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Teaching and Learning Certificate Program: Not Just for (Traditional) Educators!

I began working at the Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) as an administrative assistant and a graduate student in counseling in August of 2017. I was immediately in awe of the array of professional development opportunities TLA provides to foster growth, education and exploration. After speaking with Erin Sella, the Associate Director of Teaching Support, I became aware of the Teaching and Learning Certificate Program (TLCP). At first I thought this program solely served faculty and was not something that would benefit my role as a staff member and a counseling student, but I quickly realized how transferable this program is to countless professions.

For those of you who are not familiar with the TLCP program, let me start by saying it is incredible. The TLCP program builds on Teaching Commons workshops, which explore a variety of topics presented by various faculty members around the DePaul community. It provides a community of learners and educators who come together to explore several avenues of education. I began this certificate program last fall and my eyes have been opened in more ways than one. This program forces me to think about how and why I do what I do. It provides an ongoing dialogue with other colleagues and a space to speak about current topics and trends in education, as they are constantly changing. 

I am not a traditional teacher, nor do I have my Ph.D., but I do hold a role as a counselor in training.  I educate young adults on emotional and behavioral management in a one-on-one clinical setting where I use the teaching skills I have gained through the TLCP program to explain concepts. The TLCP program allowed me to identify my core beliefs and desired outcomes with my clients, reflect on my beliefs about counseling and revise my counseling philosophy statement. I was able to set up a digital portfolio where I host my skills, experiences and tools with my clients. Taking the time to write out what I do, why I do it, and how I do it has allowed me to identify my strengths, but more importantly, my weaknesses. This program sheds light on the counseling profession in countless ways and I am eager to see what the remainder of the workshops teach me.

In sum, what I have learned is that the Teaching, Learning and Certificate Program is beneficial for many backgrounds and professions as it provides a space for learning and conversation. I have successfully created activities and worksheets from the 3 workshops I have attended thus far and they have worked wonders with my clients.  If you are interested in taking a deeper look at your education style (however you define it), I highly suggest enrolling in this program. If you want to know more ways I have used this program in my line of work I would be happy to meet and chat. Feel free to email me at mkanaley@depaul.edu

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