Certificate in Chemistry Education

The Certificate in Chemistry Education (CCE) is a merit-based, invite-only program offered to students who have done exceptionally well in their chemistry courses. While this program may certainly be of interest to anyone considering a future in education, particularly in the STEM fields, we encourage students of all academic and career goals to take part. Participants will not only receive formal pedagogical training, but they will also have the opportunity to apply this training to various areas of instruction.

For more information on this program, please see the links below:

Eligibility and Application Process | Course Requirements | Course Descriptions
Teaching Portfolio | Honors Track

Eligibility and Application Process
Eligibility for the certificate program is merit-based and by invitation only. Due to the nature of the program, students must perform in the top of their class in General Chemistry and Introduction to Experimentation. Invitations will typically be sent out midway through General Chemistry II, and will be based on final grades in General Chemistry I and current standing in General Chemistry II. All invitees will be added to a Sakai site, which will include a short application to be filled out. On the application, students will indicate the interview times that will work for them. After reviewing these applications, invitations for an assigned group interview will be sent out.

After all of the interviews have finished, students will be notified with a decision via email. These notifications will typically come early on in the summer, around late May or early June. Final grades will have bearing on the decision to accept a student into the program. Further information will be sent out concerning meeting times and sign-ups for the appropriate classes.

Please note that students must also receive satisfactory grades in Introduction to Experimentation. If a student has not taken this course before his or her completion of General Chemistry II, his or her acceptance into the program is considered preliminary. Once finished, the student will receive final confirmation so long as the grade in the laboratory course is satisfactory. All decisions will be made at the discretion of the coordinator, and on a case-by-case basis. Consultation with instructors or lab TAs may aid in the decision-making process.

Unfortunately, students in the School of Pharmacy are not permitted to complete certificate programs, and thus are not eligible for the CCE program. However, they may still become teaching interns – in fact, many TIs are Pharmacy students!


Course Requirements
The certificate program requires a mixture of pedagogical training and actual instruction. The timeline of these courses should be arranged with the coordinator. The table below outlines the requirements:

Chemistry Education Certificate Program – Course Requirements
Course Title
Introduction to Chemistry Education [Pedagogy Course]
Internship in Chemistry – General Chemistry OR Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Teaching Chemistry Lab


Course Descriptions
Introduction to Chemistry Education – 3 credits
This course is designed to serve as an introduction to pedagogy in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, with emphasis on chemistry education research. The course has two main components:

  • Lecture – class will meet once per week for 80 minutes.
  • Learning Session – as a teaching intern in training, each student will hold a 1-hour learning session per week in the form of an office hour or workshop.

This course is offered every fall on Fridays at 1:40 PM (Busch Campus). Topics covered include the various theories of learning, cognition, and collaborative learning. Additionally, students will have multiple opportunities to explore some of the current research in chemistry education. The main goal of this course is to prepare students for the instructional aspects of the CCE program. This includes learning to facilitate discussions, recognize student understanding and alternate conceptions, and determining the best course of action and types of assessment when working with a student.
This course may be taken for Honors credit, for students in the SAS Honors Program. While the meeting times and duties are identical, Honors students will have an additional component to complete, which includes a short proposal and presentation. See the Honors Track section below for more details.

Internship in Chemistry – 1-2 credits
This course is offered each semester for both General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry:

  • Internship in Teaching Chemistry: 01:160:493 [Fall]
  • Internship in Teaching Chemistry: 01:160:494 [Spring]

Students may take 1 or 2 credits per semester; however, it is highly recommended that first-time TIs take only 1 credit in their first semester. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, particularly for non-traditional students and students entering the CCE program as upperclassmen.

The general chemistry and organic chemistry internships operate slightly differently from one another, depending on the coordinator’s needs. Typically, TIs are in charge of holding review sessions, office hours, and workshops. They may also take part in helping to create practice exams and other useful educational tools for students. All of these jobs constitute a learning session. Experienced TIs who have demonstrated outstanding dedication and responsibility may be offered the opportunity to take on a leadership type of role, such as a Head TI, and work closely with the coordinator on other aspects of the program.

Introduction to Teaching Chemistry Lab – 3 credits
This course prepares and supports students who are lab instructors for the general chemistry laboratory class, Introduction to Experimentation Lab (01:160:171). Lab instructors will be fully in charge of one section of the lab. This includes ensuring student safety in the lab, monitoring lab protocol, answering questions and being prompt with email responses, grading, and teaching students the proper lab procedure for each experiment.

Instructors must attend a weekly training session, in which they will perform the lab for the week, while discovering and discussing potential student difficulties and methods for overcoming them under the supervision of a Head TA. Likewise, they will head one section of a lab each week. When their section is determined, instructors become entirely responsible for that section.

