Virginia Tech® home

Principles of Effective Teaching (PET) Certificate Program

The Principles of Effective Teaching Certificate represents an opportunity for faculty to engage in and develop substantive knowledge and skills.

The program provides a learning community and support structure within which faculty can become better teachers.

Program Goals

The Principles of Effective Teaching Certificate program is designed to provide Virginia Tech faculty members with the opportunity to develop their pedagogical knowledge and skills. Faculty will purposefully and proactively:

  • design effective learner-centered instruction that emphasizes core curricular ideas and focuses on student learning. (Planning)
  • apply fundamental learning principles toward the creation of learner-centered instructional environments. (Learning)
  • integrate assessment into instruction, viewing assessment as both a component of student learning and a component of what students have learned. (Assessment)
  • respect the institutional and cultural contexts within which college teaching occurs. (Context)
  • implement instruction that is focused on and fosters student learning. (Teaching)

Participation Benefits

Participants in the Principles of Effective Teaching Certificate program can expect several benefits, including:

  • Development of integrated knowledge related to teaching, learning, motivation, assessment, instructional strategies, instructional technologies, instructional design, and classroom management.
  • Development of teaching skills, including using instructional strategies (e.g., discussion, group work, lecturing, problem-based learning, case-based learning, writing), teaching large and small classes, and applying classroom management.
  • Development of instructional design skills, including conducting a needs assessment, and engaging in course design, lesson design, and assignment design.
  • Development of assessment strategies, including formative and summative assessments, and authentic and traditional assessments.
  • Development of skills in reaching all students, including universal design and inclusive pedagogy.
  • Development of confidence in creating and implementing effective instruction.

In addition, participants will receive a certificate of successful completion, indicating their growth in knowledge and skills related to learner-centered pedagogy.


Participants in the Principles of Effective Teaching Certificate program must meet each of the following requirements:

  • Participants may be from any department, unit, or college at Virginia Tech.
  • Participants must be teaching during program participation.
  • Participants must attend 5 of the 6 program sessions.
  • Participants must engage in required class peer and formative observations.
  • Participants must be interested in refining their teaching, reflecting on teaching and learning processes, and actively supporting other teachers at Virginia Tech.


Schedule information for Fall 2024 will be available soon.

Applying for the Program

Application information for Fall 2024 will be available soon.

Applicants for the Principles of Effective Teaching Certificate program must complete the online application process, which includes the following:

  • Applicant's name, department, phone, email
  • A description of your teaching experience and personal goals.
  • Brief description of your teaching experience (e.g., courses taught) and teacher training experience (e.g., workshops, courses, Preparing Future Faculty participation).
  • Brief explanation of your personal goals for participating in the program.


Please email