Benefits and community

Thinking about jumping in? Learn about program benefits and the community supporting the TDP.

How the TDP can benefit you

TDP objectives

If you complete the Foundational Track in the TDP, the CTL can certify that you have the ability to:

  • Describe and implement pedagogical practices that draw on evidence-based educational research
  • Develop learning goals and aligned assessment strategies that are clear and measurable
  • Receive and apply peer-to-peer feedback on teaching practice
  • Articulate and reflect on your own student-centered approach to teaching

If you decide to complete the Advanced Track, we can also certify that you can:

  • Define and pursue inquiry-based development as a teacher
  • Create a portfolio of teaching artifacts, strategies, and outcomes
  • Demonstrate organized, engaging, and distinctive communication practices that can extend into future professional settings

TDP design

In addition to this pedagogical and professional development, the TDP is designed in a way to offer you credit and flexibility and you work through it. Here are five top-level things to know about the program:

It earns you certification

When you complete a TDP track, CTL certifies that you have attained the objectives above through a set of activities that have prepared you to be a compelling and effective teacher. In most schools with doctoral programs at Columbia, your TDP completion will be noted on your transcript.

It prepares you for the job market

The basic rhythm of the TDP is simple: attend a workshop or activity, reflect on it afterwards. By building up an archive of reflections and artifacts, you document the evolution of your teaching development—laying the groundwork for powerful teaching statements and portfolios.

You can work at your own pace

Every graduate student’s program and situation is different, so TDP is structured to be as flexible as possible. Make progress on track completion on your own schedule as you move through your program.

You can decide how to satisfy TDP requirements

There are many ways to complete a TDP track; you decide what you’re interested in and what makes sense for your context. Each semester you can choose from a broad range of CTL seminars and workshopsLead Teaching Fellow offerings in departments, and services such as Teaching )bservations, Mid-course Reviews, and Practice Teaching (Microteaching).

You can decide how far to go

Everyone starts on the Foundational Track, which can be completed in as little as one semester. Exit the TDP with Foundational certification, or decide to keep going on the Advanced Track. The Advanced Track takes more time to complete, but it connects you to programs and colleagues on a deeper level and it sets you up with digital teaching portfolio support.

The TDP Community at Columbia

When you join the TDP, you enter a community of hundreds of peers across the university who are honing and reflecting on teaching skills, as well as a network of doctoral students trained and supported by CTL to offer programs and services that count for TDP track completion. Here are some of the folks who are dedicated to running this program and continually refining it, based on the needs and requests of its many participants.

The CTL Graduate Student Programs and Services team

CTL graduate student support team headshots

The CTL graduate student support team

We design and run many of the pedagogical workshops and services that make up the heart of the TDP. Here are links to some information about each of us:  Mark Phillipson, Ian Althouse, Caitlin DeClercq, Abby Schroering.

GSAS Fellows in Academic Administration

An FAA tracks and assesses TDP reflections

Each semester CTL works closely with Fellows in Academic Administration to administer and assess the TDP. FAAs keep careful track of activity in the program, help to share rubric-based feedback on reflections with participants, and undertake special projects that help grow and improve the program.

CTL Teaching Consultants

Recent CTL Teaching Consultants

CTL trains graduate student Teaching Consultants. extensively to help us provide many of the services that satisfy Application and Practice requirements in the TDP, such as Teaching Observations, Mid-course Reviews, and Practice Teaching (Microteaching). Discussing your teaching with these peer mentors is a valuable part of this program.

Lead Teaching Fellows

LTFs running department events at Columbia – these count for the TDP!

Because we believe in the power of peer-to-peer support and engagement around teaching, we allow you (and encourage you!) to fulfill a pedagogical workshop requirement by attending a  Lead Teaching Fellows event in your home department or elsewhere. You can satisfy additional pedagogical workshop requirements in the TDP by attending a CTLgrads Learning Community designed and run by Senior Lead Teaching Fellows.

Other participants in the TDP

We encourage you to connect to peers who are working their way through the TDP. Attending programs together and sharing reflections are great ways to deepen the TDP experience. If you are on the Advanced Track, we invite you to join groups organized by current TDP participants where you can find advice, support, and inspiration. Contact us at if you are interested in leading or joining such a group.

Interested hearing about other graduate students’ experiences in the TDP? Here are some recent testimonials.

Program details

Wondering what’s required to complete the program? See an overview.

Contact Us

The CTL is here to help as you work through the TDP. Email us anytime.

Get Advice

Request an individual consultation to discuss your TDP progress.

Find Answers

Get detailed answers to many of our frequently asked questions.

Attend Sessions

Find and register for offerings that count for the TDP

Visit Us

Drop in for a visit as we’re available both online and in-person.