Interested in teaching and professional development?

The Center for Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) is here to help!

The CIRTL@UCLA certification pathway (Associate, Practitioner, Scholar) will give you amazing training in teaching and professional development that will prepare you in whatever field you are going into, making you more competitive for faculty and industry positions.

There are many ways to engage with the CIRTL community.

In addition to our online communities there are many courses and workshops designed for the advancement and professionalization of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. Check out our monthly newsletter for more upcoming offerings!

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There are many ways to get involved in the CIRTL program at UCLA. Courses and workshops are designed for the advancement and professionalization of graduate students and faculty.  Be a part of the learning community!

To join the CIRTL online network, take 1 minute to register here.

Join the CIRTL@UCLA CCLE Collaboration Site

  • Login Here:
  • After logging in enter this enrollment key: #R95LShu
  • Once you have accessed the CCLE site, click “Associate Level”
  • View instructions on how to track your progress through certification levels

Sign up for the CIRTL@UCLA newsletter here.

CIRTL Levels of Engagement and Learning Outcomes

There are three levels of certification for the CIRTL program: CIRTL Associate, CIRTL Practitioner, and CIRTL Scholar. Each level has unique learning outcomes:

  • Associate level: recognizes the role of the CIRTL core ideas in effective teaching and learning
  • Practitioner level: addresses scholarly teaching using the CIRTL core ideas to demonstrably improve learning of students by completing a teaching-as-research (TAR) project
  • Scholar level: advances teaching and learning, and makes the results from TAR project public. 

CIRTL program outcomes conceived in this way permit anyone to enter the CIRTL Network learning community from a wide variety of disciplines, needs, and past experiences, and to achieve success as a teacher at a wide variety of engagement. One way to achieve CIRTL Scholar level is to participate in the STAR program (discussed below) but this is not the only way, and requirements can be discussed with the Director (Rachel Kennison) on an individual basis.

Requirements for Associate Level 

You must complete one course on Evidence Based Teaching (EBT) that aligns with the CIRTL learning outcomes. Options include but are not limited to:

    • In fall quarter, CIRTL@UCLA offers Grad PD 496A
    • TAC summer academy
    • Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy
    • Community Engaged Teaching (Grad PD 495CE)
    • TA training courses: LS 495 or Psych 495 + 495B

In addition, you must complete 20-25 hours of an additional course or workshop related to EBT or Professional Development. Some examples are:

    • CIRTL online courses and workshops (posted on our home page and on the CIRTL website)
    • Entering Mentoring Training program
    • EPIC and CAT workshops, including TA conference and TA workshops

If there are courses you have taken that are not on these lists and you think may align with the CIRTL learning outcomes, please contact the CIRTL@UCLA Director.

If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact Rachel Kennison ( 

Teaching as Research (TAR)

The improvement of teaching and learning is a dynamic and ongoing process, just as is research in any discipline. At the core of improving teaching and learning is the need to accurately determine what students have learned as a result of teaching practices. This is a research problem, to which instructors can effectively apply their research skills and ways of knowing. In so doing, instructors themselves become the agents for change in teaching and learning.

Teaching-as-Research involves the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of students and teachers. The process  of completing a TAR project includes identifying a research question and designing an intervention to assess the effectiveness of your teaching. However, a TAR project is not necessarily a Discipline Based Research Project, in the sense that it is meant to be a relatively small intervention, and not a publishable research study (although some TAR students design projects with the intent to publish). The goal is to learn how to become a reflective teacher so that wherever you end up working, you will be able to apply these methods to assess your own teaching.

For examples of TAR projects, visit our TAR Scholars page.

Course Offerings this Fall


Grad PD 496A is a learning community focused on Scientific Teaching, based on the CIRTL MOOC: An Introduction to Evidence Based Teaching.  It will be offered on Wednesday’s from 12-2 pm for 10 weeks, starting October 2. This is a 10-week, 2-unit course and includes instructor mini-lectures and peer-to-peer interactions in class (1.5 hours/week), selected readings and videos outside of class (2.5 hrs/week), and weekly reflective writing and responding on discussion posts (1hr/week). Additionally, there will be a culminating written assignment that will require students to apply the course’s pedagogical principles to a lesson plan they develop using backward design to sequence learning activities that represent inclusive practices.  Students will get feedback from instructors and peers on these lesson plans.

This course is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge on the large body of educational research that supports effective teaching strategies. This is a fully flipped S/U class, with online videos each week and an in-person learning community comprised of graduate students and post docs who are committed to teaching inclusively. Open to ALL disciplines and you are not required to be teaching concurrently. This course also counts toward CIRTL Associate Level and is a pre-requirement for the Teaching as Research course taught in winter.

