The University Teaching and Learning Program was developed to assist in the professional development of graduate teaching assistants as higher education teachers. The program will focus on approaches and issues that are of particular relevance to educators in STEM fields. We provide formal training at three levels: Associate, Practitioner, and Scholar. The CMNS Teaching & Learning Center, along with support from UMD's Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC) and the dean of the Graduate School, created the program.

Level 1: Associate

Associates may or may not have teaching experience. They will receive a statement of completion; the program may be listed as professional development on resumes/CVs.


  1. Complete one of the following two “Paths” (all paths must include at least one "Inclusion and Diversity" workshop):
    • “Course Path”: 1-2 credit UMD course with at least a B (from an approved course listing) in teaching and learning, plus at least one TLTC or CIRTL "Inclusion and Diversity" workshop.

    • “Workshop Path”: Five workshops or reading groups (60+ min each); at least three must be TLTC workshops/reading groups, and at least one workshop must be an "Inclusion and Diversity" workshop.

  2. Reflections on workshops are required.
  3. Teaching philosophy statement.
  4. Observation of an undergraduate instructor within a discipline similar to your own.

Visit the TLTC website to enroll (once enrolled, you’ll gain access to an ELMS page with full details of the program).

Level 2: Practitioner

Practitioners will receive a statement of completion, and a transcript notation; the program may be listed as professional development on resumes/CVs.


A teaching project and teaching mentoring must be completed for the Practitioner level; for participants who are not TAs or instructors, we will need to work with you to find a faculty partner to fulfill these requirements.

Activities completed toward fulfillment of the UTLP Associate level requirements may be used toward fulfillment of the UTLP Practitioner level.

  1. Completion of formal 1+ credit course with at least a B in teaching and learning (from an approved course list). We encourage you to take a 2+ credit course or multiple 1 credit courses for the Practitioner level.

  2. Completion of 5 UMD TLTC workshops or reading groups (60+ min each), with reflections, including at least one Inclusion and Diversity workshop.

  3. A minimum of three observations of undergraduate instructors within a discipline similar to your own.

  4. Mentoring: Identify a faculty member to serve as a mentor for your teaching

  5. Teaching as Research (TAR) Project: The central aspect of the Practitioner level is the completion of a teaching as research project, which requires the student to “test” some technique in the classroom and reflect on the impact of that activity on student learning.

  6. Teaching portfolio.

Level 3: Scholar

Becoming a Scholar requires an in-depth understanding of the literature, critical reflection, and sharing findings with a local, regional, or national group of peers. Scholars will receive a statement of completion, and a transcript notation; the program may be listed as professional development on resumes/CVs. 


For completion of the UTLP Scholar level, complete the requirements for the Practitioner level plus the following:

  1. Completion of a full-fledge TAR project “inquiry cycle” in which the student performs at least one full cycle of the Teaching as Research experience. The expectation for the Scholar level is the formal presentation and/or publication of the findings of the TAR project. Please work with us regarding IRB approval before initiating your project.
  2. Scholars must participate in a Teaching as Research (TAR) Learning Community throughout the time of their TAR activities.
  3. The TAR project at the Scholar level is intended to be of a quality worthy of formal presentation, and potentially publication. As such, the Scholar TAR project requires a formal proposal prior to initiation, as well as a formal presentation at the end of the project.

Other Programs Offered By TLTC

Campus-Wide GTA Orientation (for all graduate teaching assistants) 
Just before the start of each new semester, CTE and the Graduate School jointly sponsor an orientation for new and returning graduate teaching assistants from across the disciplines. Fall Orientation is usually an all-day event, where GTAs are introduced to important members of the Administration, are given a comprehensive guide to campus resources, are provided a host of teaching and learning tips from experienced faculty, and are invited to participate in smaller workshops on a range of teaching topics such as facilitating productive discussions, dealing with problem students, and overcoming first-day jitters. Spring Orientation is usually a half-day event, exclusive facilitated by CTE staff.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Portfolio Retreat
If you plan to teach at the university level, you will need a statement of teaching philosophy and a teaching portfolio. Join members of the CTE staff and fellow graduate teaching assistants in a two-and-a-half-day retreat in which you will write your statement of teaching philosophy and create your portfolio. This is a unique opportunity for all graduate teaching assistants who anticipate entering the job market within the next two years.