Document Type



Doctor of Education



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Virginia L. Navarro, Ph.D.


Sally Barr Ebest


Alina Slapac

Susan Catapano


This action research dissertation examines the development over nine semesters of a 15-hour certificate in higher education teaching that is geared toward developing Teaching Assistants (TAs) across disciplines. The dissertation builds on the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) models. This research is informed by both social constructivist theory and social cognitive theory, and consists of personal narratives from my multiple roles within the Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program as well as voices of CUT participants from interviews and reflective journals. Data sources also include teaching and program observations, curriculum documents, and teaching syllabi. I locate myself as both insider and outsider to the CUT initiative since I did not design the program but did function as observer, instructor, and leader. Findings will address program assessment data, situated individual growth of participants, and reflections on challenges and frustrations. This study concludes with recommendations for improving Teaching Assistant training programs to prepare TAs for higher education teaching roles. This study also offers a Learning Continuum Taxonomy that serves as a reference for identifying and understanding how Teaching Assistants experience the learning process.

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