Weekly topics:

Week 1 What is a Learning Community focused on Evidence Based Teaching?

Week 2 Principles of Learning, Part 1

Week 3 Principles of Learning, Part 2

Week 4 Introduction to Backward Design

Week 5 Assessment and Feedback

Week 6 Practicing Alignment

Week 7 Active Learning Part I

Week 8 Active Learning Part II: Group work

Week 9 Inclusive Teaching

Week 10 Lesson plan presentations and wrap up

Course Offerings this Winter

Enroll Now!

Grad PD 495CE Supervised Preparation for Community-Engaged Teaching

The UCLA Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Center for Community Learning are excited to announce a professional development opportunity for graduate students. In Winter 2020, we will be offering a teaching practicum course on community-engaged pedagogy.

In this 495 seminar, you can expect to participate in lively discussions that (re)envision what graduate education for engaged, inclusive, action-oriented teaching and research could/should look like at UCLA–as well as interactive workshops designed to help you develop skills and strategies for integrating community partnerships into your teaching. Students who complete the course will receive 4 units of satisfactory/unsatisfactory credit on their transcripts. The course can also be applied toward the Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy and toward CIRTL competencies for STEM education.

Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Goodhue, Associate Director for Faculty Engagement at CAT

Date and Time: Tuesdays from 2-3:50pm

Location: TBD

Application and Enrollment: In order to ensure that this seminar can foster active dialogue among all participants, space is limited. To secure your place, please fill out the Google Form below as soon as possible and no later than 5pm on November 30

Tell us a little about your background, teaching interests, and availability:

More information here: 495CE Graduate Seminar

Graduate students should complete the application and enroll through MyUCLA.

All other students will be notified about enrollment by the instructors. 

Grad PD 496B Planning your Teaching-as-Research Project

Grad PD 496B, Teaching as Researchis a 10 week course, offered in winter 2020 on Wednesdays, 12-2pm from Jan 8-March 11. It is an intermediate level course, and requires that you have completed a pedagogical course using evidence based practices (some examples include the Graduate Certificate in Writing Program courses, LS 496, Psych 495AB, Grad PD 496A). At the end of the course you will have completed a proposal for a Teaching as Research project (for more information on TAR see the CIRTL@UCLA website). While you are not required to be teaching while you take the course, you must have a plan to implement the project in a course (or alternative environment) you are teaching either in spring, summer or fall 2020.

To apply: 

For questions, please contact the instructors: Dr. Rachel Kennison or Dr. Leigh Harris

Instructors: Rachel Kennison & Leigh Harris

Date and Time: January 8-  March 11 – Wednesday’s from 12-2 pm

Location: Powell Library, CLICC classroom B ( Powell 320B).

Application and Enrollment: Complete this google form application:  this application form (

Please Complete by: Friday, December 20th, 2020.

Graduate students are required to complete the application and enroll through MyUCLA.

All other students will be notified about enrollment by the instructors. 

Scholars of Teaching as Research Program (STAR Program)

The STAR program allows you to move through the pedagogical training from Associate to Scholar through a series of courses (Grad PD 496 A, B, C).

What is Teaching as Research?

Grad PD 496A, An Introduction to Evidence Based Teaching

Offered in fall quarter. This course is taught in a flipped format, with videos each week and in-person learning community meetings where we practice the theory of evidence based practice. Most of the work is done in class, other than watching the videos outside of class. Most students find this course to be a lower effort course, because of the way it is structured, and can be taken either while you are teaching or not.

Grad PD 496B, Planning your Teaching-as-Research Project Teaching as Research

Planning your Teaching-as-Research Project is an is an interdisciplinary course open to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars as well as research staff interested in teaching. This is an intermediate-level 10 week course designed for students who are ready to plan a Teaching-as-Research project. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of, and experience with, evidence-based teaching methods. You should have completed a course that covers the basic knowledge of evidence based teaching practice and have achieved  these CIRTL Associate-level learning outcomes:

  • Describe and recognize the value of realistic well-defined, achievable, measurable and student-centered learning goals.
  • Describe several known high-impact, evidence-based effective instructional practices and materials and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals.
  • Describe several assessment techniques and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals.

Grad PD 496C, Implementation of TAR,

Offered in spring/summer. This is a learning community that provides you with support while you are iterating and implementing your project, analyzing your data and planning to present. This course should be taken directly after Grad PD 496B.

You can complete Associate Level requirements according to your own timeline, depending on where you are in your graduate degree progress. Some students may start in the fall with one of the evidence based teaching courses (required) but may not be ready or have time to do a teaching as research project. This is fine! Your can wait until the next year to take the Teaching as Research course, which is a bigger larger time commitment.