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Texas A&M Selected for National Initiative, Scaling Instructional Excellence for Student Success

Published on Thu 05/07/20

Texas A&M University faculty members will be invited to participate in "Scaling Instructional Excellence for Student Success," a strategic initiative aimed to promote quality instruction and student success. This cohort-based program targets core curriculum and gateway courses.
The National Association of System Heads (NASH) recently announced that the Texas A&M University System has been selected as one of four leading higher education systems for this initiative. Ninety Texas A&M flagship faculty members will be invited to enroll in the program. A short waitlist will be maintained in case additional spots become available.
Additionally, 60 faculty members will be invited from each of the selected System colleges, including Texas A&M University-Commerce, A&M Corpus Christi, and Prairie View A&M, as well as 30 faculty each from West Texas A&M, Texas A&M University Kingsville, and Tarleton State University. Texas A&M International University and Texas A&M University Texarkana will enroll a total of 20 faculty in a combined cohort.

A call for nominations will be coming out in the near future from the Center for Teaching Excellence.
The Texas A&M University System, The California State University System, City University of New York, and the University of Missouri System will collectively enroll more than 1,500 faculty in the Association of College and University Educators(ACUE) faculty development programs in evidence-based teaching practices. Recognizing the impact of effective teaching on students’ academic success, this initiative is estimated to benefit nearly 300,000 students annually. The systems will also participate in research to document faculty implementation of new teaching techniques and the subsequent impact on student outcomes.
Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said he is pleased about the partnership. “By expanding our collaborations with leading universities and systems around the nation, we’re giving our faculty the partnerships and the tools they need to advance their careers and transform the student experience,” Young said. “We’re excited that this new strategic initiative with NASH will not only further our land-grant mission, but also help our faculty enhance the educational experience for countless students at Texas A&M.”
Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke said she is eager to see how faculty members will benefit from the program. “We welcome this opportunity for Texas A&M faculty members to engage in this new initiative to further advance student success and close equity gaps,” Fierke said. “I am particularly enthused about the opportunity for faculty members to participate in professional development that emphasizes scaling instructional excellence to meet the needs of all our students.”

Faculty To Receive ACUE Certificate

Participating faculty who complete the program in effective teaching practices – for the classroom and online environment – will be awarded ACUE’s Certificate in Effective College Instruction, which is endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE).
“This initiative is aligned with NASH’s focus on supporting transformative, collective strategies that work for students,” said NASH Executive Director Rebecca Martin. “We know quality learning experiences and strong relationships with faculty, whether in person or online, are a major element of student success. This partnership with ACUE will help to build a strong culture of quality teaching that will pay dividends for thousands of students beyond this school year.”
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said he is eager to see the program in action. “ACUE’s program promises to improve the biggest factor we can control to ensure our students thrive, and that’s their experience in the classroom,” Sharp said. “Training our most talented faculty in research-based ways to improve their classroom performance is a good investment, and we expect it to yield great results.”

At Texas A&M’s flagship campus in College Station, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) will lead the initiative, including campus lead and CTE Director Debra Fowler; CTE Instructional Consultants Nate Poling, Clint Patterson, and Brandon Cooper; and CTE Administrative Coordinator Kristen Brubaker as data collection and logistics coordinator.

The initiative is supported with $2.4 million from the Charles Koch Foundation, based on the shared belief with ACUE and NASH that the effort will empower faculty to transform the education experience for students through the incorporation of proven teaching methods. These evidence-based practices address how to design an effective course, establish a productive learning environment, promote active learning, stimulate higher-order thinking, and assess classroom instruction in ways that strengthen achievement.
“We are committed to supporting colleges, universities and faculty as they prepare for the fall and beyond,” said ACUE CEO Susan Cates. “Through this initiative and collaboration with leading higher education systems, we’re helping college students persist and engage in their studies, learn more deeply and graduate fully prepared for rewarding careers and meaningful lives. We’re excited to partner with NASH, the systems and CKF in this effort.”
ACUE’s courses in effective teaching practices are based on more than three decades of research that show how effective teaching improves learning outcomes for all students. According to independently validated research, students are more engaged, learn more, and persist in their studies in greater numbers when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. Studies conducted by ACUE and its institutional partners also indicate low-income and historically underrepresented students perform comparably alongside their peers when exposed to effective teaching practices.
For more information about the Call for Applications, contact CTE Director Debra Fowler at
About NASH: The National Association of System Heads (NASH) is the association of the chief executives of 40 colleges and university systems of public higher education in the United States. Formed in 1979 for the purpose of seeking improvement in the organization and governance of public higher education systems, NASH serves as a forum for the exchange of views and information among its members and on leveraging the power of systems to advance innovation and change in public higher education. To learn more, visit

About ACUE: The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) is on a mission to ensure student success through quality instruction. In partnership with colleges, universities, higher education systems, and associations, ACUE prepares and credentials faculty in the evidence-based teaching practices that improve student achievement and close equity gaps. Numerous and independently validated efficacy studies confirm that students are more engaged, learn more, and complete courses in greater numbers—more equitably with their peers—when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. ACUE’s online, cohort-based credentialing programs are delivered through institutional partnerships and open enrollment courses endorsed by the American Council on Education. To learn more, visit

By Texas A&M University Office of Provost Communications