New nationwide studies find eliminated completion gaps, fewer withdrawals, improved grades, and stronger engagement among students taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. Independent experts who assessed these studies commended the “range, depth, and rigor” of this “impressive body of work” that reinforces “the link between faculty development, teaching improvement, and student learning.” Among notable findings:
• A course completion gap was eliminated between Black/African American and other students at Texas Woman’s University
• Students learned more, earning better grades, at City College of San Francisco
• Success rates went up and DFW’s down at Delta State University
• Students were more engaged at Miami Dade College and grades improved
• Students experienced evidence-based teaching approaches more often at Broward College.
These and related studies examine the impact of over 500 ACUE-credentialed faculty members educating 17,000 students—one of the largest bodies of evidence demonstrating the link between comprehensive pedagogical training on changes in teaching practices and the consequent improvement in student outcomes.
"We certainly find that faculty who go through the program are very enthusiastic about it, they feel positively about it, but that’s not enough,” ACUE CEO Susan Cates told Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. "The reason for institutions to do this is because it is actually driving better impact for their students."
ACUE convened a panel of experts in higher education research, evaluation, policy, and faculty development to assess the methodologies, findings, and interpretations of the efficacy studies. Reviewers noted the variety of settings “provided a diverse laboratory in which to track faculty and student outcomes” and that “it is much more likely that grades and completion rates went up because [ACUE-credentialed] faculty became better at teaching.”
Committee members were:
• Drew Allen, Executive Director of the Initiative for Data Exploration and Analytics (IDEAS) for Higher Education at Princeton University
• Michael S. McPherson, President Emeritus of the Spencer Foundation and Macalester College and Co-Chair of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education
• Linda B. Nilson, founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University
• Mary Deane Sorcinelli, Director Emeritus of the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Research briefs, technical papers, and the reviewers’ full report can be found at: www.acue.org/impact/efficacy-studies-reports/.