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The 'Q' Newsletter – picture of five students smiling around a table
August 12, 2021

Join Us! Back to School Webinar Series 

Creating a welcoming environment for both faculty and students is key to a strong start. Join us for a series of engaging virtual discussions designed to help administrators and faculty meet the unique challenges of this Fall semester. 

Featured experts and faculty will provide practical teaching approaches that can be immediately put to use this Fall semester to ensure every student feels welcome, can engage in their studies, and stays on a path to success. Webinars will be anchored with ACUE’s latest Back to School toolkit, which provides resources for administrators and faculty alike. Visit the Back to School website for additional dates and details. 

Back to School Webninar Series: Join us for a series of virtual discussions designed to help administrators and faculty meet the unique challenges of this fall. Welcoming Faculty and Students Back; Date: Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2-3 PM ET; Register online at

Register today.

Overcoming Self Doubt 

Graduation picture of KaSondra Toney in cap and gown holding her diploma; ACUE and the University of Southern Mississippi logos
For KaSondra Toney, the college journey was anything but typical. As a single mom, she withdrew twice to focus on raising her young family. It took almost 20 years, and she often questioned whether she was good enough to succeed in college, but she was determined to finish.  

Last year, Toney achieved her goal and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). She credits the faculty at USM's School of Child and Family Sciences, whose instructional approaches provided her with a foundation of support. "They really helped me through a lot of self-doubt," she said. The relationships she formed with faculty were “transformative for me." 

Toney’s success story and the role that faculty played are emblematic of the positive student impact that quality instruction is having at USM, where 1 out of every 6 faculty are now ACUE-certified. A series of research papers published this summer demonstrated that students have better academic outcomes overall  when they take more courses with ACUE instructors. In addition, students who completed a gateway course with an ACUE-certified instructor had lower DFW rates and higher GPAs in their subsequent courses.
Read the article.

Preparing for ACUEMichael Wesch, Kansas State University  “If you are pressed for time, just try one new thing. Even just one new thing can create a little ‘edge’ and excitement to the day and energize your class.”

Nationwide, ACUE-certified faculty are making a difference in the classroom. More than 14,000 faculty across more than 300 institutions have joined in our shared mission to transform student success through exceptional teaching. They’re learning about—and implementing—the evidence-based teaching practices proven to improve student outcomes and create more inclusive, equitable learning environments.

This summer, we asked some of these seasoned ACUE educators to share their insights, advice, and words of wisdom with faculty whose ACUE journey is getting started. 

Read their responses.

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.

Featured ACUE Podcasts
This summer, several ACUE-certified faculty, partner facilitators, and experts have been featured in podcast episodes of Teaching in Higher Ed and Tea for Teaching. Conversation topics ranged from developing equitable assessments to student mental health to cultivating an online community of practice.

On Tea for Teaching, 'The Coffee Shop' episode featured ACUE's Jodi Robson, as well as ACUE facilitators Brandon McIntire, of Florida Gateway College and Margaret Shippey, of Miami Dade College. 

Tea for Teaching Episode Player: The Coffee Shop

Listen to the episode
On Teaching in Higher Ed, episodes featured ACUE facilitator Erin Whitteck, of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Sarah Lipson, of Boston University, and Laura Horne, of Active Minds. 
"One of the most important determinant of student learning is motivation." – Sarah Lipson on Teaching in Higher Ed
"High stakes assessments create such a risk averse environment where there is no room to fail." – Dougals Fritz, on Teaching in Higher Ed

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education

When Your Department Talks About Teaching
After reading a suggestion from Flower Darby, Molly W. Andolina, an associate professor in the political science department at DePaul University, agreed that “departments are a smart place to situate conversations about teaching.” During teaching debriefs, faculty were able to find a sense of community. Andolina gathered feedback from faculty ahead of time, so they could use the time to discuss solutions instead of problems.  (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

4 Pandemic Teaching Strategies to Keep
Jessie B. Ramey offers pandemic-inspired strategies she’s found useful and intends to keep using in face-to-face teaching. They include a precourse digital student survey, setting the scene — asking one or two students to share music, poetry, or art at the beginning of the lesson —  group work with Google slides, and self-assessment for class participation grades. (Inside Higher Ed)
Thinking Ahead to What Higher Education Will Be
Degree programs that worked 10 to 15 years ago don’t necessarily work today, Neil Trotta writes. As he grapples with what’s next for higher education, he wonders whether general liberal arts programs or specialized programs will take the lead, what “traditional age” will mean, and whether online learning will continue to rise. Trotta concludes that while the pandemic has presented challenges, it’s also brought opportunities. (The EvoLLLution)

Are College Students Comfortable Using Edtech? Maybe Not
A College Innovation Network survey finds that students who were confident in their edtech abilities felt they could learn effectively online, while those who struggled with new technology had more negative experiences with online learning. “We can’t forget that we have to help [students] learn how to use these technologies, so they can get the most out of their learning experiences,” says Nicole Barbaro, the report’s author. (EdSurge)

When Your Classes Start, How Will You Assess Students?
Students may be feeling underprepared after COVID, so it’s important to assess their knowledge and feelings about being back on campus, according to Kelly Hogan. She has several ideas about making the transition, such as sending out a survey to students before the first day of class to gauge their knowledge and concerns and giving a nongraded assessment, as well as resources to review. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

Summer Schedule
ACUE will be following a monthly newsletter for the remainder of the summer. Check your inbox again in early September.
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