The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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February 19, 2021

Coffee, Community, and Curriculum—Florida Colleges Build Community of Professional Practice

The Coffee Shop logoWhat would happen if educators across varied institutions had the opportunity to regularly gather to discuss effective teaching practices and share lessons-learned?

It was the question that got Dr. Jodi Robson thinking. Robson, director of the Institute for Academic Excellence at Indian River State College (IRSC), found a kindred community when she was introduced by ACUE Academic Director Barbara Rodriguez to Michelle Levine, district director of faculty development at Broward College, Dr. Brandon McIntire, director of eLearning at Florida Gateway College, Margaret Shippey, director of faculty development and classroom engagement at Miami Dade College, and Steve Grosteffon, professor of mathematics at Santa Fe College.

Soon after, a “homebrewed” initiative – The Coffee Shop – was born. The Coffee Shop provides webinars that are like an espresso shot – short and highly concentrated – which feature two baristas (presenters) sharing evidence-based teaching practices or strategies they learned through the ACUE Effective Teaching Practices course.

Discover the "buzz" around the Coffee Shop

Faculty Supporting Faculty at Delaware State University

Delaware State University logoDelaware State University (DESU), a historically black university, first partnered with ACUE in 2018. In this blog post, Amber Ward, DESU’s coordinator for its Center for Teaching and Learning, shares her experiences supporting a successful program.

Ward says encouraging faculty to lean on one another can be extremely valuable. As DESU recently launched its fourth cohort, Ward identified several small group leaders to help their peers navigate the course materials.

One of those leaders, chemistry professor Dr. Kimberly Milligan, found her own experience with ACUE extremely positive, which is why she volunteered to serve as a group leader.

“I completed my ACUE course in May 2020 – at the start of the pandemic. While our department was thrown into a frenzy with having to transition all of our courses online, I was unusually calm and a bit excited about implementing all of the ACUE techniques that I had learned over the past year,” Milligan explains. “Seeing how much ACUE helped me as an instructor, I began to spread the word around my department and have helped to recruit several department members to sign up for this year’s cohort.”

Read about DESU's culture of support

Remembering ACUE Friend and Scholar, Dr. Jerome Williams

headshot of Jerome Williams“It's important to recognize this: the bottom line is learning, helping students to learn to acquire knowledge….And so being open to suggestions, being willing to look at new viewpoints, being willing to change over time, I think that's going to be so critical. And that's going to be even more critical as this world, the country and the classroom becomes more diverse.” —Jerome Williams, PhD

Through his own words, our ACUE Community remembers with respect, admiration, and fondness Dr. Jerome D. Williams, a passionate educator and champion of equitable and inclusive teaching. 

Dr. Williams was an early supporter of ACUE's work, contributing his time and knowledge as a featured expert in our Effective Teaching Practices course module on Embracing Diversity in your Class.

He was one of the most generous and kind educators we've known, with a passion for student success and equity.
Remember Dr. Williams' legacy

Grow Your Confidence

Grow your confidence and become a more effective instructor through ACUE’s Open Enrollment Courses in evidence-based teaching practices for classroom and virtual learning environments.

  • Designed for all types of college faculty
  • Delivered fully online through a facilitated faculty learning community
  • Learn more during an Open Enrollment Information Session
View Upcoming courses

ACUE Welcomes Scott Durand

ACUE announced earlier this week the appointment of higher education leader Scott Durand as Chief Executive Officer. Durand brings to ACUE extensive experience—including nearly two decades at Southern New Hampshire University— leading teams to transform educational opportunities for learners of all ages.

Headshot of Scott DurandDurand succeeds Susan Cates, who will continue to support ACUE as a member of the board. “Scott will strengthen and advance ACUE’s mission, and I look forward to continuing to support him and the outstanding ACUE team.”

“I’m excited to lead ACUE and collaborate with our partners across higher education to positively impact the lives of as many students and faculty as possible.” said Durand. 

Read the announcement

Impact Spotlight: ACUE's Promise
Data, research and insights showcasing ACUE's impact at partner institutions.

ACUE is transforming the lives of more than 15,000 faculty and millions of students across nearly 300 institutions
ACUE is committed to help college students—indistinguishable across income level, race and gender—persist and engage in their studies, learn more deeply, and graduate prepared for rewarding careers.
See the impact

Faculty Spotlight
Faculty and administrators share their experiences with ACUE.

Andrew Ishak, a lecturer at Santa Clara University, reflects on his learning journey with ACUE.

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

3 HyFlex Lessons from the Pandemic and What's Next
The hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) model gives students control over how and when they participate, in-person or online, and during the pandemic, many colleges are embracing it, according to Hallie Busta. But experts caution that students must have the tools and ability to access all course modes, along with a choice in how they collaborate. "If you consider (the principles) to be slider bars, none of them can be at zero" to call a course HyFlex, said ACUE’s Kevin Kelly. (Higher Ed Dive)

Keeping COVID-19 From Sidelining Equity
Institutions must employ more active and strategic approaches to support faculty, particularly given the pressure the pandemic is placing on women and people of color, write Joya Misra, Dessie Clark, and Ethel L. Mickey. As part of the UMass ADVANCE team, they are exploring how institutions can remain attentive to equity, diversity, and inclusion. They present their TREE model, which encourages institutions to think ahead, provide resources, and ensure equity. (Inside Higher Ed)

Will the Pandemic Change Higher Education for Good?
Higher education leaders at Harvard discussed new and emerging advantages of remote learning during an Education Now webinar. They noted, for example, that remote learning technology can help build a global community and expand access to learning opportunities. The leaders also offered concrete suggestions for educators to foster remote learning. (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

3 Positives that Emerged from Higher Ed’s COVID-19 Experiences
As part of a research team investigating higher education during COVID-19, Lee Ann Dickerson, an experienced distance educator, finds that there are some silver linings to the pandemic. For example, she writes, educators have “tapped our creative energies,” learned new technologies, and rediscovered that higher education is a personal and human experience. (eCampus News)

Three Keys to Developing Successful Online Learning
Too often, instructors design online learning as a replica of the classroom, according to Jesse Borkowski. But delivering requires different tools and elements, she writes, urging faculty to focus on user experience, content, and community. Among other ideas, she suggests working collaboratively with partners to deliver the best digital experiences to students and having regular live chats. (The EvoLLLution)

7 Innovative Approaches to Course Design
The pandemic has underscored the need for conscious course design, Steven Mintz writes, describing seven innovative approaches. Among them are an inquiry-based approach, which “transforms students into investigators” and encourages them to formulate meaningful questions and solve problems, and an interdisciplinary, team-taught approach, which leverages multiple perspectives across disciplines. (Higher Ed Gamma)

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