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Certificate in Teaching Techniques (CITT) for Postdoctoral Scholars

Goals of the Certificate

Many postdoctoral scholars at North Carolina State University plan to pursue a career in academia as faculty members. Teaching, in addition to research, is a critical component of a faculty member’s responsibilities. However, pedagogical practice is often not part of a postdoc’s work experience. In order to provide postdocs with professional development in the area of teaching and, therefore, to make them more competitive for faculty positions, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) at North Carolina State University has established the “Certificate in Teaching Techniques” (“CITT” pronounced “kit”) specifically geared for postdoctoral appointees. Postdocs need to register for the program at and complete the requirements described below in order to receive the Certificate; postdocs may register at any time. Upon completion, OPA will award the participant the CITT. It is recommended that postdocs complete this program within two (2) years. The overall goal of this program: postdocs will emerge with a variety of techniques in their “CITT” which will prepare them to become successful faculty within teaching and learning environments.

Note: CITT is only available for postdocs. It is a separate program from the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (“CoAT”), which is only available for graduate students. For more information about CoAT, visit If you registered for CITT prior to June 1, 2013, you must complete Part I to earn the Certificate; you are not required to complete Part II.


PART I: Enroll and engage in six (6) Fundamentals in Teaching (FIT) workshops as described below:

  • One (1) MANDATORY workshop (offered each fall and spring semester)
    • Introduction to Teaching
  • Three (3) CORE workshops are required
    • Active Learning: Getting Started
    • Classroom Assessment Techniques
    • Classroom Management: Getting Started
    • Collaborative Learning and Group Work
    • Effective Questioning Techniques
    • Establishing Credibility & Authority in the Classroom
    • Evaluation and Grading
    • Learning Styles
    • Motivational Teaching Strategies
  • Two (2) ELECTIVES are required (various topics are offered each fall and spring and vary semester to semester). Additional workshops are offered through the Fundamentals in Teaching (FIT) series at, the Office of Faculty Development (OFD) at, or Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) at

Many workshops are also offered online (through Moodle); some are on-demand and can be completed at any time, while other online workshops are offered during the semester. All online workshops offered during the semester can count towards the certificate, but only one (1) on-demand workshop can be counted towards the certificate.* Also, please note attending three (3) reading groups will only count as one workshop, and Teaching Philosophy Peer Review sessions do not count towards the certificate.

*For Spring 2015 only: postdocs can count up to three (3) on-demand workshops, including the Introduction to Teaching, towards the Certificate in Teaching Techniques; at least three (3) workshops must still be in-person. This applies to postdocs who:

  • register for the CITT program during the Spring 2015 semester
  • have already registered and plan to complete the CITT program during the Spring 2015 semester


PART II: Apply the knowledge you gain from the workshops.
The second component of the CITT program will help you synthesize the knowledge you gained from the workshops. It will also help you prepare for an interview for a faculty/teaching position by providing evidence that documents your teaching abilities. Note: If you are a Mentoring and Teaching Practicum (MATP) participant, you are exempt from completing this portion of the program. Please select one (1) ASSIGNMENT from the choices below:

  • Assignment 1: Volunteer to teach one lecture or one lab for your faculty advisor or department
    • Design and prepare your lesson plan.
    • Reflect on your teaching experience: What worked? What could you have improved? Were the students engaged?
    • Collect feedback from others: have your faculty advisor assess your teaching, quiz the students or assess your students’ learning during your lecture or lab. Note: Evaluation forms are available upon request.
    • Submit a copy of your lesson plan and your reflection to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (
  • Assignment 3: Write a 1-page essay synthesizing three (3) workshops you attended. Repeat for the other three (3) workshops you attended. It is highly recommended that the essay be written within two (2) weeks after attending the three (3) workshops, while the information is fresh in your mind.
    In each essay:
    • Include a sentence or two summarizing each workshop’s context
    • Discuss how the ideas and concepts of each workshop relate
    • Discuss how you can implement them in your own teaching
    • Submit your essays to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (