The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student has the option of completing a teaching portfolio while in the program. This gives the student the opportunity to gain both theoretical and practical teaching experience, an asset when applying for teaching positions at the post-secondary level. Students who choose this option have their third elective replaced by a pedagogical seminar led by one or more of the full-time Fine Arts faculty.
This seminar helps each student prepare a course outline, studio-based assignments and grading strategy for a six-week section of a Fine Arts course. The student then has the opportunity to teach this course in either Term 2 or 4. Workshops also assist the student in preparing a teaching philosophy, dossier and other issues related to teaching at the post-secondary level. Pedagogical theory will also be discussed in the form of readings, seminar discussions and short response papers.
In combination with the student’s practical teaching assignment, they can use their classroom work to qualify for a Certificate in University Teaching from the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE). Under this program (which is voluntary on the student’s part and considered additional to the demands of the MFA program) MFA students have supervision and feedback from qualified teacher trainers, as well as several teaching-centred workshops. Graduate students are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop their professional teaching skills, especially if they plan to teach at the post-secondary level after graduation.