The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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December 5, 2019 

A Conversation on Student Success: NAU President Rita Cheng 

Dr. Rita ChengDr. Rita Cheng, president of Northern Arizona University (NAU), spoke with the American Council on Education (ACE) about the impact of building a culture of instructional excellence and student success at NAU.

Cheng specifically discussed the successful redesign of Bio 181, a gateway required for 25 majors, which used to be known as a “weed out” course with a 30% dropout rate.

“We were able to cut the D,F and W (rate) in half, and our underrepresented students...saw even greater results,” said Cheng.

This Conversation on Student Success is the first in a series co-produced by ACE and ACUE. The full video conversation is located on the ACE Engage platform, a new peer-to-peer online learning platform curated by ACE experts for higher education executives. 
Watch video

Broward College Math Professor Builds Classroom Community, Student Success

Can seemingly minor adjustments to teaching practices, such as the introduction of peer-to-peer instruction and detailed scoring rubrics, make a difference in learning outcomes? Dr. Kyla Williams, an ACUE-credentialed assistant professor in the Broward College Mathematics Department, intended to find out. The results: increased grades and camaraderie among her and her students.

“Shortly after I started implementing some of these new teaching practices, I’d have students tell me, ‘I’ve never had a professor who teaches like you do,’” Williams laughs. “These practices have resulted in a more comfortable and productive classroom environment.”

Read story

Earn ACUE Micro-credentials 

Our strategic partnerships with colleges and universities involve a collaborative planning process with institutional leaders, student success teams, teaching center staffs, and faculty members—resulting in measurable impact.

We now offer faculty another way to strengthen teaching through our open enrollment, micro-credential courses.

Available online, these facilitated courses allow individual faculty to directly enroll into cohorts with educators from across the country and together earn micro-credentials toward their full, ACE-endorsed Certificate in Effective College Instruction. 

Now enrolling for January:

"Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Learning Environment"
Apply for January

Research: Increasing Underrepresented Students in STEM 

A new article synthesizing research on the impact of ingroup role models on the performance and interest of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Psychology of Education. The systematic review was led by ACUE’s research director, Dr. Elizabeth K. Lawner, along with collaborators from the University of Connecticut and California State University, Long Beach.

The article reports that while ingroup role models do not seem to have an impact in studies conducted in artificial laboratory settings, they do have a small but positive impact on average when used in real world settings. Due to the small and limited impact of these interventions, Dr. Lawner and her co-authors conclude that “rather than consider exposure to ingroup STEM role models as a primary means for combating gender and racial disparities in STEM, role models should perhaps be considered a small piece of a much larger, multifaceted approach to increasing female and [underrepresented minority] students’ representation in STEM fields.”
Read the article

News in brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.
Changing the Value Equation in Higher Education
A recent Strada-Gallup report finds that graduates value courses that are relevant to their careers and lives above other factors, including earnings. Additionally, when they believe they are receiving high-quality educational experiences and career and academic advising, their overall assessment of their education increases, regardless of their program of study. (Strada Education)
Today’s Students: Inspiration for Higher Education
Students share their inspiration for attending college with motivations ranging from encouragement from parents and high school teachers to wanting to be the first in their families to earn a degree. “My mother’s thoughtfulness, support, and guidance allowed me to feel confident that I could succeed at a post-secondary level,” said Aidan Sova, a University of Michigan student. (Higher Learning Advocates)
The 8 Steps Institutions Need to Take to Improve Student Success
Steve Mintz shares strategic ways to improve student success, including early exposure to career possibilities and advising on opportunities associated with different majors. He also encourages institutions to foster stronger student-faculty connections through organized programs and activities that help students feel more welcome and supported. (Higher Ed Gamma)
5 University Leaders Discuss Higher Ed’s Biggest Challenges
Five leaders from academic institutions explore how to address challenges facing higher education. For example, they discuss scaling programs through partnerships and other measures, equipping graduates with pertinent technical and soft skills to prepare them for careers, and providing a range of affordable options to meet the needs of different populations. (eCampus News)
Want to Study Your Classroom Dynamics? There’s an App for That
In order to give instructors a better understanding of their interactions with students, Teddy Svoronos and Dan Levy created the app Teachly. Currently free, the app provides data about student participation patterns, including demographics. Instructors can also comb course profiles of students to help them draw on their experiences in their teaching. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter)

Conference News

"In Service" at APLU

Gen. Myers“Strategies to Increase Degree Completion,” “Why Academic Mindset Matters,” “Leveraging Learning Analytics,” and “Practical Applications to Close Achievement Gaps” were among the practical—and standing room only—sessions at APLU’s 2019 annual meeting, which ACUE was proud to sponsor. “In Service” was the theme, and keynote speaker Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (pictured), reminded attendees of the “larger purpose” of American higher education: to serve our democracy, economy, and national security. He shared that the same sense of “higher calling” that inspired his military career makes it an honor to serve as president of Kansas State University.
Congratulations to APLU President and ACUE advisor Peter McPherson on another successful conference. The ACUE team enjoyed seeing many APLU Powered by Publics partners, including Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State LA, Northern Arizona University, Rutgers University–Newark, University of Colorado Denver, University of Missouri, and others.
Copyright © 2018 ACUE. All rights reserved.

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