Leading Teaching Excellence
Sam Houston State University leadership, including Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Richard Eglsaer, Vice Provost Mary Robbins and academic Deans along with Texas State University System Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs John Hayek, commended instructors for their dedication to students during a campus ceremony where 29 professors became the first Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Fellows at SHSU.
The event recognized faculty who earned a national credential through the ACUE in collaboration with the American Council on Education. SHSU is the first university in Texas to join the consortium.
The Office of Academic Affairs along with the Professional and Academic Center for Excellence (PACE), partnered with ACUE to make the program available to SHSU instructors.
Todd Primm, a Biological Science professor and director of PACE, helped establish the partnership and took part as a member of the first cohort. He believes the skills obtained in the course can transform students’ learning experiences.
"This is a concrete example of how faculty are dedicated to quality teaching and how SHSU is investing in effective instruction and mentoring, which is the single-largest factor on student success." - Todd Primm
Designed to equip faculty with instructional skills that promote motivation, learning and persistence, the ACUE course consists of 25 modules, covering topics such as student motivation, effective discussion methods and improving assessment techniques. The experience also includes periodic face-to-face meetings on campus to support participants and sharing best practices.
Other participating faculty members of the first cohort shared accounts on how the course influenced their teaching practices.
“The training highlighted different ways to incorporate active learning in the classroom. Demonstrating the various practices provides you with the opportunity to select activities that align with your teaching style,” said Courtney West, associate dean for Educational Affairs in the proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine (applicant status – seeking accreditation).
“Although I have taught for 30 years, I know that there’s still so much to learn, and the ACUE course provided so many insights and strategies to help be a more effective teacher. Probably the most important lesson is to be more mindful of my students who struggle and to implement methods that will help them to succeed,” David McTier, professor of theatre said.
Emma Bullock, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, has already witnessed positive results in the classroom from the training she received.
“I have almost 15 years of K-12 and higher education teaching experience and to say that I was skeptical of the ACUE modules would be an understatement. However, as I engaged in the modules, my mind was entirely changed. I have implemented the techniques taught in the program and the effectiveness of my teaching has increased exponentially. More students are coming to me and actively engaging in the material sooner with reduced failure rates. I’ve found myself more excited to teach as well,” Bullock said