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The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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February 13, 2020 

Creating a Culture of Caring, Beginning with Self-Care

Student mental health is a growing issue on college and university campuses. In addition to providing faculty with better guidance in support of student well-being, Active Minds recognizes that a culture of wellness and mental health support is only achieved when faculty supports are prioritized alongside those of students'. Faculty feel more empowered and prepared to support their students when they have had opportunities to focus on their own well-being and mental health.

Active Minds Founder and Executive Director Alison Marmon provides insights and ideas for faculty seeking ways to make time for self-care.

Read the insights

Strong Start to Finish Selects ACUE as Service Partner

Start to Finish (SSTF) announced this week a number of Research & Service Partners, including ACUE. Collectively, SSTF and its network partners are committed to helping higher education institutions and systems advance developmental education reforms. The announcement was shared through the SSTF Twitter feed @_Strong_Start.

Research published by ACUE, its partners, and third-party evaluators collectively demonstrates the impact that implementing evidence-based teaching practices can have on developmental education reforms and closing equity gaps.

ACUE-credentialed faculty are transforming developmental mathematics at Cal State LA, eliminating the achievement gap between Pell-eligible and other students. They are also re-thinking gateway courses at Northern Arizona University, lowering DFW rates. And, they are closing a course completion gap for African American students at Texas Woman's University. 

Read more

Enrolling Now: Micro-credential Courses

In addition to our institutional partnerships, ACUE now offers faculty another way to strengthen teaching through our open enrollment, micro-credential courses. 

Still Enrolling for February:

Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Learning Environment

  • Self-paced and 100% online
  • Facilitated cohorts comprised of educators nationwide
  • $600 fee for the open enrollment, micro-credential course that addresses six competencies and runs eight weeks
  • Course starts online February 22 
Learn more

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.
Student Success: One Goal, Many Definitions
While persistence and completion often signify student success for higher education leaders, they aren’t the only factors for students, according to Melissa Blankstein. Ithaka S+R’s researchers found that many students face obstacles like housing insecurity or homelessness, and traditional success metrics don’t account for them. That’s why the organization is launching a project aimed at developing metrics that examine students’ needs. (Ithaka S+R
To Improve Persistence, This College Asks Professors to Have a 15-Minute Meeting with Each Student
Often, faculty are unaware of problems students face that affect academic performance. Oakton Community College attempts to address this issue by encouraging instructors to have short, one-on-one meetings with students at the beginning of the semester as part of a larger “Persistence Project,” which fosters connections between students and faculty. Project participants have seen higher retention rates than those in the general student population. (The Chronicle of Higher Education Teaching Newsletter
2019 Was a Pivotal Year for the Degree
Higher education institutions around the world are seeking ways to make the degree more accessible and relevant. Jeff Maggioncalda chronicles efforts these institutions made in 2019, including launching more online degree programs in both undergraduate and graduate levels, and employers offering tuition reimbursement or scholarships to help workers build career skills. (Inside Higher Ed)
Who Leads on College Learning?
Doug Lederman calls for a more systematic approach to understanding and improving teaching and learning in higher education. He points to many organizations and institutions that have embraced teaching innovations, including teaching centers, while noting that only small numbers of students are generally affected. Given the attention the subject has garnered, he suggests groups better connect with and build on each other’s work, among other ideas. (Inside Higher Ed)
Left Out? Can the Completion Movement Reach Students with Intellectual Disabilities?
Because people with intellectual disabilities face unique challenges in higher education, Ann Werbach and Debra Hart propose that institutions provide more support to these individuals. They note that some institutions already incorporate strategies through hybrid-learning programs, but more effort should be focused on building skills for independence. They point to using multiple learning pathways in the same classroom to address different learning preferences as one approach. (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
To Better Serve Adult Learners, Eliminate the Barriers Between Work and Learning
With more adult learners attending college, Sean Gallagher of Northeastern University argues that there must be more focus on connecting work and learning. His suggestions include developing new experiential learning models that build on work experience and enable students to apply their skills in the workplace through employer and capstone projects and other part-time models. (EdSurge)
President Speaks: 7 Ways to Build a Better Career Launchpad for Low-Income Students
Many students, particularly those who are first-generation and from low-income backgrounds, face obstacles to professional attainment. Denison University’s president, Adam Weinberg, and vice president for student development, Laurel Kennedy, describe strategies for success based on Denison’s research. For example, they urge faculty to acknowledge students’ concerns rather than dismissing them. (Education Dive
Evolving Learner Feedback for the Digital Age
In the digital age, feedback has taken on a new form and function, according to Cathy Hendon. Instructors must personalize it by calling students by name, make specific references to the students’ work, and be constructive and timely, she writes. Written comments can be misinterpreted, Hendon opines, but offering feedback via video or other tools helps eliminate this concern. (The EvoLLLution)

Conference News: CHEA 

“How do we know?” It was the opening question Meghan Snow, ACUE’s executive director of research and Jonathan Gyurko, president and co-founder of ACUE, posed to attendees at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s (CHEA) Annual Conference, held January 28th in Washington, D.C.

How do we know our students are learning? And how do we know institutions are engaging with—and meeting—the teaching and learning standards set by their accreditors?
 
An answer begins with an understanding of what constitutes good teaching and the kind of pedagogical development that promotes it, and then connecting the dots between faculty development, improved instruction, and stronger, more equitable student outcomes.
Read more

Photos of the Week

Union County College Course Launch
Western Kentucky University Inaugural Course Launch
(L to R): Dr. Scott Furlong (SUNY Oswego), Dr. Farrah Ward (ECSU), Dr. Amy Chasteen (USM) at AASCU
Bergen County Community College Pinning Ceremony
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