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Great Teaching Still Matters

Recent news reports reflect a dismal view of higher education, specifically the preparation of students for the workforce after graduation. Essential to this process is the role of faculty in teaching students and creating an effective learning environment. As the options for pursuing a collegiate education continue to expand, the ability to reach learners in all modalities - F2F, online, and hyflex - remains critical. The implementation of evidence-based teaching practices impacts student success metrics. What follows is a brief synopsis of how our campus partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) aligns with our strategic plan, 2022 - 2030 Unleash the Genius.

The mission of ACUE is to ensure student success through quality instruction. The financial investment of executive leadership and the time investment of our faculty in this premier professional development opportunity reflect a commitment to enhancing the intellectual climate of our campus community. Since 2021, 93 faculty have earned the only nationally recognized credential in Effective College Instruction as ACUE Credentialed Educators. Recently, 20 faculty have obtained a micro-credential in Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment. Evidence-based teaching practices apply to any course modality. Faculty who can teach an online course will be phenomenal teachers in a face-to-face course.

As we examine the data for faculty participating in the ACUE courses, there is a demonstrative impact on confidence in the following areas:

  • Designing an Effective Course and Class
  • Establishing a Productive Learning Environment
  • Using Active Learning Techniques
  • Promoting Higher Order Thinking
  • Assessing to Inform Instruction and Promote Learning

We are committed to sharing our institutional story of the importance of teaching. To assist with this effort, you can assist in the following ways:

  1. Showcase. Consult with the University Registrar to update the course catalog to include a notation beside each course taught by an ACUE Credentialed Educator to show the teaching expertise of faculty.
  2. Social Media Campaigns. Collaborate with the Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) team to develop social media campaigns to feature the ACUE Credentialed Educators within departments.
  3. Departmental websites. Specify the number and names of faculty in departments and programs who have obtained the ACUE Credential.  
  4. Student Testimonials. In addition to end-of-course evaluations, provide opportunities for students to create short videos to articulate how the instruction in the course has impacted their learning experience.
  5. 2-Minute Mentor. Submit a video to contribute to the project about a teaching challenge, how to address the challenge, and the impact on student success. Submit a video to 2-Minute Mentor. To view examples, visit our 2-Minute Mentor playlist.
  6. Local Employers. As employers seek opportunities for their teams to gain additional skills, inform the community of our commitment to instructional excellence, given the number of ACUE credentialed faculty in different departments.

Teaching is not synonymous with learning, but learning will occur when there is intentional teaching. As we remain focused on our institutional mission, we are excited to support faculty in enhancing their instructional acumen. The fruit of this focus also leads to a positive impact on student retention and persistence.

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