The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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December 17, 2020
2020 — (What a) Year in Review (!)

What’s left to say? 2020 was unprecedented. Time and again our partners persevered, got creative, worked tirelessly, and were fonts of inspiration. 

We’re so proud to share that nearly 15,000 ACUE faculty members across more than 200 colleges are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students. 

Our partners redoubled efforts to create inclusive and equitable learning environments, to ensure every student, including Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students, have the opportunities necessary to succeed. And, our partners won’t rest until every faculty member has the support they seek to deliver the evidence-based instruction that every student deserves, in person or online.

More is on the way in 2021, with new courses focused on guided pathways, equitable learning, and digital courseware.

Your passion and commitment invigorates our work, and we promise to remain steadfast in our pursuit of student success and equity.

Read about more partner accomplishments

New Offering: Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning Microcredential

As educators, we can work to create inclusive and equitable learning environments to ensure every student has the opportunities necessary to succeed. In this five-module microcredential course, instructors learn proven strategies to create a more equitable and just learning environment. Download this informational sheet and visit our website to learn more.

Learn more about the new microcredential

Invest in Your Teaching Practice for 2021

Faculty like Matthew Ingram are finding success and community in ACUE's open enrollment, microcredential courses for faculty, delivered fully online through a facilitated cohort of fellow faculty.

Join us for a virtual information session on January 7, 2021, during which you'll get insight into the ACUE Experience, including details about the curriculum, cohort experience, learning design, schedule, and more. 

Register for the info session

Faculty Reflection: Now is the Perfect Time to Try Something New

Brandon Cooper HeadshotBrandon Cooper, a senior instructional consultant in the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University, shares his experiences being a "facili-taker—facilitator and participant" in ACUE's Effective Teaching Practices course.

"I worried that I may be taking on more than I could handle during an already challenging semester. But I discovered that the ideal time to change my instructional practices is now."

He shares a few of his favorite modules and practices he'll continue using no matter what his learning environments look like.

Read Brandon's reflection

Florida A&M University Faculty Focus on Educating 21st Century Students

Florida A&M University LogoA commitment to constantly evolving as an educator is one of the reasons why Dr. Rebecca Blankenship, associate professor of elementary education, eagerly agreed to participate in the ACUE Effective Teaching Practices program. Florida A&M University (FAMU) launched a new cohort of faculty during summer 2020.

“The current partnership between ACUE and Florida A&M University began almost five years ago...Our faculty immediately recognized the value in the enhanced teaching strategies that impact student engagement and student success,” says Dr. Genyne Boston, associate provost for faculty and academic affairs and chief of staff for the Division of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Sundra Kincey, assistant vice president of program quality at FAMU, agrees.

“The faculty’s use of enhanced teaching strategies learned through the ACUE partnership enables FAMU to continue to offer high-quality academic programs,” she says.

Read the full story
Community News
News from across the country featuring ACUE faculty, partner institutions and strategic partners.
Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast: We're delighted to see so many members of the ACUE community on Bonni Stachowiak’s list of most-downloaded TiHE episodes this year. And, don't miss the recent episode with Santa Clara University's Andrew Ishak.

Tea for Teaching: Host John Kane talks with Kristina Ruiz-Mesa, associate professor of communication studies at California State University Los Angeles, about inclusive communication strategies we can use as teachers and mentors to help students feel like they belong in the academy.

West Texas A&M University: As distance learning continues to be an essential educational tool, a group of West Texas A&M University faculty are working through a national effort intending to find better ways to teach online.

Lamar University: LU highlights Amy Smith, one of 25 faculty earning a Certificate in Effective Instruction, in this piece posted to the school's website.

Inside Higher Ed: ACUE President Jonathan Gyurko responds to Steven Mintz's review of The Amateur Hour in this letter to the editor.

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

12 Days of Professional Development Opportunities
Faculty Focus rounds up professional opportunities for faculty to help them improve their teaching and adjust to a changing education landscape, including ACUE's webinars on effective and inclusive online teaching, a piece encouraging student engagement in synchronous class sessions, and methods for improving group work online. (Faculty Focus)

The Strange Case of the Exploding Student Workload
Jody Greene explores why students feel overwhelmed by their workloads during the pandemic, despite how many instructors attempt to design courses with student well-being in mind. After posting the question on Twitter, she suggests that we should embrace research-based teaching practices and determine which ones are most effective during the pandemic, as well as which ones aren’t enhancing student learning as they did pre-pandemic. (Just Visiting)

Community College Strengths Are Helping Students Through the Pandemic
Community colleges equip students with practical knowledge and research skills that allowed them to adapt to the challenges the pandemic brought, according to an Inside Higher Ed report. Jamie Merisotis notes that colleges like Amarillo College also helped students cope with new struggles by assigning every employee 10 students to check-in on weekly and keeping the student center open to provide access to technology. (Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Talent)

Teaching Online in the COVID Crisis: What We Have Learned
Ray Schroeder offers lessons for teaching in the future based on what we learned from spring 2020. We must be prepared for any future pandemics, disasters, or other disruptions and expand on the models we developed during the emergency transition to remote teaching, he writes. He also opines that institutions need to equip faculty with practices for supporting the well-being of students, as well as support faculty themselves. (Online: Trending Now)

Teaching: What Students Are Up Against
After interviewing college students about pandemic teaching, Beckie Supiano shares common threads she identified. For example, well-designed courses with plenty of small assignments can help keep students on track, but they’re still a big adjustment. Meanwhile, Jody Greene posits that expectations are more transparent and there’s greater accountability during the pandemic, which can make students feel like they’re being inundated with busy work. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

The Emerging Role of the Community College in Higher Education
In this interview, David Stout discusses the role of community colleges in today’s higher education landscape. Stout says that many people are returning to school for more education, predominantly for distance and online learning. He also describes community colleges as comprehensive and focused on workforce development, noting that leaders and faculty are supporting one another and students through this complex period. (The EvoLLLution)

Colleges Are Changing the Status Quo to Make Curriculum More Inclusive
When students circulated a petition at Western Washington University, the university responded with actions, such as requiring all students to take a course in African American studies and structural anti-Black racism. After recent events, including the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, many institutions have been implementing changes. Research shows that ethnic studies courses benefit students of all races and promote racial understanding—but some faculty are resisting change. (Education Dive)

Dear Faculty: ‘Keep Walking’
"I’ve witnessed repeatedly how much faculty care about each other and their students—from trying to reach and engage every student to assuming the role of therapists and confidants,” writes Mays Imad. Imad offers advice to her fellow faculty, urging them to check up on their colleagues, know that they matter, acknowledge that it’s difficult to focus and learn right now, and remind themselves why they do what they do. (Inside Higher Ed)

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