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Professional Development

Universities to Scale Faculty Training with ACUE Program

Four university systems have been accepted into a program that will deliver professional development to their faculty as part of improving student achievement. The techniques taught will work in both in-person and online courses.

The institutions are all members of the National Association of System Heads (NASH), made up of chief executives from 40 colleges and university systems of public higher education in the United States. They'll be enrolling a combined 1,500 instructors into a faculty development program run by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

The four systems, the California State University System, City University of New York, the Texas A&M University System and the University of Missouri System, competed to become part of the initiative.

Each will offer ACUE's course on effective teaching practices to hundreds of faculty members, including full- and part-timers, teaching assistants and other instructors with teaching responsibilities. For its part, ACUE will provide academic, communications and other support services. The participating systems will also receive research services to document faculty implementation of new teaching techniques and the subsequent impact on student outcomes.

The program addresses 25 core competencies defined in ACUE's "Effective Practice Framework." Those are organized into five areas of practice: designing an effective course; establishing a productive learning environment; using active learning strategies; promoting higher order thinking; and assessing to inform instruction and promote learning. Those who satisfy the course requirements will earn a certificate in effective college instruction from the American Council on Education.

The course will be delivered online and will include resources on effective online teaching practices. Those who specifically complete the ACUE's course in effective online teaching practices will receive their certificate designating a concentration in online teaching.

"This initiative is aligned with NASH's focus on supporting transformative, collective strategies that work for students," said NASH Executive Director, Rebecca Martin, in a statement. "We know quality learning experiences and strong relationships with faculty, whether in person or online, are a major element of student success. This partnership with ACUE will help to build a strong culture of quality teaching that will pay dividends for thousands of students beyond this school year."

This initiative is being supported with $2.4 dollars from the Charles Koch Foundation.

Additional information is available on the ACUE website, including a frequently-asked questions document.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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