Certification in STEM Teaching

Participants engage in opportunities to fulfill requirements to receive non-degree certificates in STEM teaching, which are approved by the Provost's office and may be included on a C.V. and in a teaching portfolio. Three certification levels that vary in the rigor can be obtained.  Though specific requirements vary by institution, these levels and the associated learning outcomes for each are consistent across the over 40 universities of the CIRTL Network.

Associate Level

Have the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers, where they are able to implement research-based "best" practices in different learning environments

Practitioner Level

Have a level of knowledge and skills that allow them to be scholarly teachers, where they are able to use Teaching-as-Research to improve their teaching practice. Scholarly teaching builds on what others have learned in an ongoing way, seeks evidence of learning, and uses evidence to improve practice

Scholar Level

Have the knowledge and skills to add to the knowledge-base of teaching and learning through the sharing of the results of Teaching-as-Research projects with peers.  Scholars go beyond scholarly teaching and are driven by a desire to understand how students learn effectively and how teaching influences this process.

How to submit your requirements for CIRTL Certification?

Email April Dukes (aprila@pitt.edu) to be added to the Pitt-CIRTL Canvas Organization.





  • Take one course or multi-day teaching workshop that introduces the Alignment Model and evidence-based teaching practices
  • Create a teaching philosophy statement


  • Prep for the STEM Classroom - Pitt course (Fall)
  • The College Classroom - CIRTL Network course (Spring)
  • Attend two online CIRTL Network one-hour seminar events


  • CIRTLCasts (Webinars)
  • CIRTL Reads (Online journal club)
  • Teaching in the US (Webinars designed for international PhD students and postdocs)


  • Complete a mentored Teaching-as-Research (TAR) project and present findings to the Pitt-CIRTL learning community
  • With the guidance of a mentor, design and implement a small STEM education-related project
  • Take one additional one-credit seminar-based course OR participate in professional development seminar series (8hrs total)


  • CIRTL Network online courses (https://www.cirtl.net/courses/upcoming)
  • Pitt-CIRTL local courses (e.g. Engr 3000, Engr/Biosc/Chem 3002)
  • Career development or teaching development seminar series for STEM (e.g. OACD, UCTL, and dB-SERC seminars and workshops)


  • Submit updated version of teaching philosophy statement
  • Complete and disseminate TAR project
  • Create a teaching portfolio
  • Actively mentor others


  • e.g On-campus or off-campus conference poster or conference paper
  • Engage in STEM education research in a SoTL manner
  • e.g. TAR project mentor, design a professional development workshop