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Prepare To Teach In A Community College Classroom

Begin or expand your rewarding career as a community college professor with a graduate certificate in Community College Teaching and Learning from Northern Arizona University.

If you’re already an expert in your academic field but want to improve your teaching style and methods for the community college setting, then this graduate certificate is for you. In NAU’s Community College Teaching and Learning certificate you will explore both theoretical and practical understandings of community college instruction best practices. You'll sharpen your teaching skills and gain a competitive edge needed in today's job market. 

Master The Skills To Be An Effective Instructor

In the Community College Teaching and Learning graduate certificate from NAU you’ll learn crucial skills to improve your teaching performance, including:

  • Effective use of instructional technologies
  • Curriculum design and syllabus construction
  • Meaningful outcomes-based assessment methods

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Community College Teaching and Learning - Certificate

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Degree Information
12 units
Maximum Transfer Units

University Requirements

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 12

Purpose Statement

The Community College Teaching & Learning Certificate (CCTLC) is designed for individuals pursuing teaching opportunities at the community college/higher education level. It is geared to supplement students’ practical and technical skills for their fields of expertise with community college organizational knowledge, curriculum design, college teaching, and understanding the characteristics of today’s community college student.
This certificate prepares current full- and part-time future faculty for the complex environment facing community colleges.  Part-time faculty members, or adjuncts, have long been part of community college staff.  Adjunct faculty members are typically hired because they possess technical skills and practical knowledge that are beneficial to students.  Their expertise and workplace experiences will be supplemented through the knowledge gained in this certificate about community colleges as organizations, educational technology, curriculum design, and the characteristics of today's community college students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students achieving the Community College Teaching and Learning certificate will attain theoretical and practical understanding of concepts in the post-secondary framework of teaching and learning, and will be able to:

  • Select relevant instructional technologies (online, blended, and hybrid courses) to enhance the achievement of achieve the learning outcomes within a college classroom environment.
  • Identify how to use instructional technologies to respond with innovative solutions to the shifts and challenges occurring in the higher education landscape.
  • Analyze historical trends in curriculum development and recurring debates around the purposes of teaching and learning and explore their implications to contemporary higher education issues.
  • Implement the basic principles of curriculum design and syllabus construction to design meaningful outcomes-based courses.
  • Engage in meaningful outcomes-based assessment of intentionally designed classroom-based experiences.
  • Effectively use data from classroom-based assessments for continual improvement decisions concerning course design.
  • Synthesize current literature on adult learning theories and identify how adult learning theories can be implemented in daily practice.
  • Understand the unique characteristics of adult learners, and students and student culture in higher education.
  • Identify preparation and learning differences among “traditional” and non-traditional (adult) students, and propose strategies to facilitate learning success for all students.
  • Examine and reflect upon the multiple roles of faculty, identify areas of strength and areas for continued development, and incorporate this knowledge into the development of a personal teaching philosophy and portfolio.
  • Articulate, analyze and critique theories in post-secondary teaching and learning.
  • Implement teaching and learning theories into a personal teaching philosophy and portfolio.
  • Make explicit connections between theory and practice and apply theoretical constructs throughout a personal teaching philosophy and portfolio. 


  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Certificate Requirements
  • This certificate may be pursued by and completed by any student admitted to NAU. Students do not need to be degree-seeking.

  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate.  Under both circumstances, federal financial aid can be used for this certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.