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The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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November 14, 2019 

Changemakers: Rutgers University-Newark Leading the Way for Student Success

“You are the changemakers,” extolled Rutgers University–Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor in her remarks to students during the university’s 2019 Convocation. Rutgers University–Newark is ensuring that faculty are ready to be changemakers, too. Its P3 Collaboratory is bringing together scholars to engage in critical challenges facing the Rutgers University–Newark community and is promoting student and faculty success.

“When we help just one instructor, he or she will impact 40 students in one class and then 40 students in the next semester and on and on.”
—Bonnie Veysey, director of the P3 Collaboratory and acting dean of Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

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It's "About the Humans": Derek Bruff on Teaching with Intentional Tech

When it comes to using technology to support learning, "tech can become a distracting shiny object," says Derek Bruff, director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and Learning. In Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching, Bruff presents seven research-based principles for how educators can match technology to their pedagogy, arguing that effective use of technology can't happen without effective teaching practices.

Bruff, a featured ACUE expert on how to use concept maps and other visualization tools, discusses teaching with technology, shares favorite stories from his new book, and busts a common myth about digital natives. 

Read the interview

Engage Faculty Early, Often, Authentically 

“The latest in-depth studies from CCRC, describing the journeys of AACC Pathways colleges successfully scaling guided pathways reforms, are receiving a lot of attention for good reason," writes Alison Kadlec, PhD. Kadlec is founding partner of Sova, ACUE's partner on a new certificate in guided pathways implementation. Kadlec, who specializes in building cultures and climates for innovation in higher education and workforce development, states that the reports highlight a common set of themes, citing one of the clearest of those themes is the need for “deep, ongoing engagement of faculty as true partners in the work.”
Read more

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

Mental Health Challenges Require Urgent Response
American Council on Education president Ted Mitchell urges institutions to prioritize students’ mental health, making it the responsibility of administrators, faculty, and staff. He points to research showing that groups like Active Minds contribute to a more supportive campus culture. Ultimately, he advises all members of campus communities to speak openly about mental health and well-being and make student mental health part of the institution’s strategic plan. (Inside Higher Ed)


It Begins with Difficult Conversations: How Community College Leaders Can Support Faculty-led Student Success Efforts
Carrie B. Kisker opines that faculty must lead efforts to impact student persistence and degree attainment at community colleges. She makes three recommendations, including prompting potentially difficult conversations about student success challenges, exploring how this work can present opportunities to faculty — such as being more closely involved in student success initiatives — and describing how they’ll reward faculty efforts. (Higher Education Today)


What Universities Can Do to Keep Students from Dropping Out
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, just 39 percent of bachelor’s degree candidates graduate within the expected duration of their program, leading researchers to look for methods of improving retention. For instance, Georgia State University offers students small grants and has established a proactive advising program in which advisers reach out to and support students throughout their studies, leading to a 22 percent increase in completion over 10 years. (The Conversation)


Career Preparedness
With career readiness at the forefront of the conversation on the value of college, Steven Mintz offers several steps institutions can take to prepare students for careers. Among others, they include embedding career exploration into programs early on through advising and skills workshops and aligning curricula with workforce outcomes, such as by integrating internships and project-based learning into courses. (Higher Ed Gamma)

Are Job Skills and an Education the Same Thing?
Pointing to research showing that graduates of liberal arts programs ultimately catch up to their STEM peers’ earning potential, the Christian Science Monitor editorial board argues that despite the decline of students majoring in liberal arts disciplines, these studies remain relevant. For example, they note that liberal arts courses give students a forum to explore topics they’ve never considered. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Want to Teach Science Better? Get Students Out of Their Seats
Stacey Lowery Bretz and Ellen Yezierski of Miami University bring theater into their chemistry courses, asking students to mimic what they imagine the behavior of atoms, molecules, and ions to be by, for instance, spinning around and flapping their arms. They also prompt students to debate responses to questions, among other techniques. Not only do students gain more control over their learning, but they also become more engaged, according to the instructors. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

How Do We Best Prepare Graduates for the Changing Workforce?
In this video, Brian O. Hemphill, president of Radford University, suggests that institutions must be responsive to the needs of the changing career landscape. Colleges that have ongoing conversations with faculty and search for ways to innovate and adapt to workforce transformations will be the ones that thrive, he says. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Partner News


Active Minds: ACUE and Active Minds Collaborate to Strengthen Support of Student Mental Health (Spaces4Learning)

Teaching in Higher Ed: Michael Wesch 

Host Bonni Stachowiak welcomed Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, to discuss how to use challenges to motivate learners in episode #282 of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, produced in collaboration with ACUE.

Wesch also joined ACUE for an interview, including a dialogue of how he’s moved past his initial reluctance about teaching online. In the interview and through a new video, he offers viewers an inside look at his own online pedagogical approaches.
Listen to the podcast
Watch the video

Conference News

To date, ACUE has published 12 efficacy studies demonstrating that students are learning more, earning higher grades, and completing courses in greater numbers—more equitably with their peers—when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. A recent independent review of these studies by Drew Allen, Michael McPherson, Linda Nilson, and Mary Deane Sorcinelli commended the “range, depth and rigor...that reinforce the link between faculty development, teaching improvement, and student learning.” 

We’ll be discussing these findings at POD with Drew and Linda on November 15, AAC&U with Mary Deane in January, CHEA’s accreditors conference in January, and AERA in April. If you’re there, we’d love for you to join the conversation.
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