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Queen's University

Centre for Teaching and Learning

At the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) we recognize all that you do to improve your teaching. The Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning aims to celebrate and recognize your growth in four areas of teaching and learning at the university level. 

New Component added in August 2015!

Don’t panic! The program requirements haven’t changed but the supports to help you succeed through it have. Your development as a competent, reflective teacher now doesn’t have to be done as a solitary activity.

Graduate students working with an educational developer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning will be hosting regular sessions for TAs, graduate students and post-docs. Meetings will be for students and with students and designed to address your professional development needs as new teachers. The goals are to develop teaching and teaching support competence and confidence, and to support collaboration across the disciplines. The idea is to create opportunities for peer teaching observations for those who are interested and to engage in peer review of certificate submissions as a way to create a community of practice.  Session dates and topics will be announced in early September.

PUTL Certificate I: Foundations
The  Certificate in Foundations  aims to recognize your development in foundational issues and topics regarding teaching and learning.
PUTL Certificate II: Practical Experience
The  Certificate in Practical Experience  aims to recognize the practical teaching experiences you have gained. 
PUTL Certificate III: Scholarship
The  Certificate in Scholarship aims to introduce you to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). 
PUTL Certificate IV: Educational Leadership
The  Certificate in Educational Leadership  aims to recognize you as a leader - someone who contributes to the advancement of teaching and learning across campus through the work that you do. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is eligible for the Certificates?

The certificate program is intended for students and fellows of Queen’s University who have an interest in developing themselves in areas of university teaching and learning. Queen’s alumni may apply for the certificates up to two years after completing their studies however the respective requirements must be Queen’s-focused, i.e. completed or based upon experiences here at Queen’s.

How do I earn the Certificates?

Each certificate is earned by meeting requirements specific to that certificate. You will find these requirements and helpful resources for their completion here on the CTL website. Click the above links to view each of the four certificates and their instructions.

Once you have met all of the requirements for a given certificate, provide the relevant checklist and supporting documents to the CTL office for review. A CTL Staff member will review the package and will be in touch with feedback. Given successful completion of all requirements, the certificate will be awarded to you!

What exactly do I get for completing a certificate and how will that benefit me?

For each certificate completed, the CTL provides a paper certificate signed by the Director of the CTL. This certificate can be cited on your resume and/or included in your Teaching Dossier or Portfolio. Such formal recognition may be helpful for professional development, job applications, professional school applications, etc. 

Do I need to register with the program prior to completion of a certificate?

There is no need to register with the CTL prior to completion of the certificate requirements. However, CTL staff members are here to provide one-on-one support and mentorship to you as you proceed. Many students choose to meet to discuss a personalized plan for certificate completion, which helps streamline the process. To arrange a meeting, email

Do I need to complete the certificates in a particular order?

No. The certificate program is flexible and students can progress through the certificates at their own pace and discretion. Certificates can be completed in any order and can be completed concurrently. Students may choose to complete any combination of the four certificates in any order.

How long does it take to complete the certificates?

Overall, numerous experiences contribute to one’s growth and development as an instructor. As you work and study here at Queen’s, the experiences you engage in will continually contribute to your development. Each certificate is designed to recognize such efforts and so you may find that you already meet some of the requirements in each of the certificate areas. However, the certificates also challenge you to reflect upon and formalize your growth as an instructor and so you may find that some additional effort is required. If you are just getting started with your studies, you can expect to spend about one term completing each certificate.

What happened to the old (2011-2012) PUTL program?

If you began your efforts to complete any of the certificates before September 2013, you will notice some changes to our certificate program. Over the summer of 2013, the Certificate Program in University Teaching and Learning was critically reviewed by all members of the CTL. We are pleased to be moving forward with a redesigned and improved certificate program. There are many similarities between the previous version and the new iteration. Therefore, submissions following 2011/2012 guidelines will be accepted up until December 2013. Past guidelines are available for reference via the links below:

How do I use the rubrics that are provided for each of the Certificates?

A Rubric is provided for each of the four certificates. These rubrics are used by CTL reviewers in order to effectively and objectively assess certificate submissions. Some students find it helpful to see how they are being assessed as they put their submission together, therefore the rubrics are available as a guide should you so choose to use them. The rubrics were designed using the ICE Approach. This means that they are focused on the process for learning rather than upon the specific content to be included. While each rubric offers specific details, typically a certificate is awarded when the submissions meet all Ideas (I) and Connections (C) descriptors. Many of the Extensions (E) descriptors go above and beyond what is expected of the certificate program, therefore a submission meeting all I, C, and E level descriptors goes above and beyond expectations. 

For more reading on ICE see Fostaty Young, S., & Wilson, R.J. (2000), Assessment and learning: The ICE approach. Winnipeg, MB. Portage & Main Press.

Where is the CTL office located?

You will find us in F200 Mackintosh-Corry Hall. We are on the main level across from the cafeteria area and the Great Canadian Burger Company.

I have more questions, who do I contact?

Please email with any additional questions you have regarding the Certificate Program. 

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000