A Conversation on Student Success: Reimagining Gateway Courses

This video features guest Dr. Rita Cheng, president of Northern Arizona University.

Bio 181 at Northern Arizona University used to be known as a “weed out” course, with about 30% of students dropping out. It’s a gateway too—required for 25 majors, meaning that about 1 in 10 students need to pass it. When a companion study skills class didn’t improve retention, NAU completely redesigned it with great success.

President Rita Cheng talked with ACE’s Assistant Vice President of Professional Learning Sherri Hughes about the impact that this and other similar efforts have had in building a culture of instructional excellence and student success at NAU.

“We were able to cut the D,F and W (rate) in half, and our underrepresented students…saw even greater results,” said Cheng.

This new series offers an informal opportunity to learn from a range of leaders and experts on timely topics relevant to students’ success. A Conversation on Student Success is produced in collaboration with the Association of College and University Educators. 

Watch the introductory clip, and then create a complimentary account on ACE Engage® to watch the full video and weigh in.

Watch the Full Video

ACE Engage

Create a complimentary account on ACE Engage® to watch the full video and weigh in. ACE Engage is ACE’s peer-to-peer online community and learning platform for higher education executives.

When you click to watch the full video, you will be asked to first Log In or Sign Up.

Related Links


Sign up for the Newsletter

More Blog Posts