Penny MacCormack, EdD

Penny MacCormack headshot
Chief Academic Officer

Dr. MacCormack is ACUE’s first Chief Academic Officer, joining in early 2015 as the organization was just getting off the ground. In this role, she led the creation of ACUE’s Effective Practice Framework—a research-based and independently validated statement of the teaching skills and knowledge that every college educator should possess. She also led the development of the ACUE course learning design, informed by higher-education instructors and the learning sciences, and shown to inspire the use of evidence-based teaching practices ultimately resulting in improved student outcomes.  Faculty who engage in these offerings are awarded the only nationally recognized teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education.

Under MacCormack’s direction, ACUE has published numerous studies finding statistically significant improvements in outcomes, including the narrowing and closing of equity gaps, among students taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. These peer-reviewed studies have been commended for their range, depth, and rigor of analysis.

MacCormack brings over 25 years of education experience to this work, as a teacher, professor, and district and state educational leader. Her focus, regardless of role, has been on the power of evidence-based teaching practices to move the needle in closing equity gaps and improving student engagement and achievement. Prior to ACUE, she served as Chief Academic Officer for Hartford Public Schools, New Haven Public Schools, and the State of New Jersey where she co-led the state’s College and Career-Ready Task. She taught at Southern Connecticut State University and Montclair State University and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford.  Her dissertation and much of her previous work focused on designing quality professional development for leaders focused on improving student success.