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Teaching Capstone in Higher Education

Category 5 - Self-Directed Study (50 points)

The final component of the capstone program is self-directed study related to teaching in higher education. To fulfill Category 5 you need to accumulate 50 points from the schedule of activities provided below.

Point values are as follows.

Activity Point Value
A. Attending a colloquium, seminar, symposium or lecture on higher education 2
B. Observing the teaching of a faculty member (see Category 4; limit three) 2
C. Reading an article from Self-Directed Study Bibliography 2
D. Attending a conference on teaching and higher education or a conference session on teaching and higher education at a professional or academic conference 5
E. Serving as peer reviewer for Teaching Capstone in Higher Education (limit two each: syllabus and teaching philosophy) To view peer reviewers, click here. 3
F. Presenting at a teaching colloquium, seminar, symposium, etc. 6
G. Reading a book from Self-Directed Study Bibliography 4
H. Receiving additional teaching observation and feedback (see Category 4; limit three) 4
I. Participating in Seminars for Excellence in Teaching (SET) offered by Academy for Teaching and Learning 3
J. Writing a synthesis and reflection on student evaluations 5
K. Presenting on teaching in higher education at a conference 6
L. Publication of article or chapter about teaching in higher education 7
M. Recipient of a departmental or external teaching award 7
N. Recipient of a college, school, or university teaching award 9
O. Recipient of a grant pertaining to scholarly work on teaching and higher education 10
P. Serving as a Graduate Fellow for the Academy for Teaching and Learning 15
Detailed Requirements

The various types of activities require differing standards for documentation when submitted to the Graduate School in your program completion packet. Furthermore, some activities in Category 5 require pre-approval to qualify for points. If you are interested in an event that requires pre-approval you must contact the Graduate School (Alanna Martinez) before the event. The Graduate School will review the available information for the event and make a determination. You will be notified via email if the event is approved and the event will be added to this page in the Teaching Capstone in Higher Education web guide. Thus, all participants in the capstone program are enlisted to identify events and books for the benefit of all.

Additional instructions for each activity are included below. Most of the instructions for documenting your self-study activities are common sense. In almost all situations, you can use your best judgment and common sense to make a final submission packet that is clear and easy to validate once it is submitted to the Graduate School.

A. Attending a colloquium, seminar, symposium or lecture on higher education
  • Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form

Periodically, approved events will be added to a list to keep this webpage easy to use. The Graduate School will maintain the list on a rolling basis for no less than one year (the maximum duration of a participant's path through the capstone program) for validating Submission Checklists.

B. Observing the teaching of a faculty member (see Category 4)
  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • Limit: 3

You may repeat the Category 4 observation of a faculty member up to three additional times for self-directed study points. Instructions are the same as for the initial observation in Category 4.

C. Reading an article from Self-Directed Study Bibliography
  • Pre-Approval Required for any article not on Self-Directed Study Bibliography
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • No Limit

Pre-approved texts may be found on the Self-Directed Study Bibliography. Suggestions for texts are welcome. Complete the Activity Tracking Form clearly indicating that it is being used to record a text from the Self-Directed Study Bibliography.

D. Attending a conference on teaching and higher education or a conference session on teaching and higher education at a professional or academic conference
  • Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • No Limit

Periodically, approved events will be added to a list to keep this webpage easy to use. The Graduate School will maintain the list on a rolling basis for no less than one year (the maximum duration of a participant's path through the capstone program) for validating Submission Checklists.

E. Serving as peer reviewer for the Teaching Capstone in Higher Education

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form; any report or written feedback you provide to your colleague
  • Limit: 2 Syllabi and 2 Statements of Teaching Philosophy

Serving as a peer reviewer for statements of teaching philosophy and course syllabi can be a learning experience for the reviewer, too. Complete an Activity Tracking Form clearly noting that it is being used to record your service as a reviewer. Provide the name of the participant for whom you acted as reviewer and include any written product from your review. If you would like to be included in the list (available here) of TeaCHE participants who are willing to serve as reviewers for the teaching philosophy and syllabi, please send your name and department to Alanna Martinez.

F. Presenting at a colloquium, seminar, symposium

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form; Program page or other document describing topic and content of presentation.
  • No Limit

While no pre-approval is required for this item, the primary topic of your presentation must be teaching and higher education and the venue should be scholarly and professional. If you have doubts regarding a presentation, consult the Graduate School to receive pre-approval via email. To reward contributions to a culture of excellence in teaching, points for this activity can be claimed for multiple events, even if the content remains the same.

