Services for Graduate Students

Welcome everyone to a new academic year at SLU. Below is a general summary of the services we provide to graduate students (and faculty) and a brief overview of our Certificate in University Teaching Skills certificate programs.

Core Services We Provide
(for a full list and more details on our services, please visit our website)

Consultations with individuals

Individual consultations are confidential in nature and must be requested by the instructor. (Administrators may not request consultations for an instructor.) Consultations may focus on any aspect of teaching, from course design to student engagement. They may occur in a single discussion or in regular, ongoing meetings. All consultations are conducted as a collaborative dialogue and are driven by the individual instructor’s needs and goals.

  • Request a consultation here

Classroom Observations

One important way to gain insight into how others are experiencing one’s teaching is to invite an outsider into the classroom to observe what’s happening. We think of this work as an act of deep observation and analysis, rather than as a teaching evaluation. The observer strives to observe specific pedagogical choices the instructor is making and the effects those choices are having. The observer has been trained to view the classroom as a living “text” – identifying patterns, observing student-to-student and faculty-to-student interactions, and documenting the time and duration of various class activities.

  • Request a classroom observation here

Small Group Instructional Feedback Sessions (SGIFs)

Our Small-Group Instructional Feedback Sessions (SGIFs) are best suited to the mid-semester timeframe; they are modeled on nationally-recognized approaches to gathering formative feedback of this type. SGIFs are short focus groups with students, initiated at the request of a faculty member or other instructor. They take about 20 minutes of class time. Instructors (and any T.A.s) are asked to leave the room while the session is being conducted. Because of the importance of timing with SGIFs, we strive to share the results within a day or two. Ideally, the instructor then discusses the feedback with students and makes decisions about whether/how she or he will respond to the feedback. All feedback collected is anonymous.

  • Request a SGIF here


Certificate in University Teaching Skills Programs

The purpose of the Certificate in University Teaching Skills Program is to promote the development of faculty and graduate students in their journey toward transformative teaching. The certificates’ requirements provide participants with pedagogical information to enhance their teaching practice, to draft and develop a philosophy of teaching, and to document teaching competencies (for more details on these programs, please visit our website)

To enroll in either program, please fill out the online Statement of Intent Form.

  • Certificate in University Teaching Skills (CUTS)
    • Requirements (please see this link for the Master Checklist):
      • 15 Effective Teaching Credits
        • 6 must come from attending Praxis workshops – 1 credit each
        • 3 from completing the online courses held each semester (including summer) – 1 credit each
        • 1 from the cumulative four Faculty Mentor meetings – 1 credit for all four meetings
        • 5 from Electives, which include
          • Additional Praxis workshops – 1 credit each
          • Teaching Essentials workshops – 0.5 credits each
          • Classroom observations with a consultation – 1 credit each, limit of two
          • SGIFs with a consultation – 1 credit each, limit of two
          • Independent study
          • Approved conferences (e.g., UMSL Focus on Teaching and Technology; other pre-approved teaching conferences)
          • CUTS Book Discussions – 1 credit each
        • Teaching Portfolio – the culmination of your learning and development throughout the program, as well as the opportunity to prepare materials for the academic job market!
        • Foundations Certificate in University Teaching Skills
          The Foundations certificate is a shortened version with fewer requirements than the CUTS certificate.

          • Requirements:
            • 10 Effective Teaching Credits
              • 5 must come from Praxis workshops
              • 5 may come from electives (same as for the CUTS certificate)
            • Reflection on Teaching