Foundations of College Teaching Track

This track is ideal for new faculty who have never received formal instructional education. However, this track could also be useful for mid-career or tenure instructors who want to reshape their established instructional style. 

Why participate in the Foundations track?

Participating in ETE10 on the Foundations of College Teaching track will fulfill the following objectives: 

What are instructors saying about the Foundations of College Teaching track? 

As a new assistant professor, I signed up for the Foundations of College Teaching track to learn different skills and approaches to teaching at the college-level in a variety of class formats. I wanted to focus on learning a wide variety of approaches to teaching and the opportunity to think critically about the way I am building my courses.

Anastasia Thayer Hassett

The Foundations of College Teaching track has been super helpful to my development as a collegiate educator. My training was subject-oriented and didn’t include courses on pedagogy. Additionally, part of my assigned teaching load is outside my specific area of expertise. Participating in the ETE10 program, and specifically focusing on the foundations of college teaching, has helped me learn about best practices for classroom teaching and refine my teaching practice, allowing for better student engagement and learning outcomes in the classes I teach.

Lauren Hunt


Required badges for FOCT track

Ready to get started?


Step up a "Plan Teaching Excellence Pathway" meeting with ETE

In your Plan Your Pathway (PYP) meeting, an ETE staff member will introduce you to the Empower Teaching Canvas course, where you earn your digital badges. They will discuss your specific personal and professional goals with you and suggest the best strategy for completing the Teaching Scholar Certificate in a timely manner. To set up your PYP, please send an email to indicating that you want to have a PYP.

Enroll in Empower Teaching Canvas Course

Empower Teaching is the Canvas course where you submit to earn badges necessary for the Teaching Scholar Certificate. To access Empower Teaching, you need to join the course by clicking here.

Participate in the required badges

There are five required badges for the Foundations of College Teaching Track:
  1. Plan Teaching Excellence Pathway (Engage)
    Description: In the Plan Your Pathway (PYP) meeting, you meet one-on-one with an ETE staff member to answer your questions about ETE and the Teaching Scholar Certificate. During this meeting, you'll learn about ETE and the Digital Age Teaching track and discuss how ETE can best help you accomplish your personal and professional goals related to college teaching. 
    Time to complete: 1 hour
    When to register: You can set up a PYP meeting at any time, by emailing 
  2. ETE Conference - 1st (Engage)
    Description: Every year, ETE holds a conference where you can learn more about current scholarship and trends in teaching and learning. The ETE conference also provides a great opportunity for networking with other instructors. 
    Time to complete: 1 day 
    When to register: Registration usually opens in July for the conference, which is held every August. Check out the ETE Conference website for the most up-to-date information on when and how to register. 
  3. ETE Learning Circle - Foundations of College Teaching (Engage)
    Description: Every semester, ETE runs a number of learning circles, where 8-12 instructors get together to discuss a book related to pedagogy or college teaching.  Some learning circles are specifically designed for Foundation of College Teaching track participants. You can expect to meet with your learning circle 4-5 times during the semester. 
    Time to complete: 1 semester (4-5 meetings)
    When to register: Registration usually opens 2-3 weeks before the start of each semester and the summer. Check out the learning cirlce website to find out what circles are coming up and to sign up. 
  4. eLearnX - (engage)
    Description: Every year the Empower Teaching and Center for Instructional Design and Innovation (CIDI) sponsors a three-day event. This event is an interactive deep dive into the teaching tools and methodologies of online, broadcast, blended, and flipped instruction.
    Time to complete: 3 days
    When to register: Registration usually opens in late March-early April for the May event. Check out the eLearnX website to find out more. 
  5. Teaching Statement- Implement
    Description: A Teaching Statement is a short analytical essay of your personal beliefs and values when it comes to education. This is normally a mixture of practical experience and evidence-based scholarly work. As an individual continues to teach, their teaching philosophy continues to change and expand.
    Time to complete: Depends
    When to register: You can turn in this assignment at any time throughout the year. For more information on teaching statements, click here.
To earn the Teaching Scholar Certificate, you must earn six engage-level badges, three implement-level badges, and one contribute-level badge. There are over 180 digital badges currently available through ETE. During your PYP meeting, you can talk about which additional badge might best fit your personal and professional goals. Feel free to email for guidance or advice about which badge might work best for you.

Submit badge assignment to Empower Teaching

After you have engaged in the content of a badge (for example, once you have attended the ETE conference), you should submit the badge assignment in Empower Teaching. To submit a badge, navigate to the "Submit a Badge" page in Empower Teaching and click on "Start Assignment" at the top right of the screen. To earn the badge, you will have to fulfill all the "Criteria" outlined for that badge. Reflection prompts for the Foundations of College Teaching track can be found in each badge.

Track your progress in Pathways

After you submit a badge to Empower Teaching, an ETE staff member will read through your reflection and either award you the badge or ask for additional information. If additional information is needed, the ETE staff member will indicate what information to add in a submission comment and ask you to re-submit the assignment. Once you have been awarded the badge, you can track which badges you've earned and which badges you still need using the "Badges" tab in the Empower Teaching course.

Still have questions? 

Email us at