Humboldt State University

The Program

Pursuing a teaching career at a community college or university? The Certificate in Faculty Preparation: Teaching in Higher Education program was developed to meet the needs of current faculty and aspiring faculty who are interested in enhancing careers and/or pursuing teaching in community colleges and universities. Enhance your marketability by completing this certificate from HSU to demonstrate your pedagogical knowledge and readiness to work in the college environment. This online program offers an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of teaching in higher education and specifically addresses teaching, learning and technology issues in the college classroom.

This is a two-semester, 12-unit online certificate program.

Apply now!
Application deadline extended to July 31 for fall 2016.

“This has been one of the best professional growth opportunities I have experienced. The rigor of this program has challenged me and helped me improve my pedagogical practice. I feel much more prepared and credible standing in front of an adult audience of students having completed this program. My favorite part was being part of a professional learning community.”

          – Shannon Hess, 2014 Certificate in Faculty Preparation program graduate

The Courses & Fees

Courses must be taken sequentially. The fees for the certificate program are $220 per unit. A 3-unit class will therefore cost $660. All fees are subject to revision. Fees are due and payable upon registration for each course. No registrations will be processed without valid payment information.

Click on each course title for its description.

EDUC X507   Aug. 22-Sept. 30, 2016 (6 weeks)
Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education (3 units)

This course outlines and discusses the practice of university teaching based on educational philosophy and theory. Topics included in this course relate to successful teaching specific to higher education such as the context and culture of higher education, faculty roles and responsibilities, teaching styles, instructional models, and the use of technology based on a strong theoretical foundation linking educational theory to practice.

Instructor: Kathy Munoz, Ed.D., R.D.

EDUC X508   Oct. 10-Dec. 9, 2016 (8 weeks)
Student Centered Design (3 units)

This course provides an exploration of student centered instructional design and supports participants in their development of structure and strategies necessary to ensure significant learning outcomes for all students. (No class the week of Thanksgiving)

Instructor: Jayne McGuire

EDUC X509    Jan. 23-March 17, 2017 (8 weeks)
Instructional Planning and Pedagogical Practice (3 units)

This is a highly interactive asynchronous course designed to prepare students with concepts, principles, and skills employed to create significant learning experiences.  The primary focus of the course is on understanding and applying a learning-centered approach to college teaching.

Instructor: Kerry Mayer, M.A.

EDUC X580    March 27-May 19, 2017 (8 weeks)
Teaching Practicum & Reflective Observation (3 units)

This course is designed to serve as a culminating experience in which you apply the teaching and learning strategies examined in the previous three courses through reflective observation and practice in the higher education classroom. Participants will observe classroom instruction by a qualified instructor and provide written analysis. Participants will also plan and teach a lesson in their discipline with a live audience to gain the practical experience necessary to effectively reflect, evaluate and improve upon their teaching style and methods.

Instructor: Jill Alcorn

Contact Information

For more information about this program, or if you are having any trouble submitting the PDF application, contact Sheila Rocker Heppe at the College of eLearning and Extended Education: 707-826-3743 or

The Program Staff

Sheila Rocker Heppe, Director of Extended Education and OLLI Programs: 707-826-3743 or

Carl Hansen, Dean of the College of eLearning and Extended Education:

The Faculty

Kathy Munoz, Ed.D., R.D.:
      |     Website

Dr. Kathy D. Munoz is a professor of nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Administration, and a registered dietitian through the American Dietetic Association. Over the past 30 years, Kathy has taught nutrition and health courses at Humboldt State University both using the traditional face-to-face delivery method and most recently, online asynchronous courses to meet the needs of students both on and off campus. Using online technology, Dr. Munoz has developed four courses offered for students to earn a Certificate in Exercise Nutrition. In addition, Kathy has developed and is teaching the first in a series of online courses that lead to a Certificate in Faculty Preparation aimed at preparing graduate students to teach in higher education, and to increase skills for professionals already in the teaching profession. Dr. Munoz recently entered the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) in the summer of 2010 and will continue to teach part-time as a faculty emeritus.

Jayne McGuire, PhD:       |    Website

Jayne McGuire is an associate professor at Humboldt State University and teaches courses in the Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Administration and in the School of Education. Jayne’s passion lies with building upon individuals’ strengths and connecting people with positive learning experiences. Her interest in instructional design is grounded in student centered inclusive classroom practices. She has had the opportunity to this passion throughout her career as a recreational therapist, director of a small non-profit organization, public high school teacher, and currently as a college professor. Jayne has been actively involved with Faculty Development, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the College of eLearning and Extended Education, and the Student Disability Resource Center at Humboldt State University for the past seven years. She has published in the areas of creation of universal design for learning, active learning strategies, and inclusive classrooms.

Jill Alcorn: 

Jill Alcorn has worked in higher education since 2001. As a tenured assistant professor at Green River Community College and as an adjunct instructor at numerous community colleges in California, she has developed and taught traditional, cross disciplinary, online, and hybrid courses in the field of communication studies. Additionally, she served as program coordinator for Extended Education at HSU and as assistant director of management and leadership programs at University of Nevada, Reno's Extended Studies department. Currently, she manages the Community Education program at Sierra College, where she works with educators and professionals to offer not-for-credit professional development and enrichment courses. Jill has a master's degree in communication from CSU Northridge and a B.A. in communication arts from Loyola Marymount. Keeping to the motto that learning should be lifelong, she's completed certificates in faculty preparation, advanced management and online teaching. She is thrilled to be facilitating the final course of the Faculty Preparation program at HSU because she gets to see the culminating impact of the program as students put knowledge and skill into practice in the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I earn a Certificate in Faculty Preparation for Higher Education?

Landing a job teaching at a community college or university is highly competitive in today’s budget conscious environment. This program will help you develop the pedagogical knowledge and instructional skills you need to stand out to prospective employers or move up the pay scale with current employers.

Participants will leave the program with:

  • A deeper understanding of the unique challenges and roles required to be successful in the higher education environment

  • Teaching strategies and techniques for developing a student -center model for learning, tailored to your area of expertise

  • Hands on experience connecting educational theory with classroom practice through the mentor- apprentice teaching model

  • Opportunity to grow their professional network through interaction with HSU instructors, mentors on college campuses and fellow students in program

Who should take this program?

Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree who is interested in a career in higher education might benefit from this program. In particular, this program is ideal for:

  • Community college instructors looking to enhance their knowledge of higher education practices, looking for a competitive edge while seeking full-time employment or simply a way to obtain credits to move up the pay scale in their current position

  • Graduate students completing their master’s degree and preparing to move into the education workforce

  • K-12 teachers interested in learning more about teaching at the college level

How much of a time commitment should I prepare for to be successful in the courses?

The Faculty Preparation program instructors are sensitive to the fact that most participants must balance full-time work or graduate school, families and other responsibilities. Depending on your teaching experience, the courses will take about 10 hours of time each week. Most instructors use a consistent pattern of requirements and assignments each week to offer flexibility while maintaining active participation. For example, a typical week might look like this: The week begins on a Sunday with assigned reading for the first few days followed by student interaction through a discussion forum (online) midweek and, finally, weekly assignments due by the next Sunday evening.

Will I need to purchase any textbooks for these classes?

Currently, only one of these classes requires a textbook. That is EDUC X509, Instructional Planning and Pedagogical Practice, the third course in the series.

Application Information


Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Because this program is designed to meet the needs of those currently teaching or those interested in teaching in higher education, it is desirable to have -- or to be in pursuit of -- a masters or higher degree.


Application deadline is JULY 31, 2016

Download the application form (PDF), complete it on your computer, then save the PDF to your computer before you send it.

Please do not use Macintosh Preview or a browser to complete your PDF application. It is best to use Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded free at the Adobe website for all platforms.

To submit the completed application: Click on "Submit Form" at the bottom of the application PDF. Acrobat Reader will prompt you from there. If you are using an Internet mail service, such as gmail or Yahoo!, you will need to manually attach your completed PDF form and

Or you may print out the PDF, fill it out, and fax the form to 707-826-5885.

If you are having any trouble submitting the PDF application, contact Sheila Rocker Heppe at the College of eLearning and Extended Education: 707-826-3743 or