SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Faculty members at Briar Cliff University were recognized during a pinning ceremony on May 1 for earning a nationally recognized teaching credential co-endorsed by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and the American Council on Education (ACE). Faculty demonstrated their commitment to student success by completing a yearlong Course in Effective Teaching Practices to equip them with the research-based instructional skills proven to promote student motivation, learning, and persistence.
Director of BCU’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) Matthew Pangborn applauded the faculty participants for their passion and dedication in constantly seeking out ways to better serve their students. “Innovation in teaching and learning is one of the bedrock values here at Briar Cliff,” Pangborn said. “These faculty members have demonstrated their commitment to that value in a very practical fashion, and that commitment is what BCU’s liberal-arts education is all about. Briar Cliff prepares students not just for rewarding careers, but also for rewarding lives as ethical leaders in their communities. The foundational steps on that path occur in the classroom, and these teachers are equipping their students with vital skills their students will draw on for the rest of their lives.”
The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Todd Knealing and the presentation hosted by Director of Academic Achievement Jessie McCormick. Those receiving awards were April Allen Vo, Wendy Brame, Stephen Brown, Ted Bryan, Jeff Gard, Carla Grey, Alicia Harper, Brian Hazlett, David Hoferer, Paul Korchin, Lucas Kramer, Kathy Magorian, Mark McGlynn, Jeremy Owens, Matthew Pangborn, Nathan Probasco, Liz Rembold, Grant Riedel, Jay Rhodes, Erin Small and Patricia Taylor.
About the significance of the course, Wendy Brame, associate professor of sociology, said, “It was a serious game-changer for my teaching, from the way I structure my classes to the learning activities I use in specific class sessions.” Kathy Magorian, assistant professor of nursing, agreed, adding, “If we try to teach like we were taught, or try to reach our students in ways that are not meaningful for them, we are merely going through motions. This course gave real-time suggestions and strategies to improve delivery, provide clarity for grading and assessment, and align outcome measures with teaching methods and assignments.”
To earn their Certificate in Effective Teaching Practices, faculty members completed a 25-module course that required them to learn about and implement new evidence-based teaching practices. In addition, participants met frequently to share their perspectives and reflect on the experience. Aligned with the latest research in cognition and adult learning, ACUE’s course addresses over 200 evidence-based teaching practices. Faculty will continue to learn about pedagogy and receive support through ACUE’s Community of Professional Practice, which provides access to member forums, expert webinars, biweekly newsletters, and online “office hours” with leading scholars in college instruction.
Briar Cliff University’s ACUE-course participants will continue to utilize their new training in their teaching, but the course’s real value, according to CELT Director Pangborn, is that it has helped strengthen an already robust community of dedicated teachers. “Trying new practices as a teacher takes a lot of time but also some assurance the new practices will actually work,” Pangborn said. “One benefit of this course is that it has created a core group on campus who have a new common skillset based on the latest and best thinking on pedagogy, and this core group of faculty members will be serving as a resource for their peers for many years to come.”