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The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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February 4, 2021

Across CUNY, Scaling Student Success Through Quality Instruction

The City University of New York logo“I’m glad that ACUE was there at a time when I was so new to the teaching profession,” said Matthew Witter, psychology instructor at City University of New York’s City College. Witter was part of two inaugural faculty cohorts of the ACUE program at CCNY, supported through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. By the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, Witter and more than 50 faculty colleagues had earned nationally-recognized certificates in Effective College Instruction.

This year, City College enrolled six new cohorts of faculty into ACUE’s microcredential courses for online teaching. And, a second grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York was funded to support 14 faculty cohorts across CUNY’s seven community colleges in the 2020-2021 academic year.

“CUNY is one of the most powerful engines of social mobility that we have in this country. Investing in the faculty who teach these students, through support and high-quality instructional training, will have a significant and long-lasting impact on student success,” said Farhad Asghar, program officer for Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Pathways to Postsecondary Success portfolio.

Discover the impact

Revitalizing a Culture Focused on Student Learning at Santa Clara University

screenshot of video from youtube
What happens when a private university boldly embraces a shift in its teaching culture? According to faculty at Santa Clara University (SCU), the result is a more resilient university able to withstand the unexpected. While SCU does not have a designated teaching center, they launched the Collaborative for Teaching Innovation in 2012 to support innovative and evidence-based teaching practices. As part of that initiative, SCU partnered with ACUE in 2018, offering ACUE’s Effective Teaching Practices program to cohorts of faculty.

As the challenges around COVID-19 mounted for institutions of higher education, SCU looked to ACUE for support. In Christelle Sabatier’s words, “We recognized the value ACUE could bring to our community in this moment to help us meet the demands of this moment.”
Learn more about SCU's culture shift

Revisiting Pandemic Teaching Advice

With nearly a year of emergency remote and hybrid teaching under our belts, ACUE Academic Director Martha Bless narrows in on practices and tools that truly help educators overcome the challenges of teaching in today’s classrooms.

Headshot of Martha Bless"Now that 2020 is behind us, and on the cusp of a new semester, it’s a good time to reflect back on the biggest challenges we encountered and the pedagogical tools and practices that faculty found were most beneficial in overcoming those challenges. In conversations with faculty across the country, and in my own online teaching experience, I’ve found that the two most important, and often challenging aspects of online teaching are establishing community through social presence and managing the time and workload involved."

Read Martha's advice

Start Fresh in 2021 with ACUE

Learn how one of ACUE’s open enrollment courses can help you revitalize your teaching. This session will be most helpful for:

  • Faculty who are considering an ACUE microcredential course for themselves
  • Faculty who earned a Certificate in Effective College Instruction and are looking to deepen their skills
Register today

ACUE Researcher Earns AERA Dissertation Award

Theo Pippins, ACUE Research Associate, was recently honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for his dissertation, "Nudges to College Access: Does SAT Testing Improve College Enrollment and Choices for Disadvantaged Students?"
Quote from ACUE's Theo Pippins on his AERA award.
In the paper, Pippins uses administrative data from the NYCDOE to estimate the causal effect of SAT School Day (SSD) on SAT-taking and four-year college enrollment and institutional choice for three post-policy cohorts. He employs a two-way fixed effects differences-in-differences (DID) model, exploiting the rollout of SSD across NYC schools. Pippins also explore effects by subgroups—e.g., race and income status—to identify the impact of the program on the traditionally disadvantaged groups of students it is intended to benefit.

Learn more

Impact Spotlight: Rutgers University–Newark
Data, research and insights showcasing ACUE's impact at partner institutions.

Between January 2017 and April 2019, the Center for Advanced Study in Education (CASE) conducted an evaluation of impact at one of the nation’s most diverse universities.
Read the research brief
Community News
News from across the country featuring ACUE faculty, partner institutions and strategic partners.

Owens Community College: Ten faculty members from Owens Community College will be participating in a 25-week Effective Online Teaching Practices course. The program is part of a collaboration between the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). (Video: 13ABC, WTVG)

Lorain County Community College: Instructors at LCCC will join more than 150 faculty members from 22 Ohio community colleges as they learn and implement equity-promoting, evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student engagement, persistence, course completion and learning. (Morning Journal)

Southern State Community College: Four faculty members from Southern State Community College have jumped at the chance to improve their online teaching skills, joining more than 150 faculty members from 22 Ohio community colleges. (The Highland County Press)

Sante Fe College: Santa Fe College faculty are invited to attend a new initiative that is the product of a collaboration among five Florida colleges that have provided the Association of Colleges and University Educators (ACUE) training to their faculty. (Today @ Santa Fe)
Conference News
We hope to see you at Achieving the Dream's DREAM 2021 Annual Convening. Join our session, Creating Success and Promoting Equity for Community College Students Online, to hear from Susan Barbitta, Lisa Chapman and Heather Woodson.
graphic for ACUE's conference presentation on 2/18

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

Why You Might Want a Student to Critique Your Teaching
While adapting his linear algebra course to an online format, Joel Brewster Lewis sought help from Mehr Rai, a former student. Rai provided feedback and sat in on classes and drop-in hours for students. Even before moving online, Lewis had decided to hire Rai thanks to an idea he got from Harry Brighouse, who wrote about having a student critique his teaching. Rai gave Lewis plenty of constructive criticism, and the pair developed a strong rapport. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)


Refocusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During the Pandemic and Beyond: Lessons from a Community of Practice
The current crises have underscored the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies in higher education, writes Taffye Benson Clayton, and in May 2020, ACE pioneered a community of practice around DEI, led by ACE and Clayton. Among others, the key steps they recommend include approaching DEI work as mission-critical and making DEI everybody’s responsibility, including senior executive leaders, deans, faculty, and employees. (Higher Education Today)


Future-Proof Your Graduates
With many college graduates underemployed, Steve Mintz opines that institutions must do a better job of preparing students to succeed in a high-demand knowledge economy, the creative sector, technical and technology industries, and occupations involving advanced analysis and management of data. He suggests strategies, such as inserting project-based learning into the curriculum, so students can demonstrate real competencies to employers. (Higher Ed Gamma)


10 Ways to Tackle Linguistic Bias in Our Classrooms
Catherine Savini recognizes that she has made a lot of assumptions about people’s intelligence based on how they speak and write. She also realizes the pain linguistic racism inflicts. To reckon with this and tackle linguistic bias, she suggests asking students about their linguistic backgrounds, providing students opportunities to write in their own voice, and asking yourself what is making the writing unclear to you, among other ideas. (Inside Higher Ed)


No Magic Required
Bonni Stachowiak shares the story of Marjorie Feld, who emailed her about her last class in the fall 2020 semester. Feld spoke of Harry Potter as a tool for communicating her gratitude to her students. Like the teachers in the Harry Potter series, she and fellow educators wanted to protect students from danger, but ultimately, she wrote, they had to work together to create a learning community and fight the “bad forces.” (Teaching in Higher Ed)


When Virtual Animations Are Teaching, Can They Make an Emotional Connection?
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara created video lessons, some delivered by humans and others by animated digital characters. Their theory is when instructors display a “positive stance” while teaching, students develop stronger connections with them. The researchers found students showed more learning from upbeat over unhappy human instructors, but there was no significant difference when it came to virtual instructors’ moods. The project continues as they examine whether other models could make a meaningful difference. (EdSurge)

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