Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program

Please note: KTCP Fall 2020 is currently underway and additional applications will not be accepted. Following this session, the next KTCP session will be Spring 2021. The online application will be open for 2 weeks in November 2020. Check back here at that time or, to be added to our email notification list, please write to Dan Nocivelli at book@mit.edu.

Program description

The Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program (KTCP) is an interactive workshop series intended for late-program graduate students and postdocs interested in academic careers or developing skills to support their teaching at MIT. The program was named in 2014 to honor Stephen P. Kaufman, a long-time supporter of the Teaching + Learning Lab.

KTCP consists of a 10 practice-based workshops in a single semester. By participating in these workshops, you will learn evidence-based teaching techniques grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Topics include designing a course, preparing a lesson plan, assessing and providing feedback to students, creating an effective and welcoming classroom climate, along with others. Participants will actively practice these teaching skills through microteaching workshops, in which they will receive individual feedback from peers and teaching experts.

Participants will receive a certificate and letter from the Vice Chancellor upon completing all program requirements. The letter outlines the program, confirms completion of all program requirements, and can be submitted with applications for teaching positions as evidence of a commitment to teaching. To complete the program, participants must attend all 10 90-minute workshops and complete pre- and post-workshop assignments. 


Priority will be given to applicants who will have fewer future opportunities to participate in the program (e.g., final year grad students, postdocs, etc.). Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. If you have additional questions about the application process, review our Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently asked questions

If you are unable to find the answer to your question below, please contact Dan Nocivelli at book@mit.edu

I would like a certificate. Which path should I take: The Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program or Grad Teaching Development Tracks?

The goals of both KTCP and the workshop tracks are the same. However, the right program for you will depend on the kind of training you are looking for and the time left in your program or appointment.

Kaufman Teaching Certificate ProgramGrad Teaching Development Tracks
Intended for postdocs and late-program graduate students. Half of the seats reserved for postdocs, priority for all applicants based on remaining semesters in MIT appointments.Intended for early-program graduate students. Priority is given to those who have already completed a workshop track. 
Program (10 workshops) must be completed within 1 semesterShorter time commitment per semester (2-3 workshops) Program can be completed over several years
Certificate awarded after the semester-long program.Letter of completion awarded after each workshop track. Certificate received after completing all 4 workshop tracks.
Can I take the KTCP along with the Grad Teaching Development Tracks?

The learning outcomes of KTCP and the complete set of workshop tracks are identical and there is significant overlap in the content of both programs. Graduate students who complete one or more workshop tracks will be ineligible for the KTCP and should plan to finish their certificate through the Grad Teaching Development Tracks. Graduate students in their last year who have completed some workshop track but will not be able to complete their certificate through the Grad Teaching Development Tracks may be considered for the KTCP.

I don’t have time for a 10-workshop program, but am still interested in learning more about teaching. What options do I have?

Besides the KTCP, graduate students may apply to participate in Grad Teaching Development Tracks, which are shorter in length (only 2-3 workshops per track). Upon completing each track, participants receive a letter of completion. Participants who complete all 4 workshop tracks can also receive a Teaching Certificate, equivalent to that earned through the KTCP. 

We also hosts several events and workshops that are not associated with a certificate program. To learn more about these events, sign up for our newsletter.

How are applicants selected for KTCP?

The KTCP has 2 goals:

  1. to prepare future faculty for teaching outside of MIT and
  2. to provide training for current MIT instructors and TAs.

We are also committed to providing equal space for both graduate students and postdocs. We work to provide everyone who wants to an opportunity to participate in the program before leaving MIT. Applicants for whom this is among the last chances to take the program have priority, followed by those with confirmed, upcoming teaching appointments at MIT.

Applications are not selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to applicants who will have fewer future opportunities to participate in the program (e.g. final year grad students, postdocs, etc.).

What kinds of questions are on the application?

The application collects basic contact information, information about your appointment at MIT, and information about any forthcoming teaching commitments you have. The applications also includes the following 2 short-answer questions with a 1500 character limit.

  • Describe your teaching responsibilities in the next 2 semesters. (Only shown if applicable)
  • In addition to learning about teaching practices in general, what are 2 specific goals that motivate you to apply for this program?
When will KTCP be offered again?

Following the Fall 2020 session, the next KTCP session will be Spring 2021.

Is KTCP a credit-bearing subject? Does it appear on my transcript?

No, KTCP is not a credit-bearing subject and you do not receive a grade at the end. Completion is determined by attendance and completion of required homework. The program does not appear on your transcript, but upon completing the program you will receive a certificate from TLL and a letter from the Vice Chancellor attesting to the work you have done.

Is there a fee to apply for the KTCP? Is there a fee to take the program?

No, there is no fee to apply or enroll in the KTCP.

What is the time commitment for the program?

For each workshop, there are pre-workshop readings and tasks, as well as post-workshop assignments. You should plan to spend at least 1 hour preparing materials (reading and completing preparatory tasks) before each workshop. You should also plan to spend at least an hour to complete and upload each post-workshop assignment.

What are the program expectations?

In order to complete the program and receive a certificate, you must attend all workshops, participate in both microteaching sessions, and submit all required post-workshop homework assignments, as well as a microteaching reflection.

Will I be able to graduate if I need to miss a session?

Workshops are practice-based and interactive. It is difficult to compensate for missing them and there will be no make-up sessions. If you already know that you will need to miss a workshop, we encourage you to apply for the Spring 2021 session.

I do not have an affiliation with MIT. Can I participate in the KTCP?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate non-MIT participants at this time.