Contact Us Contact Us

Shamini Dias, PhD 
Jeremy Schnieder, PhD 
Preparing Future Faculty
Claremont Graduate University
135 E 12th Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-6225 l

How to Obtain a Certificate How to Obtain a Certificate


PFF Certificate in College Teaching 

The PFF Certificate in College Teaching recognizes your progress through a rigorous program to develop an inclusive, student-focused pedagogy for teaching and leading in post-secondary and other professional settings. You also develop a portfolio that will serve you well in your job search and continuing professional development. When you complete the Certificate, we will list you as a PFF Scholar on our website to recognize and promote your affiliation with a community of teacher-scholars across the nation.

The PFF Certificate in College Teaching free for currently enrolled CGU students, and available to non-CGU participants.  To find out more, please read about your options here.

To earn the PFF Certificate you must complete the following:

  1. Workshops. A total of 13 workshops comprising 4 Mandatory Topics and 9 Elective Topics. As you take these workshops, we help you develop a habit of reflective practice through the use of an e-portfolio. Your e-portfolio helps you gather and organize your learning and development as you move through the workshops. 
  2. Practicum. The Practicum comprises a Teaching Clinic process with PFF and External Practice (guest teaching in your discipline, observing teaching in your discipline, and informational interviews). As part of your Practicum work, you will complete the Teaching Philosophy Statement and the Course Design and Syllabus that you began in the Mandatory workshop series. To pull it all together toward Certificate completion, you will develop a teacher-scholar website to showcase your teaching development as well as integrate your scholarly work in your academic program. 
  3. To complete the program, you write a final Reflective Essay and do an an Exit Interview. 


Please note: It is critically important that you either attend a group or individual program orientation as soon after enrolling as you can. This helps us help you plan strategically to undertake a commitment to completing the Certificate in a timely manner in balance with your other graduate work. We also explain our key approaches and set you up with the right tools to use to move smoothly through the program.

If you cannot take on the full demands of the Certificate, please note that you also just attend workshops ad hoc for professional development as time allows. In addition, you can build your own portfolio of teaching tools and resources, course syllabi, and useful documents like a sample course or teaching philosophy statement for your job search through our consulting and coaching service. Read about our other services here.


We offer 2 pathways toward the PFF Certificate:

Open Workshops Pathway. A self-paced, modular design that offers flexibility in earning the Certificate. Read details here.

PFF Courses designed for CGU participants who prefer a fast-track, cohort structure. This option is open to non-CGU participants.

The courses have a flat fee rather than tuition. For Spring 2017, the fee is $1390.00 per course. (Please see the latest schedule of tuition and fees on the CGU website). Read course descriptions here.

CGU participants may take either option or combine PFF courses with Open Workshops. To discuss your specific plan, please contact the PFF team at

How to Join the Program for CGU Students 

Fill out the online enrollment form.

Once we have enrolled you, we will add you to the PFF Canvas site for Open Workshops. We use our Canvas site to provide everything you need to work toward the Certificate from workshop preparation, calendars, assignments, announcements, and e-portfolios. 

A Visual Representation of Your Pathway to the PFF Certificate

Visual Representation of Your Pathway to the PFF Certificate

Download this diagram



1. Can I begin the Certificate program as a first year student?

YES. This is why we have designed a modular, flexible program. In your first semester, you can enroll with PFF and begin attending workshops as you settle into the routine of a graduate student workload. You can then step up the pace in your second semester.

2. Is there a cost for Certificate?

The PFF Open Workshop pathway to the Certificate is free and open to all CGU students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

The PFF Courses, however, have a fee attached. At this time, each course is $1390.00. Please see the CGU schedule of tuition and fees for the latest course fees. CGU students can opt to take the PFF Course pathway to the Certificate if they prefer a cohort-based, structured program, or combine a PFF Course with Open Workshops. Non-CGU students who want to earn the PFF Certificate may only do so through the PFF Course pathway.

3. How long can I take to complete the Certificate program in the Open Workshop pathway?

The Open Workshop program is self-paced. The program is modular and flexible and you can continue and complete it even after you graduate. However, in order to optimize your learning and not drag out the process, we advise you to complete the workshops over 2 semesters, and take another semester to complete the Practicum and e-Portfolio module.

4. What if I already have teaching experience and just want to take some workshops? Can I take workshops even if I do not want to work toward a Certificate?

ABSOLUTELY! Teaching is a complex and ever evolving domain so we can never really say we are "done". You are most welcome to just attend workshops to keep learning and refreshing your knowledge, skills, and capacities, or just to stay connected to a community of educators and leaders. We would also love to see you continue to take new workshop topics even after you complete the Certificate.

5. When should I begin my PFF Portfolio and Practicum (teaching practice and observation)? Can I begin before completing all the workshops?

Yes. You begin the Practicum and Portfolio modules after completing the 4 Mandatory topics in the Open Workshop pathway, or after completing PFF 520 Teaching Philosophy and Course Design. You can still be moving through the Elective topics in the Open Workshop pathway or be enrolled in PFF 531: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as you work on your Portfolio and Practicum.

6. What are the advantages of taking the PFF Courses?

The PFF Course pathway works well for those seeking a more structured, cohort based approach to the Certificate. For some students, this could be a faster route toward completing the Certificate.

Non-CGU students can only earn the PFF Certificate through this pathway.

8. How is PFF useful if I am not planning to enter a career in academia as a professor?

PFF focuses on helping you understand how people engage in learning and to develop principles and strategies to engage, motivate, assess, and lead learners in mastery of content and skills. Critical to this is developing strong communication and facilitation skills. Outside of formal teaching contexts, many of us engage in leading and working with other individuals, teams, and communities in a range of professional contexts. The principles and strategies we develop through the PFF program apply equally strongly outside of the classroom in many professional contexts.

If you do not see a response to a question you have about the PFF program at CGU, please email us at and we will respond to your question as well as add it to our growing FAQs.

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