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

Two Pathways Two Pathways


The Open Workshops program is only available to currently enrolled CGU students. Non-CGU participants must take the PFF Courses pathway toward the PFF Certificate. Read all workshop descriptions in our Workshop Catalog.

To join this program: Enroll with PFF.

Workshops Required

You must take 4 Mandatory and 9 Elective workshop topics.

Mandatory Workshops - ALL 4 required

Mandatory workshops introduce you to reflective practice and help you explore and explicitly shape your identity and philosophy as an educator, as well as design a course that articulates your philosophy.

You must complete all 4 workshops and submit your workshop reflections in order to be enrolled into the Practicum and Portfolio module. Therefore, we suggest attending the Mandatory workshops consecutively like a mini-course to get the most from them and to complete them efficiently.

We offer Mandatory topics every semester and 2 options for you to complete them:

  • Weekday workshops (usually Mondays 4 - 6:50 PM). These take 8 sessions to complete. 
  • Saturday workshops (one Saturday a month, 9 AM - 2 PM). These are intensives and take 4 Saturdays to complete. 

The Mandatory Workshop topics are:

  1. Introduction, Reflective Practice, & Teaching Philosophy
  2. Understanding Learning and Motivation & Changing Contexts in Higher Education
  3. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) & Aligning Assessments to Outcomes
  4. Designing Effective Syllabi & Pedagogy for Tech Integration

Elective Workshops - 9 Topics required

Elective workshops present topics on aspects of classroom practice. We offer many recurring workshops as well as new topics that we add based on student requests and our research. The current semester list of Elective Workshops can be found in our Current Semester Workshops page.

A sample of our most popular topics are:

  1. Academic Portfolios
  2. Beyond Learning Styles
  3. Helping Students Prepare for Class
  4. Lectures That Engage Thinking
  5. Academic Integrity: Preventing Plagiarism
  6. Grading Strategies
  7. Visual Syllabi and Outcomes
  8. Designing for Diversity
  9. Group Projects
  10. First Day of Class
  11. Silence as a Pedagogical Strategy
  12. Engaging Difficult Students
  13. Universal Design for Learning
  14. Helping Students Prepare for Class
  15. Online Teaching Principles
  16. Socratic Seminars
  17. Web 2.0 in Teaching and Learning
  18. Assessing Your Teaching: Beyond Course Evaluations

With good planning, you can complete all workshop requirements over 2 semesters. Check the workshop schedule on the PFF website or within Canvas to select the workshops you will attend and to RSVP.

The Reflections Journal

The Reflections Journal is critical to your successful completion of the PFF program. We give you your Reflections Journal when you enroll and will orient you to it in your required planning meeting when you begin the program. The Reflections Journal contains guides and tools to help you explore your assumptions, values, and beliefs about teaching and learning. You will review and use the Reflections Journal in your meetings with PFF Fellows, especially as you work through the Practicum and Portfolio module.

Preparing for Workshops

Pre-workshop preparation is essential. Use the links on the front page of the Open Workshops Canvas to access Guide Pages for each workshop. Each Guide Page has short activities, links to articles, and website resources for workshop preparation as well as for post-workshop reading and exploration. We encourage you to bring a laptop or tablet to workshops so you can access materials in Canvas and take notes.

Workshop Credit

To earn credit, you must do a short Reflection assignment. We will provide feedback and give you completion credit for the workshop. You can view and track your progress in Canvas.

Please note the following Assignment policy:

  • Re-submission. You might be asked to re-submit a reflection if your response indicates that you have not sufficiently engaged with the topic.
  • The default deadline for completing reflections is 2 days after the workshop so you can meaningfully and optimally consolidate thoughts and ideas arising from the workshop. However, we offer flexibility in submitting reflections - you have till the end of the semester in which you take a workshop to submit your reflections. After this, you must re-take the workshop.

Completing Workshops - Enrolling in Practicum & Portfolio Module

When you have submitted reflections for all 4 Mandatory workshops, we will enroll you in the Practicum and Portfolio Independent Study module. You may continue taking Elective workshop topics in parallel with the Practicum and Portfolio module.

In this module, you work with a PFF Fellow to apply everything you've learned through the workshops in teaching demonstrations, observations, and in completing a comprehensive syllabus, your teaching philosophy statement, and developing an electronic portfolio that showcases your work as a teacher-scholar and leader. Read the details of this process in our Practicum and Portfolio section.

