Skip to main content

College Teaching Specializations

Participants who have completed the Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT) should have a strong basis for their understanding of the research on learning and best teaching practices. Those who have completed the CiCT and wish to continue their professional development can specialize in specific areas in order to refine their foundational knowledge and skills within particular teaching contexts. We offer the following specializations: a) Online Teaching, b) Humanities Teaching, and c) STEM Teaching.

Each section is open to anyone who has completed the CiCT, regardless of their discipline. Participants can only enroll in specialization sections if they have completed all requirements for the CiCT Seminar and Practicum, with one exception. If participants only need to finish the teaching observation sequence of the Practicum in order to complete the certificate program, they are eligible to enroll in specialization sections. Participants are eligible to earn multiple specializations.

Participants completing the CiCT practicum for the current academic year will be contacted directly with application information. Those that have completed the CiCT program in past cohorts please complete the CiCT Specializations interest form and you will be contacted with registration information if there is enough interest to offer sessions.

Specialization in Online Teaching

The Online Teaching Specialization is a hybrid in-person and online course in which participants discuss: how to design digital/online curriculums, diversity and access in online platforms, building student communities and generating “class discussion” in digital spaces, and more. Participants will also gain a brief introduction to current educational theory on effective online teaching and will design, build and teach their own online lesson plans/modules through Brightspace.

Across the disciplines, job ads are increasingly seeking candidates who have experience with and/or familiarity of evidence-based practices in online teaching. The Online Teaching Specialization will provide an overview of major critical conversations in this field while enabling participants to gain some of the practical skills needed for such positions.

As a result of completing the specialty section, participants will:

  • develop a basic fluency with core elements of teaching and learning as they apply to online environments.
  • develop a reflective and purposeful approach to online teaching.
  • assemble a set of resources on teaching and learning online that can assist with the creation of an online module.
  • develop an understanding of what it means to be a learner in an online environment.
  • gain hands-on experience teaching online.


Online Teaching Specialization Requirements

Participation in 8-weekly sessions, 75 minutes in length:

  • Session 1. Big Picture: What Does it Mean to Teach Online?
  • Session 2. Course Management System: Learning the Basics
  • Session 3. Anonymity in Digital Spaces: Generating an Online Community
  • Session 4. Inclusive Teaching: Diversity, Access and Student Learning in Online Spaces
  • Session 5. Critically Reflective Teaching
  • Session 6. Effective Online Pedagogy
  • Session 7. Active Learning in Online Spaces
  • Session 8. Microteaching Demonstration Workshop

Online Module Design and Demonstration. Participants will design, build, and demonstrate their online module for either synchronous and/or asynchronous class meetings.


Participation in the Online Teaching Specialization

Those interested in participating should:

  • Have completed the Practicum portion of the CiCT program (with or without the completion of the teaching observation sequence).
  • Discuss their intent to participate in the program with their department chair, director of graduate studies, or mentor. In all, the commitment is for 11-13 hours.
  •  If you have questions, contact us at 615-322-7290 or

Specialization in Humanities Teaching

Thank you for your interest in the Humanities Teaching Specialization. We are currently developing this section and will post relevant information before registration opens for our first offering during the Summer Intensive Program in June 2021. For questions, please contact Ransford Pinto, Assistant Director.

Specialization in STEM Teaching

Thank you for your interest in the STEM Teaching Specialization. We are currently developing this section and will post relevant information before registration opens for our first offering during the Summer Intensive Program in June 2021. For questions, please contact Ransford Pinto, Assistant Director.

NOTE: We do not offer a specialization in Social Science teaching. This is because of the epistemological and pedagogical diversity among social scientists, resulting in less consensus over how social science courses are taught. Therefore, for social scientists seeking to gain specialization following the completion of the CiCT program, they can not only enroll in the Online Teaching Specialization, but they can also enroll in the disciplinary specialization section that most closely aligns with how they might lead a course. For example, Sociologists who might spend more time leading class discussions on power and discrimination might identify with the pedagogies that will be explored in Humanities Teaching. Conversely, Sociologists who plan on teaching a Quantitative Research Methods course might benefit from the teaching strategies discussed in STEM Teaching. All participants are encouraged to enroll in whatever specialization sections they will find most useful to their careers as college instructors.