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The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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March 5, 2021

A “Smashing Success” at University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno logoAt the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), there is a firm commitment to the central role that quality teaching plays in student success. It starts at the core, with strategic planning, and permeates the institution’s seven colleges and 40 academic departments. The university has embedded a focus on quality teaching into its faculty hiring policies, professional development for instructors, and formal incentives related to those efforts.

In partnership with ACUE, UNR has developed professional learning opportunities closely aligned with its strategic plan. Leadership has embedded quality teaching into the institution’s operations, intentionally and strategically. For instance, all new tenure-track hires and full-time instructional faculty are required by contract to participate and have the opportunity to earn a nationally-recognized credential in Effective College Instruction.

“It’s been a smashing success," said Kevin Carman, who served as UNR’s executive vice president and provost from 2013 to 2020.

Read about UNR's commitment to quality teaching

Using Student Learning Outcomes to Create a Purpose-Driven Course

headshot of Cindy BlackwellIn a blog post, ACUE-credentialed educator and Academic Director Cindy Blackwell explores establishing powerful learning outcomes as the foundation of designing effective learning experiences.

She writes, "I have evolved from ignoring the learning outcomes to seeing them as the required university 'course outcomes' to now using student learning outcomes as a way to bring purpose and understanding to my courses for both me and students."

Read Blackwell's take on learning outcomes

Impact Spotlight: Creating Success and Promoting Equity in North Carolina
Data, research, and insights showcasing ACUE's impact at partner institutions

Like all institutions across the country, North Carolina’s community colleges have faced unprecedented challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted higher education in March of last year. But these institutions rose to the occasion to ensure student success and create learning environments that promote equity among students.

Susan Barbitta, executive director of the NC Student Success Center; Lisa Chapman, president of Central Carolina Community College; and Heather Woodson, associate vide president of Academic Affairs at Gaston College recently shared their experience developing faculty to support student success. The 30-minute discussion at Achieving the Dream's Annual Convening, DREAM 2021, covered key insights as well as preliminary impact data.
Watch the session recording

The Sweet Spot of Midsemester Feedback

headshot of Viji SathyFor UNC Chapel Hill's Viji Sathy, hitting the halfway point of a course is a good time to regroup with students to hear how things are going. But it’s easier said than done, Sathy explains.

"One challenge to midsemester feedback is simply finding the time and place for it. That’s something I struggle with myself—just figuring out when I’m far enough along in the semester that students have a sense of how things are going, but not so far along that I can’t make changes. So finding that sweet spot is helpful."

The timing has to be just right, and it’s important to respond to students’ midsemester feedback without making dramatic changes.

Discover techniques for midsemester feedback

Seen on Social

We loved seeing this tweet from University of Toronto Mississauga's Rafael Chiuzi. 
screenshot of a tweet

Last Call for March Enrollments

Teaching online? Face-to-face? Hybrid? Hyflex?

ACUE can support you in becoming a more effective instructor through Open Enrollment Courses in evidence-based teaching practices.

  • Designed for all types of college faculty
  • Delivered fully online through a facilitated faculty learning community
  • Learn more during an Open Enrollment Information Session
View upcoming courses

Community Spotlight
Faculty and administrators share their experiences with ACUE.

"It's an effecient way, a rich way of engaging more faculty across disciplines and building community." Victoria Mondelli, founding director of the Teaching for Learning Center at the University of Missouri, shares her insights about the university's ACUE partnership.

Conference News

California faculty: We hope you'll join us at CCCAOE next week!

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

Do Students Feel Heard on Campus? More than two-thirds of students strongly or somewhat agree that they feel comfortable sharing opinions in their classes, according to Inside Higher Ed’s survey of 2,000 undergraduates from 114 colleges and universities. Additionally, 52 percent of respondents believe it’s extremely or somewhat likely that a professor would resolve a concern to their satisfaction. Increasingly, students are speaking about issues, often relying on faculty over administrators. (Inside Higher Ed)


Let’s Not Return to the Old Normal “If your institution expects life to return to normal post-pandemic, disappointment lies ahead,” writes Steven Mintz. But given the issues that existed before the pandemic, such as student debt and inequities, he believes this is an opportunity. He encourages institutions to embrace data to optimize programming and other areas, boost students’ ROI, and increase retention rates, academic momentum, and students’ academic success, among other ideas. (Higher Ed Gamma)


Census: Degree Attainment Was Climbing Pre-Pandemic Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of adults 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree had climbed almost 17 percent in the 15-year period leading up to the pandemic. Some ethnic and racial groups experienced particularly large jumps in degree attainment, such as Hispanic or Latin degree-holders, who saw a 30 percent increase. (Higher Ed Dive)


In Defense of Online Learning Nancy W. Gleason urges faculty not to ignore the academic benefits of a semester spent at least partially online. According to Gleason, “e-learning works” by enabling teaching flexibility, incorporating new tools, and opening doors to disadvantaged students. It could also push schools to further confront long-existing opportunity gaps, she writes. (University Business)


Lessons From One University’s Fully Mobile Courses Los Angeles Pacific University has developed an app that allows students to fully access their courses on the go. myLAPU enables students to complete and submit their assignments, as well as access additional services, without leaving the app. The goal, according to administrators, is to help students connect with classmates and faculty remotely. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

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