The CUT (Certificate in University Teaching) program celebrated its 10th anniversary in Fall 2008. I’ve been here nearly that long too (since June 2000).How things have changed!
In the beginning, the CUT program had one TA Developer working 10 hours a week. Registration occurred upon submission of a response paper after attending a workshop. We were happy to have 14 students in a workshop. Juice, water and sometimes cookies, were provided as additional incentive for participation. Once a student had met the requirements for a course, the Graduate Office would be notified and a grade of CR would appear on their transcript. There were no time limits to complete a course or the program (one student took 27 terms). Once word got out about the program, we started to get between 75 to 100 students showing up to events. We had problems booking rooms as academic courses got priority, and it was hard keeping track of how many were actually enrolled.
In September 2006, the revised CUT program was born. The requirements were changed to allow for more support from CUT staff to help participants complete the program. We now have a full-time Instructional Developer and have had up to 4 TA Developers a term, still at 10 hours a week. To register, you need to be screened by the Instructional Developer to determine whether or not you will have enough time to complete the program, based on the time you have left at UW. Course registration is done through Quest and is limited. There is now a time limit of three terms to complete each course and GS 902 cannot be started until GS 901 has been completed.
Students completing the CUT program have ended up in many diverse occupations, not just academia, even though it is geared towards PhD candidates contemplating academia. Once in a while I get an email from a former participant expressing how the program was key in opening the door to the occupation they are currently in.
In Spring 2008 a pilot project was launched, resulting in the birth of ITA Training (International TA Training). It was noted that there was a need for foreign TAs to understand the culture and expectations in the Canadian classroom. The training provides foreign grad students with a neutral venue to explore and learn about Canadian education and meet with others in the same situation so they don’t feel so isolated. Registration is triggered by attending a workshop and submitting an attendance form or booking a microteaching session. The Instructional Developer, CUT & Internationalization (the job title was expanded to include ITA Training) oversees the training with the help of one International TA Developer, who works 10 hours a week.
Starting in Spring 2009, we are implementing a new workshop/event registration system. Watch for details, as it will be quite different from the one we currently use. It will allow all participants, with the exception of undergrads and guests, to see a record of which workshops/events they have attended. Bear with us, as it is totally new to us too!