in and beyond academia
  • Demonstrate organized, engaging, and distinctive communication practices that extend into future professional settings

For more information, browse FAQs about the TDP program.

TDP Program Outline

Foundational track


Pedagogical training

  • First Day of Class Plan, Policy Sheet
  • Attendance at CTL Essentials of Teaching Series (four workshops) with reflections
  • Attendance at three additional CTL pedagogy workshops with reflections

Application and practice


Participation in a CTL service with reflection (choose 1):



(if exiting with Foundational Track certification)


Reflective narrative about application of pedagogical training and feedback


Advanced track


Pedagogical training


In addition to Foundational Track requirements


Application and practice


In addition to Foundational Track requirements

Second participation in a CTL service with reflection (choose 1):

Observing others teaching with reflections (1 of each):

  • Faculty instructor
  • Peer instructor




Submission of:

  • Digital teaching portfolio
  • Reflective narrative about development throughout program

Exit interview



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.