G. Reading a book from Self-Directed Study Bibliography

  • Pre-Approval Required for any book not on Self-Directed Study Bibliography
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • No Limit

Pre-approved texts may be found on the Self-Directed Study Bibliography. Suggestions for texts are welcome. Complete the Activity Tracking Form clearly indicating that it is being used to record a text from the Self-Directed Study Bibliography.

H. Receiving additional teaching observation and feedback (see Category 4)

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • Limit: 3

You may receive additional observation of your teaching as outlined in Category 4. Up to three additional observations may be used for self-directed study points. Instructions are the same as for the initial observation in Category 4.

I. Participating in Seminars for Excellence in Teaching (SET) offered by Academy for Teaching and Learning

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form
  • No Limit

J. Writing an analysis and reflection on student evaluations

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: No additional forms needed
  • Limit: 3, but only once per semester (Fall, Spring, Summer)

Write a 2 to 5 page analysis and reflection on student evaluations you have received from a full semester of teaching. This option is oriented toward Baylor graduate student Teachers of Record, but you may use student evaluations from teaching in other higher education settings (i.e., adjunct teaching at another college or university). If you teach more than one section, you may elect to include a comparison and contrast of classroom dynamics between multiple sections or limit your analysis and reflection to a single section. No separate cover page is required, but be sure that the title/heading clearly identifies this Category 5 activity and the semester of teaching.

K. Presenting on teaching in higher education at a conference

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form; program page or other document describing topic and content of presentation.
  • No Limit

This activity is virtually the same as presenting in a colloquium, seminar or symposium (above). The difference is that presenting at a professional or scholarly conference entails a higher level of vetting to be accepted in that venue. While no pre-approval is required for this item, the primary topic of your presentation must be teaching and higher education. If you have doubts regarding a presentation, consult the Graduate School to receive pre-approval via email. To reward contributions to a culture of excellence in teaching, points for this activity can be claimed for multiple events, even if the content remains the same.

L. Publication of article or chapter about teaching in higher education

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Activity Tracking Form as cover page; Copy of chapter or article
  • No Limit

Although the publication venue does not have to be peer-reviewed, the publication should be in print media. Electronic media will only qualify if the online publication is officially affiliated with a scholarly print publication or an otherwise highly reputable scholarly enterprise. For example, online publication in The Chronicle for Higher Education or a reputable publisher's fee-based electronic resource such as that to which a library would subscribe qualifies for these Category 5 points. Blog posts, private publishing, forums and similar venues do not qualify.

M. Recipient of a departmental or external teaching award

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Copy of award, press release, or other official documentation of award
  • No Limit

The rationale for this item is to reward existing excellence in teaching. For this item, the scope anticipated is an award for teaching conferred by an educational unit under whose authority you have worked as a teacher in a higher education setting or an external entity. This will most often take the form of an honor conferred by a department or program within Baylor University or within another academic institution of higher education.

N. Recipient of a college or university teaching award

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Copy of award, press release, or other official documentation of award
  • No Limit

Like the corresponding item for departmental teaching awards, the rationale for this item is to reward existing excellence in teaching. For this item, the scope anticipated is an award for teaching conferred at a wider scale. One such award available at Baylor University is the Graduate School's Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher award. Any award for teaching excellence conferred by a college (i.e, College of Arts & Sciences; McLennan Community College), school (i.e., Graduate School, School of Education, School of Social Work, School of Business), or university qualifies for this item.

O. Recipient of a grant pertaining to scholarly work on teaching and higher education

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: Copy of grant award, press release, or other official documentation of award
  • No Limit

The rational for this item is to reward ongoing scholarly work in the field of teaching and higher education. The scope anticipated here is a grant (monetary, resources, etc.) for future scholarly work whose primary focus is teaching and higher education.

P. Serving as a Graduate Fellow for the Academy for Teaching and Learning

  • No Pre-Approval Required
  • Documentation Requirement: A concise confirmation letter from the director of the ATL
  • Limit: 1

The rationale for this item is to reward extended professional engagement furthering excellence in teaching and higher education. The Academy for Teaching and learning hires a limited number of Graduate Fellows to carry out its mission at Baylor University. Graduate Fellows employed by the ATL for no less than seven months qualify for this item.


"The book reviews I did gave me outstanding references to include in my teaching library. These books were filled with outstanding ideas and practical tools that I can implement in my classes to achieve the transformative learning that I believe so strongly in."

"I probably would not have processed each activity properly had the program not required me to fill out a tracking form and reflect on the activity."