Frequently Asked Questions

Our mission

What is ACUE?

ACUE was founded by leaders in higher education to ensure that all college students receive what they deserve: great instruction. Through a landmark collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE), ACUE provides a high-quality, research-based, comprehensive, and scalable program to credential faculty in the evidence-based teaching practices necessary for student success.

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

To compete in a global knowledge economy, students need a postsecondary education more than ever. Yet nationally, three out of ten freshmen who started college in fall 2014 did not make it to fall 2015. At community colleges, 70% of students don’t complete their degree in three years; and 50% of students at baccalaureate institutions don’t complete in six years.

The evidence is clear that effective instruction must be central to student success strategies. Decades of research show that when college students receive quality instruction their rates of course completion and program retention go up, achievement gaps narrow, and graduation numbers improve.

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

ACUE and the American Council on Education (ACE) are collaborating to improve college teaching nationwide.

  • ACE has endorsed ACUE’s program and Effective Practice Framework© as a statement of the teaching skills and knowledge that college educators should possess.
  • ACE validates ACUE’s programs through quality assurance reviews.
  • ACE is promoting the importance of effective instruction to its members through commissioned white papers and recognition of ACUE’s founding class of 14 colleges and universities.

What we do

What is ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices?

ACUE offers a comprehensive, scalable, and affordable way to train, credential, and support instructional faculty to teach more effectively. ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices is an online, comprehensive, and evidence-based program that prepares instructional faculty to implement all of the essential teaching practices defined in ACUE’s Framework. The Course includes 25 one-hour online modules across five comprehensive areas of study, featuring Over 180 instructional videos that showcase exemplary college teaching.

For a more in-depth look, tour an ACUE module or browse all teaching topics on the ACUE Course page.

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 by 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?

Endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE), ACUE’s Certificate in Effective College Instruction recognizes educators who complete ACUE’s 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

While progressing through the Course, course-takers also earn digital Badges that represent milestones towards the Certificate. Badges are awarded across the five units of study that comprise the Course. At the end of a semester program, course-takers receive a Record of Completion to recognize their achievement through the Course.

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.


How is ACUE incorporated?

ACUE is organized as a limited liability company.