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The 'Q' Newsletter – picture of five students smiling around a table
September 2, 2021
Faculty and the Student Success Movement

By Jonathan Gyurko, PhD

Over the years, ACUE has written often about the need to place quality, evidence-based teaching at the heart of efforts to graduate many more well-prepared students, through the support and place of pride that faculty deserve. We’ve learned a lot along the way, but one lesson stands out: simply offering professional development is not enough. A series of professional development workshops here or a consultation there—as helpful and necessary as these offerings may be—are insufficient to fully engage the professoriate. 
Rather, we’ve learned that a holistic plan of action is required to fully engage faculty in the student success movement. That is, one who attends to campus culture and delivers the practical, collegial support that any professional would expect.
ACUE has put these lessons together in one place. Through generous support from Strong Start to Finish and the Education Commission of the States, ACUE is excited to share a new toolkit, Success & Equity Through Quality Instruction, for campus leaders and faculty, designed as a resource for self-assessment, planning, and action.

Explore the toolkit.
Read Dr. Gyurko’s full post.

Register: Preparing for Online and Hybrid Learning

Webinar infographic for Getting Better Prepared for Online and Hybrid Learning, featuring:, Featuring: Flower Darby, Michael Pullin, Wanda White. Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
To “future-proof” your campus, every instructor must be prepared to teach effectively online.

Even as faculty took heroic steps to teaching online, we can–and should–be better prepared for the future. This fall, colleges and universities can ensure instructors are equipped with evidence-based teaching practices for high-quality online and hybrid instruction, so that every student can remain on a path to success.
Register today.

Welcoming Back Students and Faculty: Webinar Recap

The first installment of ACUE's Back to School series, Welcoming Back Faculty and Students, featured Kelly Lester, Director, Center for Faculty Development, The University of Southern Mississippi; Shonda Gibson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, The Texas A&M University System; and Natasha LaRose, Program Coordinator, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).

During the discussion, panelists shared insights on how to be intentional when bringing faculty and students back to the campus, whether virtual or in-person:

1. Embrace flexibility
2. Resilience and community will carry students and educators
3. People need space to ask questions
4. Embrace creativity

“Show care, check in with people, and listen,” Lester said.
Read the recap.

Upcoming Courses for Faculty

Elevate your teaching and begin your journey to becoming ACUE-certified through ACUE’s open-enrollment, microcredential courses.

Now enrolling: 

  • Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment (Sept. 25) 
  • Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners in Your Online Course (Sept. 25)
  • Promoting Active Learning Online (Sept. 25)
  • Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Learning Environment (Oct. 9) 
    Promoting Active Learning (Oct. 9)
  • Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners (Oct. 9)
  • Designing Student-Centered Courses (Oct. 9)
  • Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning (Oct. 16)
Apply today.

Help Your Colleagues Design Student-Centered Courses

We are seeking instructors who know and are willing to demonstrate teaching practices designed to create more student-centered courses. If you are interested in sharing the practices you have used to design student-centered courses, please let us know by reviewing the ACUE Interest Form and submitting an application. The deadline for submission is Monday, September 13th.
Review the application.

Poll Results: Syllabus Strategies 

Last month, we talked about what it means to have an effective syllabus. On LinkedIn, we asked our audience how they get students to actually read and engage with the syllabus at the start of the semester. Here is what you said: 

Learn more about some of these activities in our Syllabus Planning Guide.

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education

For Some College Students, Remote Learning Is a Game Changer
Some students with disabilities have found remote learning to be a “lifeline” and are pushing for accommodations to continue as in-person classes resume. Even just having the option provides some with the reassurance they need and makes them grateful to have the flexibility, Amanda Morris and Emily Anthes write. (The New York Times)

The Fundamental Transformation in the Role of Community Colleges
According to Monty Sullivan, president, Louisiana Community and Technical College System, many of the challenges community colleges faced during the pandemic have become opportunities to demonstrate the alignment colleges have to the marketplace. “I fundamentally believe that the impact of COVID will change the iterative nature of education and training in this country,” he says, encouraging other leaders to identify the problem and remember that their responsibility is teaching and learning. (The EvoLLLution)

Let’s Not Think in Terms of Learning Loss — Let’s Focus on Where Students Have Gained
It’s time to reframe the recent past, according to Sean Slade. Rather than focusing on learning loss, we should take a strengths-based approach and appreciate what students have gained, respecting the aptitudes and attitudes that they’ve developed and honed, like self-efficacy, collaboration, and decision-making. He also discusses new drivers that are defining education, like wellbeing and learning. (EdSurge)

10 Ways to Make Your Fall Classes Better
The pandemic has underscored the importance of learning-centered course design, Steven Mintz writes. He notes that it has highlighted the value of clarity, organization, engagement, participation, support, and flexibility. Mintz offers ideas for making teaching even better, such as ceding authority and giving students responsibility for the class’s success and embedding inquiry and problem-solving into the class sessions. (Higher Ed Gamma)

Changing the Narrative Around Teaching and Learning
“Too many barriers still exist that lead to inequitable access to different sectors of higher education,” Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, writes. But now, according to Dr. Stout, community colleges are prioritizing equity. This, she adds, starts with faculty: leaders should get to know faculty as “individuals with diverse circumstances, skills, and needs” and provide institutional support to them. (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education)

Creating More Engaged Class Discussions
John J. Silvestro shares strategies for facilitating more engaged class discussions. “Situating” involves introducing discussions to students, before pausing to explain to them how the ideas will build upon their current coursework, such as detailing how readings will offer new perspectives on larger themes. “Valuing” a discussion means creating a result students will use in their coursework, such as asking students to respond to an idea from discussion in a paper. (Inside Higher Ed)

Welcome, New Partners!
Welcome to our newest institutional partners.
Alabama A&M University
Alamo Colleges District
Arkansas State University
Queensborough Community College
Cal State-Fresno
Cal State-Northridge
Clover Park Technical College
D'Youville College
Delaware Technical Community College
Eastern Arizona College
Estrella Mountain Community College
Florida Division of Career and Adult Education
Germanna Community College
Hudson County Community College
Marion Technical College
Nashville State Community College
North Carolina A&T State University
North Central State College
Ohio Association of Community Colleges
Paradise Valley Community College
Passaic County Community College
Patrick Henry Community College
Onondaga Community College
Slippery Rock University
Sonoma State University
Southern University Law Center
St. Petersburg College
Partner News
The University of Missouri–St. Louis: UMSL honors faculty completing ACUE’s Effective Online Teaching Practices program. (UMSL Daily)

Cal State Stanislaus: Three ACUE-certified cohorts reported overwhelmingly positive feedback from faculty on the program's relevance and impact. (StanNews)

Arkansas State University: Faculty center expands its scope as Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a reflection of the center's growing role in A-State's student success strategies. (A-State News)

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College: Williette Waring Berry, OCTech's new VP of academic affairs, shares how the ACUE partnership can support her vision for student success. (The Times & Democrat)

The University of Southern Mississippi: Dr. Kelly Lester, USM's director of the Center for Faculty Development, is profiled for her role in ACUE's 'Back to School' webinar series. (Southern Miss Now)

Indiana University: A new cohort of over 30 IUPUI faculty has been named to the Association of College and University Educators' Course in Effective Teaching Practices. (Inside IUPUI)
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