More than 153 UA - Pulaski Technical College faculty have improved their teaching practices through a program with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). This rigorous, evidence based, 25-week course engages instructors with independently validated research to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. ACUE Focus is a question and answer series where faculty share their experiences with ACUE.
College Studies Program Director
1. Which ACUE course did you complete?
UA-PTC ACUE ETP Cohort 2021-2022. My focus is First-Year Experience and Career Readiness. I have completed the Effective Teaching Practice, Effective College Instruction, and the Creating Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment courses with ACUE to date.
2. Why did you initially enroll in the ACUE course? And what was your experience completing the course?
No matter how many degrees or years of experience in a field, I believe there is still more to learn and that is why I chose to complete some of the courses through ACUE. I want to be the best I can be to ensure that I am providing my students with an outstanding college experience. I believe that ACUE provides strong learning opportunities with real life connections to the classroom. Hands down, my favorite course was the Creating Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment. It was nice knowing that the format of my online courses was aligning with what the experts believe to be effective. I was also able to carry over pieces from this course into my actual online courses right then. Between the confirmation of knowing I was on the right track with my online teaching strategies and the additional knowledge gained from ACUE, I strongly recommend those that teach online courses to complete this course.
3. Can you describe a specific teaching practice or positive interaction you had with students as a result of your learning in the ACUE course? What did the student(s) say or do?
One item that my students and I both love are the midterm meetings. Now, I’ve always done midterm meetings with my students just as a one-on-one catch up, but after completing the ACUE course, I added in one additional piece – the Start-Stop-Continue chart. My students and I both love this chart. It allows the students to let me know right then in the middle of the semester how they are feeling about class and offer some suggestions on what they would like to see moving forward. I am so thankful for this outcome because the students are able to say “Mrs. Amber, I really would like to see more of xyz” and I implement as I can. I learned that my students really love the Kahoot! quizzes for review. What I find interesting is that no two semesters are alike. For example, one semester the students may love having the campus tours where I take them to various departments on campus while other semesters the students prefer this as a scavenger hunt setup. As a faculty member, I love to hear what my students need, and this was the perfect piece to include.
4. What’s one word you would use to describe your experience in the ACUE course and why?
One word that I can use to describe my ACUE course is positive. Every experience is positive, and every outcome has been positive. I love the opportunity to grow and learn as a professional in my field, but also to share that with my students. At the end of the day, I am here for my students to learn, grow, and be successful, and I fully believe that the ACUE courses help in that endeavor.