Skip to page content
Return to Top

News and Information

Tarleton joins national initiative to strengthen teaching, learning

Monday, December 16, 2019

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University this semester launched a partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) to equip faculty across multiple disciplines with instructional skills shown to promote student motivation, learning and persistence. Faculty who satisfy the program requirements are awarded a nationally recognized Certificate in Effective College Instruction that is co-endorsed by ACUE and the American Council on Education.

“Our partnership with ACUE underscores Tarleton’s mission to ground student learning in effective teaching,” said Dr. Diane Taylor, associate provost and senior vice president of academic affairs. “We deeply value our faculty and their impact on student success, and this initiative reflects our commitment to supporting them in their efforts to be the best educators they can be.”

ACUE’s courses in effective teaching practices are based on more than three decades of research that shows effective teaching improves learning for all students. Dr. Kelley Shaffer, associate professor of educational leadership and technology and director of the Center for Instructional Innovation, along with Dr. Brittany Rodriguez, associate professor of criminal justice and Faculty Fellow in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, will lead the cohort in 25 earning modules and mentor them in using new skills in their classes. The partnership is supported by the Center for Instructional Innovation, which is collaborating with ACUE to further assist faculty and students in the use of innovative instructional schools for teaching and learning.

Reflecting the latest research in cognition and adult learning, ACUE’s courses address more than 200 evidence-based teaching practices. They cover how to design an effective course, establish a productive learning environment, use active learning techniques, promote higher-order thinking and utilize assessments to inform instruction and promote learning.

“This course aligns perfectly with the Center for Instructional Innovation’s efforts to foster the university’s culture of teaching excellence,” Shaffer said. “We look forward to seeing how faculty put these evidence-based teaching practices to work in the classroom.”

Participating faculty members:

Karl Aho, Government, Legal and Philosophy

Bryn Brown, Management

Robert Cavazos, History, Sociology and Geography

Molly Dierks, Fine Arts

Catalin Dinulescu, Management

Sharece Downey, Criminal Justice

James Gentry, Curriculum and Instruction

Trina Geye, Psychology

Haitham Abu Ghazaleh, Engineering and Computer Science

Poorya Hajyalikhani, Engineering Tech

Casey Heath, Criminal Justice

Tracey Holley, Communication Studies

Cristi Horton, Communication Studies

LeAnne Hutson, Medical Lab Sciences

Ceyhan Kilic, Marketing and Computer Information Systems

Jacob Manlove, Agriculture and Consumer Sciences

Bernat Martinez-Ortego, Chemistry, Geoscience and Physics

Minerva McCutchen, English and Languages

Adam Mitchell, Wildlife, Sustain and Ecosystem Sciences

Dmytro Perevertailenko, Fine Arts

Brant Poe, Agriculture and Consumer Sciences

Debjeet Pradhan, Accounting, Finance and Economics

Edward Randle, Social Work

Harold Rathburn, Biology

Cheyenne Runyan, Animal Science and Veterinary Technology

Jason Sharp, Marketing and Computer Information Systems

Martha Smith, Nursing

W. Brandon Smith, Animal Science and Veterinary Technology

Zdenek Tronicek, Engineering and Computer Science

Jennifer Yeager, Nursing

About Tarleton State University: Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, The RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.

About ACUE: The Association of College and University Educators believes that all college students deserve an extraordinary education and that faculty members play a critical role in their success. In partnership with institutions of higher education nationwide, ACUE credentials faculty members in the use of evidence-based teaching practices that drive student engagement, retention and learning. Faculty members who complete ACUE courses earn certificates in effective college instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education. ACUE’s Community of Professional Practice connects college educators from across the country through member forums, podcasts and updates on the latest developments in the scholarship of teaching and learning. To learn more, visit


Cecilia Jacobs, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Tarleton State University

<< Back