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Professional Development

Provides innovative and inclusive programmatic approaches for our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars so that they become ethical, transformative and contributing citizens. The professional development training our scholars receive will equip them with the skills and knowledge to be proactive and impactful leaders.

Programs and Certificates

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are encouraged to pursue one or more of the certificates we offer to enhance their professional development. Please see the requirements below for each of the certificates. If you wish to pursue one or more of our non-credit professional development certificates, please sign up here. Please note: You will need to sign up for each certificate (Career Readiness, Leadership, Teaching, and/or Writing) separately.

For those who wish to pursue our offerings in our professional development focus areas, we encourage you to explore more information about our career readiness, leadership, teaching and writing programs. Maintaining one’s well-being is an important component of being a thriving professional, so we also offer a series on wellness.

Foundational Workshops (REQUIRED)
Four (4) workshops are required for the Teaching Certificate or attendance at the all-day New TA Workshop held each August:

  • Teaching College
  • Engaging Diverse Learners
  • Using Learning Outcomes
  • Mentoring 101

Electives (REQUIRED)
Four (4) electives are to be chosen for the Teaching Certificate from these options:

  • Accessibility in the Classroom
  • Avoiding Death by PowerPoint
  • Emotional Intelligence and Teaching
  • How to Survive Your First Day of Class
  • Managing Conflict in the Classroom
  • Processing Course Evaluations
  • Working with First Generation College Students
  • Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • DELTA workshop (no more than two can count as electives)

Experience (REQUIRED)
One (1) of the following is required for the Teaching Certificate:

  • Teaching assistantship (and a reflection paper)
  • Guest lecture (twice) (and a reflection paper)
  • Mentoring an undergraduate student in a lab or through one of the Graduate School’s partnerships (and a reflection paper)

Deliverable (REQUIRED)
One (1) of the following is required for the Teaching Certificate:

  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • Teaching evaluations
  • Course syllabus

Foundational Workshops (REQUIRED)
Four (4) are required for the Writing Certificate

  • Writer’s Toolkit/Engineering Cafes: Writer’s Toolkit
  • User-Friendly Writing/Engineering Cafes: User-Friendly Writing
  • Concise Writing/Engineering Cafes: Concise Writing
  • Professional Emails/Engineering Cafes: Professional Emails

Electives (REQUIRED)
Four (4) electives are to be chosen for the Writing Certificate from these topics:

  • Writing Abstracts & Introductions
  • Lit Reviews (non-engineering)
  • Results & Discussion Sections
  • How to Plan a Journal Article
  • How to Respond to Reviewer Feedback
  • How to Write a Cover Letter
  • How to Write CV
  • How to Write Resume
  • Any Summer Grants & Fellowships Writing Workshops
  • Libraries’ Research Skills Literature Reviews Modules (counts as 1 elective)

Experience (REQUIRED)
One (1) of the following is required for the Writing Certificate:

Deliverable (REQUIRED)
One (1) of the following is required for the Writing Certificate:

  • Published Journal Article, Review Paper, or Book Review
  • White paper or report
  • Thesis, dissertation, or capstone project
  • Statements for teaching, inclusivity, and research
  • Professional Portfolio

Foundational Workshops (REQUIRED)
Four (4) workshops are required for the Career Readiness Certificate:

  • Career Exploration – Finding your career journey
  • STAR Technique – Interviewing with a story
  • Building your Strengths – Understanding you and your passions
  • Professional Portfolio Basics for Non-Academic Careers

Electives (REQUIRED)
Four (4) electives are to be chosen from these options:

  • Any Job Search Strategies Labeled Talk/Workshop
  • How to Write a Cover Letter
  • How to Write a CV
  • How to Write a Resume
  • Professionalism 101
  • Communication Styles
  • Networking Know-how
  • Generations in the Workforce
  • Accountability
  • Company Site Visit through Accelerate to Industry (A2i)

Experience (REQUIRED)
One (1) of the following is required for the Career Readiness Certificate:

Deliverable (REQUIRED)
The following is required for the Career Readiness Certificate:

  • Find a job posting that you are interested in applying to
  • Create a portfolio with Cover Letter, CV/Resume, LinkedIn Profile, Work Samples and the job description

Wellness Wednesdays

Our well-being impacts our lives in a myriad of ways, so understanding how to best manage ourselves is an important part of our development. Dr. Rhonda Sutton, the assistant dean for professional development in the Graduate School, will be offering 1-hour “Wellness Wednesdays” during the fall semester on Zoom.

wellness day
Students, faculty and staff enjoy a spring day by participating in a Pause for Tiny Hooves event at the Corner on Centennial campus. Therapy miniature horses from Stampede of Love, as well as therapy dogs, provide a wellness break from the end of semester rush. Photo by Becky Kirkland.

Professional Development Team

Rhonda Sutton

Assistant Dean for Professional Development

Katie Homar

Director of Academic and Engineering Writing Support

Shawana Hodge

Postdoc HR and Professional Development Support Specialist

Kelly Rownd

Director for Career Readiness