We were proud to participate this week in some important conversations about student excellence at the 2016 National HBCU Week Conference in Arlington, Va.
Dr. Genyne Boston, the Associate Provost at Florida A&M, made a presentation to the esteemed board of the White House HBCU Initiative about FAMU’s successful pilot and ongoing work with ACUE. Joining Dr. Boston was Dr. Jonathan Gyurko, ACUE’s Founder and CEO, who delivered introductory remarks to the Board about ACUE’s mission and work. The Board, appointed by President Obama at the start of his administration, is chaired by Dr. William Harvey, the longtime President of Hampton College and directed by Kim Hunter Reed, the Deputy Under Secretary of Education.
See below to read Dr. Gyurko’s prepared remarks and Dr. Boston’s presentation.
We also released a new video that showcases the students, faculty, and research-based teaching techniques and strategies from ACUE’s Course in Effective Teaching Practices.
Dr. Jonathan Gyurko’s Prepared remarks to the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs
Thank you Chairman Harvey, Board members, and good afternoon.
My name is Jonathan Gyurko and I am the Founder and CEO of ACUE. It is an honor to have the opportunity to speak to you today and bring to your attention a new resource that is designed to dramatically improve college student retention, completion, and success.
About two years ago, ACUE was founded through a conversation among a number of leaders in higher education, including Elmira Mangum of FAMU, Eduardo Padron of Miami Dade College, Molly Broad of ACE, Kevin Reilly of the Wisconsin system, and others. We observed that, to date, the nation’s student success agenda has many important and necessary components. But it remains, by and large, incomplete—with the missing link being great college teaching.
As I experienced in my training as a political scientist, and as perhaps did many of you, we become experts in our field and our research methods. But training in pedagogy is largely absent from the preparation of college faculty, be they adjunct or tenure-track or tenured. This occurs despite decades of research that good teaching matters. Research shows that evidence-based teaching approaches help students persist in their studies, complete their degrees, and learn much more. And yet, we cannot think of another profession where there is so little formal training and support for work that is so mission critical.
ACUE was founded not merely to draw attention to this issue, but to help solve it.
Over the past 18 months we have partnered with 35 colleges and universities nationwide, to build a first-of-its-kind Course In Effective Teaching Practices for faculty. The Course is built on 350 citations from the scholarship of teaching and learning. It features the nation’s leading subject matter experts and showcases exemplary instruction. It is comprehensive—with specific techniques and approaches on how to help under-prepared students, how to engage and motivate them, how to implement active-learning techniques, and how to cultivate a civil and inclusive learning environment.
The Course’s innovative design is delivered online and is scalable, with cohorts of faculty collaborating with an on-campus coach, and in partnership with your teaching center. Our learning design doesn’t end with faculty merely knowing more about great teaching. To earn a Certificate in Effective College Instruction—one that is endorsed by the American Council on Education—faculty must apply these techniques, reflect on this implementation, and refine their teaching in the future.
Most important, ACUE’s Course works.
To date, we’ve worked with nearly 2,000 faculty (and counting) at institutions ranging from Delta State University in Mississippi and Essex County College in New Jersey to the Cal State system and major R1s like UCONN and the University of Arizona. The response is humbling. Faculty want to improve their practice and our Course is providing presidents and provosts with a new tool—one that no single institution could build on its own but one that is relevant to all—to make great teaching a strategic part of their plan for student success.
I am here today with our FAMU partner Dr. Genyne Boston, to bring ACUE to your attention and to express our sincere desire to work with you and HBCUs nationwide, to help many more students succeed through great teaching. On a personal note, I’ve spent my career advancing educational opportunity for students at all levels, and around the world, and I can safely say that my work with ACUE, and the impact we are seeing, is by far the most rewarding.
At this time we’d like you to hear directly from Dr. Boston on FAMU’s experience as one of ACUE’s founding partner campuses. I am happy to answer any questions you may have after her presentation and in the days to follow. Finally, thank you again to Chairman Harvey and to Deputy Under Secretary Kim Hunter Reed and Under Secretary Mitchell for their strong support of this effort. Thank you.
Dr. Genyne Boston’s presentation to the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUsgenyne-boston-hbcu-2016-presentation