Completing the Certificate

After you complete the Practicum and Portfolio module, you take a Mastery Review Quiz and write your Final Reflective Essay. You may take the Mastery Quiz multiple times to achieve the required level; the goal of this quiz is to help you review and consolidate your learning through the entire Certificate process.

You complete the process with an Exit Interview, where we look over your PFF binder with your course syllabus, teaching philosophy statement, and other teaching tools you have gathered through your Certificate journey. You also fill in the required Registrar's forms that will begin the process to award you the PFF Certificate in College Teaching.

Courses Pathway Courses Pathway


PFF courses offer an alternative to the Open Workshops option and suits students who prefer a cohort-based, structured approach. It also supports non-CGU participants interested in earning the PFF Certificate.

PFF 520. Teaching Philosophy and Course Design in Higher Education

This course will help you develop a teaching philosophy that will inform and guide how you design teaching in higher education settings. We will explore how powerful shifts in globalization, technology integration, and demographics are changing higher education landscapes and the way we think about teaching and learning. What are our responsibilities and opportunities for leading learning in this complex world? How can we do this inclusively? We will engage in and understand reflective practice as a transformative process to discover and align your values and beliefs as an educator in order to develop your teaching identity and a philosophy. This course also introduces you to principles of backward design in designing a course. We will explore the structure and functions of student learning outcomes, and how they can be aligned with formative and summative assessment plans. In designing syllabi, we will explore principles of effective syllabus design that make your syllabus a tool for learning engagement and facilitation. As part of this process, we will learn to construct visual syllabi and outcomes maps.

  • CGU Students: You can substitute this course for the Open Workshops Mandatory topics. On completing this course, you will be enrolled in the Practicum and Portfolio Independent Study module where you will work under the guidance of a PFF Fellow.
  • Non-CGU Students: On completing this course, you must enroll in PFF 521: Applied Pedagogy: Practicum and Portfolio project course. You may take PFF 531 concurrently with PFF 521.

PFF 531. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

This course helps you to become an effective teacher and leader of learning. Integrating theory and practice, we will develop an understanding of how people learn and what motivates and engages them. Through collaborative development of a teaching toolkit, we will explore principles of inclusive pedagogy from the perspectives of student-engagement, active learning processes, and diversity. A key aim is to explore our responsibilities to teach more than our content areas, and to help our students develop capacities to flourish in a rapidly changing world. We will explore how inclusive pedagogy principles may be realized through different methods of teaching and assessing learning. As part of our practice, we will design and analyze lesson plans based on inclusive pedagogy principles.

  • CGU Students: You can substitute this course for the Open Workshops Elective topics.
  • Non-CGU Students: On completing this course, you must enroll in PFF 520 if you have not yet taken it before you can enroll in PFF 521: Applied Pedagogy. Practicum and Portfolio course.

PFF 521. Applied Pedagogy: PFF Practicum and Portfolio

In this project-based course, you work independently with the guidance of a PFF Fellow to complete the required Practicum and Portfolio items for the PFF Certificate. The Practicum section includes a Teaching Clinic to practice observing teaching and to present and analyze teaching demonstrations, Teaching Experience in a college setting to observe faculty teach and to gain some teaching practice, and Informational Interviews with beginning and experienced faculty. The Portfolio section includes applying what you learned in PFF 520 (or the Mandatory topics) to fully develop a teaching philosophy statement, an electronic portfolio, a teaching philosophy statement, and a comprehensive syllabus (course rationale, learning outcomes and assessment plan alignment demonstration, and sample rubrics) that reflects your teaching philosophy. Where possible, we will help you work with a small group of peers to optimize collaboration and peer-review opportunities. On completing this course, you will be able to complete the Certificate Mastery Review, and schedule your exit interview to present your portfolio of required items in order to receive the PFF Certificate in College Teaching.

  • CGU Students: Whether you are earning the Certificate through the Open Workshops or PFF Courses options, you are automatically enrolled into the Practicum and Portfolio Independent Study module on completing either PFF 520 or the Mandatory Workshops.
  • Non-CGU Students: You are required to take this course after completing PFF 520 as part of your Certificate requirements.

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