How the Sunshine State is Advancing Great College Instruction

College instructors from the Sunshine State are in the spotlight for their commitment to great pedagogy. 

A trio of Florida colleges and universities have enrolled faculty members in ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices this year, and some exemplary faculty members are being showcased on film for development of ACUE’s upcoming course modules.  This week, their work was featured in a Politico Florida profile about the initiative:

Faculty members at three Florida public higher education institutions — FAMU, Florida International University and Miami Dade College — are showcasing their teaching talents for the videos, piloting and providing feedback on the yet-incomplete course, or both. So far, participants in the Florida pilot programs have offered positive reviews, and the schools’ administrators are considering purchasing the professional development tool for faculty members with a range of experience, from graduate teaching assistants to adjuncts to full professors.

The project, which aims to boost student retention and graduation rates by improving teaching quality at the college level, is a collaboration of the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), a New York City-based private company, and the American Council on Education (ACE), a national advocacy group representing college and university presidents.

“At the college level, we’ve always stressed discipline expertise, and teaching has kind of been left over to the side,” said ACUE’s chief academic officer, Penny MacCormack, who directed the filming session in Alexander’s classroom. “Folks are starting to think, well wait a minute, somebody who is an expert in their discipline may struggle to teach it well. … My team and I were charged with developing a scalable faculty development resource that would help faculty not only learn about effective practices but put them into action.”

In the article, FIU Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning Isis Artze-Vega explained why strengthening the quality of instruction at her institution was a priority.

“The performance-based funding at the state level has really been a catalyst for us to think about teaching and learning,” Artze-Vega said. “We can no longer afford to not think about teaching. Faculty are the front line in student retention and student success.”

Read the full story on Politico Florida’s website. Check out some behind-the-scenes photos from ACUE’s Florida film shoots on ACUE’s Facebook page.
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