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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

Practicum & Portfolio Practicum & Portfolio


The Practicum and Portfolio module (and the corresponding PFF 521 course for non-CGU participants) engages you in applying the pedagogical principles and strategies you have explored in the Open Workshops (or in the PFF courses, PFF 520 and PFF 531). Through creating teaching documents and tools, observing and practicing teaching, receiving feedback, and engaging in conversations about teaching, you reinforce and ground your theoretical knowledge in your practice.

Please note the following:

  • You may only enroll in the Practicum and Portfolio module AFTER completing the Mandatory topics or PFF 520.
  • You may continue working on Elective topics (or PFF 531) while you are working on your Practicum and Portfolio items.
  • CGU students who have taken either one or both PFF courses will be enrolled in the PFF Practicum and Portfolio Independent Projects Canvas at no cost.
  • Non-CGU students must enroll in PFF 521 Pedagogy in Action: Practicum and Portfolio as fee-paying students.

Practicum & Portfolio: Guided Projects

While maintaining flexibility in your progress toward completing the Certificate, the guided structure of the Practicum and Portfolio module ensures that you stay on track to move optimally and efficiently toward completion, and that you receive the support and coaching you need to ensure that you end the program with excellent teaching tools and documents that truly reflect your alignment with pedagogical best practices for inclusive teaching.

Because you work independently in developing the required items, you have required individual or small group meetings with a PFF Fellow for guidance and feedback on these items in place of workshops. These required meetings will be tracked in Canvas and assigned Certificate credit to help you move through the program efficiently.

Beyond these required planning and coaching meetings, you may make additional appointments, using our online Appointments Scheduler to meet with a PFF Fellow in-person, via Skype, or use our email review service to get feedback on documents you are working on.

The Practicum and Portfolio module consists of:

  • Practicum Items
  • Portfolio Items
  • Completion of Certificate

Practicum Items 

Teaching Clinic: Observing Peers and Teaching Demonstration practice. The process consists of:

  • Designing a lesson plan for a course you might teach using backward design principles.
  • A Pre-Clinic meeting to review your lesson plan and receive feedback.
  • A Teaching Clinic session where you observe your peers' teaching demonstrations and where you demonstrate 30 minutes out of your full lesson plan. Note that you can only enroll in a Clinic after completing the Lesson Plan design and your pre-Clinic meeting. Facilitated by a PFF Fellow, this analytical process helps you be more aware of the structures and processes of teaching that actively engages students in learning.
  • A post-Clinic meeting to discuss your teaching demonstration, after which you write and submit two reports: One on observing peers teach, and the other on reflecting on your own teaching demonstration.
  • External Practice: These items help you gain an understanding of teaching in the real world, in your discipline and comprises the following items:
  1. Teaching Experience: Observing Faculty and Teaching Practice in your discipline. As far as possible, try and observe and practice in a class as close to the kind of institution and level at which you hope to teach.
  2. Two informational interviews with faculty in your discipline (early career and experienced faculty). Informational interviews deepen your understanding of the teaching demands, issues, and opportunities in your discipline, as well as the dynamic balance between scholarship and teaching. If  possible, interview professors at the kind of institution at which you hope to teach.

You have a planning meeting before doing these items, and write 4 reports: Observing Faculty Teach, Reflecting on Teaching Practice, Informational Interview with a Beginning Faculty, and Informational Interview with an Experienced Faculty.

You must do the Teaching Clinic before External Practice, unless otherwise approved by PFF. 

Portfolio Items 

Your Portfolio are your work products, evidence of your learning and and your development as an educator. These are also items that you will need - in the short term for job search, and in the long term for your career development. It is important that you work closely with PFF to create high quality documents and in the process really sharpen your knowledge and embodiment of good pedagogy.

  • Teaching Philosophy Statement. A consolidation of your reflective process using your Reflections Journal that articulates your motivations, goals, and approaches to teaching and growing as an educator. This is a creed or positioning of yourself as an educator and the values and beliefs that uphold your work as a teacher.
  • Comprehensive Course Syllabus. Your syllabus and related documents are a demonstration or "proof of concept" of your teaching philosophy. Someone reading both the documents must be able to see your beliefs and values enacted in concrete form in your course design and selection of teaching and assessment methods. In designing a comprehensive course syllabus you create the following items: A course rationale explaning your choice of approach, a document showing the alignment of your student learning outcomes with your assessment plan, a course syllabus, and a sample rubric. We encourage you to develop other teaching tools such as sample assignment packets or prompts, learning and self-assessment tools etc.
  • An Electronic Portfolio site. Using WordPress or a similar platform, we guide you in thinking about the different elements that make up a good academic and professional portfolio that will serve you well in both career search and career development over time.

In working on these items, we require one planning meeting for Certificate credit. However, we know that you will want and need multiple meetings or feedback sessions to perfect each item. We encourage you to use the PFF Appointment Scheduler to make in-person or Skype appointments, or send in documents for email review by a PFF Fellow.

When you have completed each item to the standards required by the program, we will assign Certificate credit for that item. Please note that this might take multiple drafts, so plan ahead for a process of thinking and refining your work.

  • Final Reflective Essay. This is a short essay that consolidates your journey through the Certificate program and articulates the ways in which you have experienced affirmation and/or transformation in your values and beliefs about teaching and learning. In writing this final document, you will draw strongly from your Reflections Journal. 

Completing the Certificate 

After completing all the Practicum and Portfolio items, you complete the Certificate through the following steps:

  1. Take the Mastery Review quiz. You make take this quiz multiple times to achieve a score of at least 95%.
  2. Exit Interview. At this final meeting and celebration of your journey, you will present and review your Reflections Journal, your final approved Teaching Philosophy Statement, all the components of your comprehensive course syllabus, and your e-Portfolio site.
  3. Fill out the Intent to Receive a Certificate and Final Approval forms to initiate the process with the Registrar's office to generate your Certificate.

You are now a PFF Scholar and we will feature you on our website.

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