Park University and the Association of College and University Educators have partnered to enhance the University’s legacy of instructional excellence to drive student success. Park is one of seven competitive grant winners selected by ACUE and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to receive support under the KC Scholars program to implement ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices.
The program launches in September when 50 Park educators begin a national certificate program in evidence-based teaching practices shown to increase student achievement and course completion. Faculty who complete the program are awarded a nationally-recognized Certificate in Effective College Instruction that is co-endorsed by ACUE and the American Council on Education.
“The ACUE credentialing opportunity will build upon the core strength of Park University faculty, which is high quality, learner-centered teaching,” said Emily Sallee, Ph.D., Park University associate provost. “The teaching credential they will earn through participation in ACUE’s program will further distinguish the quality of instruction students receive at Park.”
ACUE’s course is based on more than three decades of research which identifies specific teaching practices that improve learning for all students, with an especially strong impact among historically underrepresented students — a group that comprises 42 percent of Park’s student population.
The initiative complements the work of the University’s Faculty Center for Innovation, led by Amber Dailey-Hebert, director and professor of adult and continuing education, who will lead course participants in a series of scaffolding events to reflect on how the course lessons are guiding them in instructional development. A final event will gather participants to create plans for operationalizing the knowledge gained through the ACUE course, such as making changes to Park’s core curriculum, their own teaching practices and mentoring techniques for other faculty.
“We are excited to collaborate with Park as they engage their faculty in this opportunity to further develop and refine their teaching practices, ensuring students receive the quality of instruction shown to increase student motivation, engagement and learning,” said Penny MacCormack, ACUE chief academic officer.
ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices is aligned with the latest research in cognition and adult learning, and it exceeds online learning standards, as certified by Quality Matters. It consists of 25 learning modules that address more than 200 evidence-based teaching practices and are organized into five units of study:
• 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