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Academic Professional Program FAQs

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  • Will activities I do as a graduate student or postdoc like writing a manuscript or TA'ing for a course count to this program?

Yes, by design, elements of the program will be completed as part of your time as a student or postdoc – while you are working as an academic, you are building useful skills that can translate to any career. This program integrates as much as possible with your experiences, and also pushes you to go just a little further – do more education or training in pedagogy for your TA-ship, or build your professional portfolio with pieces like a teaching statement or a thoughtful professional website.

  • Can past activities be used for credit in the program?

Yes. All activities performed while at Stanford as a graduate student or postdoc can count towards the certificate program. Just document the title of the program, sponsoring organization, date performed, and hours accounted in your program form.  

  • Do I have to do all the educational, experience, and portfolio pieces listed in the suggested framework for each pillar?

No. Those are simply suggestions for activities you could perform to get credit for completing each pillar. Graduate students do need to perform a minimum of 10 hours of education, 25 hours of experience, and complete a piece for your portfolio (total time ~200 hours). And postdocs must perform a minimum of 5 hours of education, 10 hours of experience, and complete a piece for your portfolio (total time ~100 hours). But what specific activities you choose to do are up to you and your professional skillset needs. 

  • How do I know what activities get credit in the program?

Activities that are listed in the suggested program framework can be completed without prior approval. Credit for education or experience activities not listed in the suggested framework that exceed 5 hours per activity requires approval from the Educational Affairs Program Director. Please reach out to audyau@stanford.edu to see if your activity can be approved for credit.

  • Can one activity be used for credit in multiple pillars?

Cross-cutting activities may be applied for credit in multiple, appropriate professional competency areas. For example, creating a professional website could satisfy the portfolio piece for multiple pillars if your education and experiences are showcased from multiple pillars. 

  • The activity I’d like credit for has an education and experience component. How should I notate this credit?

Most of your experience activities, for example participation in an URGE pod for the DEI pillar, will have an educational component to what you are doing. That’s to be expected. Use your best judgment for allocating your time spent in each area. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Educational Affairs Program Director. 

  • I’ve completed the education and experience portions of my pillar, but I would like some guidance on the portfolio piece I’d like to complete. Who can I talk to?

As you’re working through the program, if you have any questions or need guidance, please reach out to the Educational Affairs Program Director at any time.

  • Who will be evaluating our final portfolio pieces for each pillar?

Evaluation of the final pieces for each pillar will be done by the Educational Affairs Program Director and appropriate affiliated program partners. For example, a teaching statement would also be evaluated by a partner at CTL, and a DEI statement would be evaluated by staff in our DEI office. We will provide constructive feedback to help you strengthen your portfolio. 

  • I’ve completed the program requirements, and I’m now writing my 1-2 page reflection statement. What should I include here? 

The reflection statement should describe how your professional toolkit has broadened across the 5 professional pillars and how your professional preparedness has evolved. Write specifically on how the pillars have intersected for you, and in what ways this program may have or have not helped prepare you for your next career steps. 

  • Can I get credit for completing 3 out of the 5 pillars?

The objective of this program is to expand the breadth of your professional toolkit. We believe that you will need skills from all 5 of the professional pillars (teaching & mentoring, writing & public speaking, career education, leadership & collaboration, and diversity, equity, & inclusion) in addition to your discipline-specific expertise to be the most prepared and competitive for your next career. For this reason, completion of the program requires learning, experience, and reflection in all 5 pillars.

  • How should I note completion of this program on my CV?

Academic Professional Certificate (date of completion)

Completed the Academic Professional Program with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Certificate program recognizing x hours dedication in developing professional competency in teaching & mentoring, writing & public speaking, career education, leadership & collaboration, and diversity, equity, & inclusion.