Please note that a formal requirement for becoming a lab instructor is taking Organic Chemistry Lab (either 309, 310, or 311). However, other work in a lab for research, or other upper-level wet-labs will usually be acceptable as well.


Teaching Portfolio
Teaching portfolios will be created and revised throughout the entirety of the program. Each semester of coursework, participants in the program should submit new material to the portfolio. Progress will be monitored and discussed individually with the CCE coordinator. Comments on each submission will be made, and students will be expected to revise their work on a consistent basis. At the end of the program, students will have this portfolio to show as proof of their professional development and growth as a learner.

The teaching portfolio will consist of five main components. Please note that rubrics and instructions for each can be found on the CCE Sakai site.

  1. Goals – A list of goals that the student hopes to achieve through the CCE program, along with a brief description of the purpose of each goal. Goals may include professional, academic, and personal goals. This component will be submitted during the pedagogy course and may be revised later.
  2. A Teaching Philosophy – A brief summary about the student’s intentions of this program. Typically 1-2 pages (single-spaced), a statement of teaching philosophy will concisely, but thoroughly describe the student’s motivation behind teaching, preferred methods of teaching or what he or she believes about teaching and learning, and methods of self-evaluation. This will also be submitted during the Pedagogy Class, with potential revisions to come later on.
  3. Coursework and Goal Achievement – A list of the coursework/experiences from the CCE program and how it helped to meet or shape the student’s goals. For each course, students should list the most important ideas they learned or experiences they had, and how it pertains to the goals they wrote for themselves at the beginning of the program. A submission should be made each semester that the student takes a course for the program.
  4. Relevant Artifacts – A collection of relevant pieces of their own work from the various experiences during the entirety of the CCE program. This may include workshop activities, papers or assignments from the pedagogy course, reflections from the internship, etc. Accompanying each artifact should be a description of what it is and how it serves as evidence of growth or achievement. Submissions should be made each semester of CCE-related coursework.
  5. Final Reflection – A statement of reflection to discuss anything not already mentioned in their portfolio. Students should write a personal piece, approximately 2-3 pages (single-spaced), in which they honestly and openly reflect on their entire experience. Students should discuss what they have learned about themselves and others, and how the program may have impacted them.

More details about each component will be found on the CCE Sakai page once students are admitted to the program. All components will be submitted and receive feedback through the Sakai page.


Honors Track
Honors College students may be eligible for honors credit or capstone completion through the CCE Honors Track. Honors College students must seek prior approval from the Honors College advising staff before committing to the CCE Honors Capstone option.

Within the SAS Honors Program, there are two options:

  • Students receive Honors credit for the course Introduction to Chemistry Education (Chem 387)
  • The Honors capstone requirement may be fulfilled with the portfolio and a brief literature review on a topic of choice, to be completed by the end of the certificate program.

SAS Honors students may choose one, both, or neither of these options. However, the decision to take the Introduction to Chemistry Education course for honors credit must be made prior to the start of the class. Decisions cannot be made retroactively.

**All honors students are required to seek approval from an advisor before committing to the CCE Honors capstone option**

Introduction to Chemistry Education (Chem 387)
Honors students are required to take four 3- or 4-credit courses that are designated as Honors courses:


As such, Honors students taking this course are encouraged to sign up for the Honors section of this course in order for it to fulfill one of their electives. Both Honors and non-Honors students will meet at the same time and place, working together to complete similar coursework. However, Honors students will have two additional components to complete in order to receive proper credit for the class.

These two components are interrelated and involve some independent research of current events in chemistry education. Students should pick a topic that they are interested in studying prior to Thanksgiving Break, and submit it to the instructor for approval. Two students cannot study the same topic, so it is best to have back-up plans. Students may choose any topic that was discussed in class, or a different topic that they may have come across with the instructor’s permission.

Draft of Literature Review Proposal
They will prepare a short draft of a literature review, due at the conclusion of the Pedagogy course. The draft should be approximately 4-6 pages, and should reference multiple papers by different authors.

Presentation of Preliminary Work
At the conclusion of the course, Honors students will present their findings to their classmates in any manner that they choose. The topic will be the same as that of the literature review proposal. The presentation should last between 10-15 minutes, and will touch upon the points and ideas of the literature review draft. A short Q&A session will follow, in which presenters will pose some of their own questions to the audience and answer any other questions that may arise. Each audience member will fill out an anonymous evaluation that presenters may keep for their own records.

Honors Capstone Project
All students in the SAS Honors Program must complete a capstone project in their senior year:


Option E allows students to partake in a certificate program and mandates the creation of an analytical paper in order to satisfy this capstone requirement. All students, regardless of whether or not they are on the Honors Track, must submit a portfolio prior to the completion of the certificate program. This portfolio may be submitted as the main portion of the analytical paper.