Frequently Asked Questions

Our mission

What is ACUE?

ACUE was founded by leaders in higher education to advance instruction, support college educators, and promote student success. We help colleges and universities achieve their goals for students through innovative faculty development partnerships and a research-based Course in Effective Teaching Practices leading to a Certificate in Effective College Instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education.

Why is effective teaching key to student success in higher education?

The personal, social, and economic value of a college education has never been greater. Yet today, millions of students matriculate unprepared for college-level work. Nearly half of those who enter college fail to complete their degrees in six years. A national commitment to instruction is vital to provide these students with the college education they deserve.
The evidence is clear that effective instruction helps college students persist in their studies, complete their degrees, and learn more. Despite the research, effective instruction has been absent from the national conversation about student success. Although a majority of today’s faculty members nationwide are expected to teach, far too many of these educators receive little to no formal preparation and support to do so.

How are ACUE and the American Council on Education working together?

The American Council on Education (ACE) has endorsed ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework© as a statement of the teaching skills and knowledge that college educators should possess.
Faculty members who complete ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices receive a Certificate in Effective College Instruction co-endorsed by ACUE and ACE. The Course addresses a broad range of research-based teaching techniques across five units, as outlined in the Effective Practice Framework. The Certificate distinguishes educators who strengthen their practice by learning these techniques and implementing them into their teaching.
ACUE’s landmark collaboration with ACE signifies a shared goal is to expand dramatically the use of effective teaching practices to benefit students, faculty, and institutions.

What we do

What is the Course in Effective Teaching Practices?

The Course in Effective Teaching Practices is a campus resource to help faculty develop the essential skills shown to promote student success. The Course is the result of 14 months of research and development working with leading subject matter experts and faculty from a diverse pilot group of colleges and universities across the country. The Course showcases exemplary classroom demonstrations and features interviews with over 70 award-winning college educators and experts. Design of the Course is informed by the latest research in cognition and adult learning that ensures course-takers learn about and put into practice, the effective techniques shown to help students succeed. Learn more about the Course.
The Course is aligned to ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework, which the American Council on Education (ACE) has endorsed as a leading statement of the professional skills and knowledge that college educators should possess. Learn more about the Course and Framework.

What is ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework?

ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework© is a leading statement of the instructional skills and knowledge that college educators should possess. Both the Course in Effective Teaching Practices and the Certificate in Effective College Instruction are aligned to the Framework©.
The Framework is organized into five major units that comprise the Course in Effective Teaching Practices. Each area includes five to seven hour-long learning modules that help faculty develop practical and research-based instructional techniques.

How can educators take the Course?

The Course is designed to be taken in cohorts led be Facilitators on campus or in collaboration with ACUE. At present, the Course is available through our college and university partnerships. Educators interested in bringing ACUE’s Course to their campus should contact ACUE at

What is the Certificate in Effective College Instruction?

Certificate. Endorsed by the American Council on Education, ACUE’s Certificate in Effective College Instruction recognizes educators who complete ACUE’s full Course in Effective Teaching Practices. To satisfy Course requirements and earn this Certificate, course-takers:

  • Learn from leading experts on research-based techniques
  • Analyze high-quality video demonstrations of authentic classroom instruction
  • Participate in discussions with peers and a facilitator
  • Demonstrate knowledge of effective instruction
  • Differentiate effective from developing practice
  • Apply recommended, research-based techniques
  • Reflect on the implementation of new techniques
  • Provide feedback to peers
  • Set goals for continued improvement

Badges. While progressing through the Course, course-takers earn digital Badges that represent milestones towards the Certificate in Effective College Instruction. Badges are awarded for each of the 27 modules and five units of study that comprise the Course.
Once a Badge has been issued, course-takers can accept the Badge through their Canvas account and share the achievement on professional networks such as LinkedIn. Doing so distinguishes course-takers as possessing the skills needed to be effective college educators in the 21st century.
Record of Completion. At the end of a semester program, course-takers receive a Record of Completion to recognize their achievement through the Course. This PDF is a summary of the digital Badges a course-taker has received and can either be printed for a professional portfolio or shared digitally.

How do campus partnerships support existing faculty development initiatives?

The Course in Effective Teaching Practices is a resource designed to be implemented by faculty developers and other pedagogical leaders on campus. We work in collaboration with centers for teaching and learning to complement and scale existing faculty development efforts to reach more faculty.

Our partnerships include joint-programming opportunities, sponsored workshops, and customized modules to support the institution’s student success initiatives. For more, read about how California State University, Los Angeles is using the Course in Effective Teaching Practices to prepare faculty to implement a campus-wide Civic Learning initiative and learn what American Council on Education President Molly Broad says about the “vital” importance of Centers for Teaching and Learning in the student success agenda in higher education.

Who are ACUE’s current campus partners?

To date, ACUE has worked with thousands of faculty from dozens of colleges and universities across the country, including a diverse group of 11 founding partner institutions that helped research, develop, and pilot the Course in Effective Teaching Practices. See the complete list of ACUE’s current partners.

What is an ACUE content partner?

ACUE also partners with colleges and universities to showcase exemplary instruction and to develop custom content. ACUE’s video-rich Course in Effective Teaching Practices includes high-quality examples of authentic classroom instruction.
For more information, see a full list of our experts and teaching modelers.

What is the Community of Professional Practice?

ACUE’s Community of Professional Practice serves to sustain the development and application of research-based teaching practices during the Course and after it is completed.
As a Course participant, you’ll automatically receive a weekly newsletter, which curates and delivers the top news, research, and insights about higher education teaching and learning to your inbox. The newsletter also features advice from leading experts in the field of teaching and learning.
To access additional content and member forums, register for the Community and connect with these experts and colleagues both on campus and across the nation. The Community blog and discussion forums offer professional opportunities to publish work, share ideas, and engage in continued conversation about instructional practice.
Register for free.

What evidence exists about the effectiveness of ACUE’s Course and related offerings?

In 2015, more than 400 professors, adjunct educators, and teaching assistants piloted ACUE’s Course at colleges and universities nationwide.
On average, participating educators implemented numerous research-based instructional techniques for every one-hour module completed. In addition:

  • Nearly 90% find content relevant.
  • Over 85% feel more confident in their teaching.
  • 80% recommend the program to colleagues.
  • 87% report that students respond positively to the use of new techniques.

Review ACUE’s full pilot impact report.


How is ACUE incorporated?

ACUE is organized as a limited liability company.