WSU recognizes first round of faculty certified in Effective College Instruction

OGDEN, Utah — Twenty-seven faculty at Weber State University recently became certified in Effective College Instruction through the Association of College and University Educators. 

The ACUE course aims to improve classroom instruction, build community and belonging, and equip professors with the latest teaching strategies.

“With everything happening in a large community such as Weber State, it’s important to keep the focus on what’s happening in the classroom,” said Nicola Corbin, associate professor of communication and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. “These courses offer opportunities for teachers to rethink how they’ve always done things.” 

Corbin, who has taken the course herself, wants to replicate positive results seen at other universities whose faculty are ACUE certified. 

A study at the University of Southern Mississippi found that first-year students who took at least one course taught by ACUE faculty were significantly more likely to return to USM the next academic year compared to first-year students who took no courses taught by ACUE faculty. Four people stand together for a picture

Corbin said the ACUE courses can help better prepare WSU professors to teach at a school already renowned for “teaching excellence.”

“When students come to Weber State, they know they’re getting the best teachers,” she said. “Students who transfer here from other schools always note the difference in our teaching, how professors know their name, meet them where they are, and get them excited about learning.” 

Kelley Trump, assistant professor of nursing, has been teaching for six years and is one of the 27 faculty who earned the certification. She’s already incorporating new teaching strategies into her classes. 

“It’s moving from the old model, where instructors spend their time presenting material, into a new form of teaching which incorporates active learning classrooms,” she said. 

Trump said teachers nationwide who apply principles from the ACUE course are seeing better retention, better grades and fewer withdrawals. 

“They teach you how to be more mindful of each student’s life experience and what they’re bringing to the classroom,” Trump said. “Small changes make big differences in our students, and they can change the trajectory of their schooling and their life.”

Corbin said future ACUE courses will offer even more flexibility and offer micro-credentials in areas such as promoting active learning in the classroom and creating inclusive and supportive learning environments. She’s also partnering with WSU Online’s instructional designers to promote its course offerings that help professors innovate their classrooms.

The ACUE courses are timely as Weber State seeks to become an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution because they offer insight on making classrooms more inclusive, Corbin said. 

“Inclusivity is about more than providing that sense of belonging, it’s also about retention and persistence and seeing students through to graduation,” she said.

WSU faculty who earned the ACUE certification were recognized Aug. 10 during the Dean and Department Chair Retreat hosted by WSU provost Ravi Krovi. 

New course start dates are staggered throughout the academic year. Faculty can get more information and register on the CETL website.


Bryan Magaña, public relations director


Bryan Magaña, public relations director