The Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT) program offers graduate students a chance to demonstrate their commitment to teaching excellence through training, evaluation, and recognition. Through critical reflection and application, participants learn the fundamental components of pedagogy, enriching their personal growth and professional development in teaching and learning.

The program is designed to provide support and recognition for all graduate students who teach courses at North Carolina State University. Participants may choose to complete the program in one year (2 semesters), a year and a half (3 semesters), or two years (4 semesters). Certificates are awarded at the end of each semester. An awards ceremony is usually held every April.

This program enables graduate students to:

  • Develop effective and engaging learning environments
  • Enhance teaching and communication skills
  • Connect with other graduate students throughout campus
  • Receive a transcript notation for successful completion of the Accomplishment in Teaching program
  • Receive an official letter of recommendation
  • Earn a Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching
  • Receive individualized assistance in teaching
  • Complete the teaching observation process to receive formal feedback on teaching skills
  • Prepare a final project with guidance and support from the program director

Application Information – Applications are currently close!

Overview of Program Requirements

Syllabus Fall 2015 This syllabus includes the learning objectives, program requirements, and important websites/online resources. For a quick overview, download the program flyer.

CoAT Journey to Success  This document will help you plan your journey through the program and insure that you meet deadlines.

    1. Attend an online orientation session during your first semester in the program. Online orientation sessions self-directed and include information on how to navigate successfully through the program. Since this program is self-directed, you are responsible for your own schedule and progress through the program. More information and dates for live chat sessions will be sent to you after you register for the program.
    2. Attend six “approved” workshops. Any of the Fundamentals In Teaching workshops count towards the teaching certificate unless otherwise noted. Participants are required to complete the “Introduction to Teaching” workshop before receiving the certificate. Workshops are offered in person, online, on-demand, and in blended formats.If you have taken FIT workshops prior to enrolling, up to 3 of them may transfer into the program. Some courses such as EAC 786: Teaching in College can transfer as workshops into the program if they were completed successfully within the previous 12 months before you apply. Contact the program director for more information.
    3. Complete two “Workshop Synthesis and Application” essays. Participants who enroll beginning in Fall 2012 are required to write two essays that each synthesize information learned in three approved workshops, and apply one piece of that information to a teaching tool or strategy developed by the participant. Additional guidelines are provided once you are in the program. (These two essays replace the six reflection assignments that were previously required.)
    4. Complete two semesters of teaching experience. The teaching requirement  is the most flexible part of the program, because TA appointments and teaching responsibilities vary so widely from department to department. For this reason, the qualification for what counts as “teaching” is varied as long as you meet the minimum number of “contact” hours. Contact hours are the actual hours of instruction, and the program requires that your first teaching experience total a minimum of 15 contact hours. This is the equivalent of teaching for 1 hour, 1 day a week, for 15 weeks in a semester. Your second teaching experience should be twice that amount (30 contact hours).Teaching responsibilities may be: leading a lecture, leading a lab, leading a recitation session, leading a review or study session for a group of students, filling in for a professor who is away at a conference that day, co-teaching a class with an instructor, leading online discussions as part of a course, leading more lectures towards the end of the semester rather than at the beginning, etc. You and your faculty supervisor decide how to best structure those hours based on the design of the course(s) you are assisting with. We can count a variety of teaching activities as part of those contact hours, but the only two tasks we cannot count are office hours or grading. You and your faculty supervisor can design any type of teaching experience that works for you, the professor, and the course(s). Grading does not have to be part of the experience, although for many TAs, it is part of their responsibility.Note: Sometimes, one prior teaching experience can count towards the certificate, providing the course was taught at NC State and you had instructional responsibility in the course. Contact the program director for more information.
    5. Complete one classroom observation for each teaching experience. Classroom observations should be completed by your advisor or a faculty member in your discipline. They do not both need to be completed by the same person. Classroom observation forms will be provided for you, although you can use any form from your department/college.
    6. Create a final project which is centered around your teaching philosophy. This philosophy will evolve from your synthesis essays and teaching experiences, and it will be supported by at least one artifact from your classroom. This final project will serve as the foundation for your teaching portfolio in the future.


Contact Information
For more information, contact the program director:

Dr. Beth Overman, Director of Graduate Academic and Professional Development Programs ( to decide which teaching program is right for you? Compare programs by using this grid.


Comments & Testimonials


“After participating in the CoAT program, I feel better equipped to connect with my students and to have an impact on their lives that reaches beyond the curricular aspects of their education.  My classes now blend a mastery of teaching technique with customized examples and active learning to deliver courses that focus on relevance and discovery.  Having learned how to tailor my teaching to the unique needs, interests, learning styles, and motivations of my students, I have the chance to inspire them and to make the wonderful discipline of statistics come alive for them.” – Cassie Kozyrkov, Statistics, 2014


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Requests can be served more effectively if notice is provided at least 14 days before the event. Direct accommodation requests to