Western Certificate in Academic & Professional Communication for International Graduate Students

Description

This Certificate is designed to enhance the academic and professional communication skills of international graduate students, helping them to make a successful transition to Canadian academia. International students will learn about cultural differences in patterns of communication, and acquire strategies to maintain positive interactions with supervisors, peers, and students.

Participants will receive a certificate and a letter of accomplishment after they complete the five program components.

Certificate Components

There are five components required to complete the Certificate:

1) Intercultural Communication

Communication in the Canadian Classroom (CCC) is a 12-hour course designed for international graduate students who would like to develop their English language skills for teaching. Workshop activities include discussions of cultural differences in the classroom, role plays involving giving feedback to students, and opportunities to practice expressing ideas concisely. Participants will develop their English communication skills in a supportive atmosphere among graduate students from a variety of disciplines and cultures.

2) Teaching

Choose ONE of the following:

Teaching in the Canadian Classroom (TCC)

Teaching in the Canadian Classroom is a 16-hour course designed for international graduate students who would like to explore cultural differences in the classroom and gain confidence as a teaching assistant in the Canadian academic setting. Through a cross-cultural lens, we will discuss common teaching topics, such as lesson planning, active learning, feedback, and classroom management. Participants will gain hands-on experience by practicing instructional techniques in microteaching sessions where they receive constructive feedback from peers and the instructor.

Advanced Teaching Program (ATP)

The Advanced Teaching Program is a 20-hour course designed for advanced graduate students who would like to develop practical teaching skills for current and future teaching roles. Topics include course design strategies, active learning, authentic assessment of student learning, and maintaining a culture of respect and community in the classroom. Participants gain hands-on experience by practicing instructional techniques in microteaching sessions where they receive constructive feedback from peers and an experienced team of instructors. Participants also design a workshop on teaching in their discipline.

3) Academic Communication

Complete 10 hours from the following workshops:

Language of Conference/Research Presentations

The Language of Conference/Research Presentations is a 6-hour program, where participants learn to communicate their research and its implications to diverse audiences, both in academia and in industry. Participants have an opportunity to practice common techniques, organize presentations, respond to questions from peers during Q&A sessions, and emphasize the key contributions of their research. 

Academic & Professional Communication Series

 

4) Professional Communication

Complete 18 hours from the following:

Language of Advanced Discussions

In the Language of Advanced Discussions participants will learn the language for debating, managing a class discussion, and articulating your opinion. Participants will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned by facilitating a 15-minute discussion on a topic of their choice.

Language of Difficult Conversations

The Language of Difficult Conversationsis an 8-hour program that introduces participants to the interpersonal and linguistic skills required to engage in difficult discussions. Participants will explore cultural differences in conflict resolution and practice strategies to engage in difficult conversations.

Language of Academic Job Interviews

The Language of Academic Job Interviewsis a 6-hour workshop is designed to help participants prepare for teaching and research-focused job interviews in North America. Participants will have an opportunity to practice responding to interview questions during one mock-interview and will receive feedback from peers and the instructor.

5) Written Reflection

The purpose of this Written Reflection is to reflect on your experiences in Canada through an intercultural lens. To complete this portion of the Certificate, please submit a 500 word reflection on how you have applied the skills you have gained through the completion of our workshop series. Think about how the workshops helped you in your academic interactions such as teaching, scholarly presentations, or collaboration with colleagues and peers in the university setting. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. Remember to use the DIA model (Describe, Interpret, Analyze) when discussing your experiences.

Respond to two of the following questions:

  1. How have you used your knowledge of the cultural differences in communication styles to foster and maintain positive relationships with peers, supervisors, or students?
  2. How has your communication style and approach to teaching and learning changed as a result of learning and living in a diverse environment with students from around the world?
  3. How did your knowledge of Canadian teaching culture help you develop your skills as a teacher? (Think about the following scenarios: lecture, lab, or tutorial preparation; interactions with students during office hours; grading and giving/receiving feedback to students.)
  4. What strategies have you used to develop increased confidence during public speaking and to help you communicate your research effectively at conferences?
  5. How did you use your knowledge of cross-cultural communication styles to resolve difficult situations with peers, supervisors, or students?

 

Registration

Enrolment Requirements

To receive the Western Certificate in Academic & Professional Communication for International Graduate Students, you must be an international or new resident graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program or be a postdoctoral fellow at Western University, and complete all program requirements during your program of study or fellowship.

Instructions

The CTL usually holds an information session about the certificate programs in late September that provides details on completing the components. Check the Event Calendar for exact date and time.

How to register for the certificate

  1. Log in to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Certificate in Academic & Professional Communication for International Graduate Students, and then click on Enroll in Certificate.
  4. Fill out and save the form using the button at the bottom of the page. You can come back and add information or upload documents at any time.

Completing the Certificate

Program components can be completed within one academic year, but you may choose to complete them over two, three or more years.

Accessing your attendance record

  1. Login to CareerCentral with your Western username and password.
  2. Go to Dashboard. Go to the tab at the far right labelled Event Registration. The Event Title, Event Date, Location, Date Registered and Registration Status will be listed for each event.
    NOTE: this tab will display all event registrations within CareerCentral, so be sure to check that the "Module" column indicates Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  3. For event attendance earlier before May 1, 2016, go to Dashboard and select My Messages just below the tab options. Older attendance records from our previous database will be listed here.

If you have any questions or problems accessing your attendance records, please contact ctl@uwo.ca

Adding information and documents to your certificate record

  1. Log in to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Certificate in Academic & Professional Communication for International Graduate Students, and then click on Show my Registrations.
  4. You can view or edit the form and save using the button at the bottom of the page.

Submitting your completed certificate form

When you have completed all the components of the certificate and are ready to submit, please

  1. Log in to the CareerCentral registration system.
  2. In the left side menu, select the Certificates Overview link under the Centre for Teaching and Learning section.
  3. Select Submit my Certificate for Review.
  4. A CTL staff member will review your submissions and contact you to schedule a feedback appointment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to register for the Certificate?

To be eligible to register, you must be an international or new resident graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program or be a postdoctoral fellow at Western University.

I am not an international graduate student. Can I still register for this Certificate?

Registration in this Certificate is only open to international or new resident graduate students. Please see the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning which is open to all graduate students.

Will international workshops I have taken in the past count towards the Certificate?

Yes. Any international workshops taken at the Centre for Teaching and Learning in the past will count for credit towards the Certificate as long as they meet the requirements outlined in the components.

How long will it take to complete the Certificate?

Program components can be completed within one year, but you may choose to complete the workshops over two, three or more years.

When should I sign up for the Certificate?

You may register for the Certificate any time during your graduate degree. If you have already attended CTL programs prior to registering for the Certificate, those will be credited to you and count towards the completion of the Certificate.

Do I need to complete the Certificate requirements in a certain order?

No. You may complete the programs and written project requirements in any order, whenever it is most convenient for you. However, registration for certain programs is time sensitive (e.g., Language of Difficult Conversations and Language of Advanced Discussions are typically offered once per year). It is your responsibility to be aware of such dates and to plan your Certificate progress accordingly.

Who keeps track of my progress towards the Certificate?

It is the participants' responsibility to keep track of how many workshops they have completed. Please use the form on the registration system (login required).

Can I complete both this Certificate and the Certificate in University Teaching & Learning?

Yes. You are welcome to complete both Certificates offered by the CTL. Each focuses on a distinct set of skills.