A&T Participates in National ACUE Study on Impact of Growth Mindsets through High-Quality Teaching

10/06/2023 Academic Affairs

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University participated in a newly released Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) study demonstrating that when college and university faculty participate in high-quality comprehensive courses in effective teaching practices, they report substantial increases in their confidence in using these proven practices.

The study, which included nine other colleges and universities, also showed that these faculty see significant, positive changes in their mindsets about their ability to impact student learning and their students’ ability to learn.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the study additionally revealed that students taught by faculty who participated in ACUE courses perceived significant increases in their own growth mindset, as well as their confidence participating in class, attending office hours, and managing their coursework and deadlines. Analyzed data came from nearly 3,000 student surveys.

N.C. A&T has contracted with ACUE Effective Teaching Practices since 2021. To date, nearly 200 faculty have completed one or more of the ACUE programs. These faculty have earned the ACUE National Credential in Effective Teaching Practices and/or the Fostering a Culture of Belonging Micro-credential program.

“Many faculty claim that ACUE program is the best professional development they’ve experienced in their careers. Approximately 96% of our faculty indicate that they would recommend this program to their peers. Its rigor and comprehensiveness show just how much our faculty care about their teaching success and the learning of their students,” said Audrey M. Dentith, Ph.D., director of A&T’s Center of Teaching Excellence and campus lead for the ACUE program.

The study, “Impacts of Faculty Development on Faculty’s Mindsets and Self-Efficacy,” focused on “gateway” courses, with data collected from more than 570 faculty who participated in ACUE’s comprehensive Effective Teaching Practice Framework courses – as well as more than 1,000 faculty who have not yet participated in ACUE’s Framework courses – teaching gateway courses. Faculty were surveyed four times over two years, including using mindset items originally developed by noted researcher Carol Dweck. Students enrolled in gateway courses taught by faculty who participated in ACUE’s comprehensive Effective Teaching Practice Framework courses were also surveyed.

“Mindsets matter. What we believe about our students’ ability to learn affects what they will learn, or won’t,” said Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D., ACUE president and co-founder. “Even though beliefs are famously hard to change, today’s strong findings show that minds change when professors become better teachers. It’s more evidence that the best way to educate many more students for purposeful lives is to ensure effective instruction in every class.”

ACUE’s mission is to ensure student success through quality instruction by delivering the highest-quality courses, pathways and certifications with quick-to-implement practices that make a huge impact on student success. Instructors certified in ACUE’s Effective Teaching Practice Framework are proven to boost persistence and completion for students, improve faculty confidence and engagement, and help institutions meet their strategic goals.

Endorsed by the American Council on Education, ACUE’s online, cohort-based courses are delivered through institutional partnerships and open enrollment courses and are higher education’s only provider of nationally recognized teaching certifications.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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