New Consortium Focuses on Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance

Faculty members at 26 CIC member colleges and universities are piloting new pedagogical techniques and discovering how to connect what students learn in their classrooms to career preparation. Since fall 2018, a total of 539 participants in CIC’s Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance have taken part in the Association of College and University Educator’s (ACUE) online Course in Effective Teaching Practices with a Concentration in Career Guidance and Readiness. The 25-module course emphasizes teaching practices to provide course-embedded career guidance and the development of career-ready skills. The course was launched on all 26 campuses in late August and early September, with a video welcome from CIC President Richard Ekman and an ACUE staff member on hand to orient participating faculty members and on-campus course facilitators. Participants will complete the course by the end of the 2018–2019 academic year.

“Since CIC first announced the Consortium, which is generously supported by Strada Education Network, member institutions have been enthusiastic,” said David Brailow, CIC vice president for development. “Twenty-six campuses were selected from 70 that submitted proposals; and both CIC and ACUE have been flooded with inquiries from still more CIC institutions.” Why are administrators and faculty members from colleges that already pride themselves on the quality of undergraduate teaching so eager to participate? “The answer is simple,” noted Brailow, “There is a hunger to improve teaching in ways that will help students engage more deeply in their studies while simultaneously guiding them toward career pathways that will lead to success after graduation.”

The pedagogical practices of each ACUE course module are grounded in established evidence from researchers across the country. Faculty members complete approximately one module per week, choose which practices they want to try, and then write reflections on the implementation. A participant from Husson University (ME) reflected, “I find that I have to pry myself off the modules. They are so good. This experience has improved my outcomes substantially. I wish we could have done this before now.” A participant from Regis College (MA) noted, “I love the discipline of reflecting on what I have been doing and thinking about what I should experiment with, and then devising practices for my own teaching.”

Both new and experienced faculty members have found that the course improves their teaching and enhances student outcomes. A participant from Albion College (MI) remarked, “I wish I had taken this course in my early teaching years,” while another from Lebanon Valley College (PA) commented, “As a first-time instructor, this is all new to me. I feel better prepared to lead a lesson and facilitate a discussion thanks to techniques I learned in the course. And because of that the students have benefited.”

A number of participants have found the career guidance modules that have been integrated into the course structure particularly significant, despite some initial skepticism about whether this is an appropriate primary role for faculty members to play. As a professor from Alderson Broaddus University (WV) put it, “Connecting current students with alumni from our program was beneficial in beginning to build a network of professionals.”

After completing nine modules, 97 percent of participants indicated that they agree or strongly agree that the knowledge and skills presented in the modules are relevant to their work. The 539 faculty members reported learning a grand total of 12,051 new techniques, enhancing what they knew about a further 18,512 techniques, implementing 6,119 new techniques, and planning to implement 11,487 more.

“The partnership among CIC, ACUE, and Strada Education Network has provided an exceptional opportunity for CIC member institutions to enhance their ability to educate students and to prepare them for successful careers,” concluded CIC President Richard Ekman.

View more information about the program.

Institutions Participating in CIC’s Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance

​Albertus Magnus College (CT)
Albion College (MI)
Alderson Broaddus University (WV)
Bloomfield College (NJ)
Briar Cliff University (IA)
Butler University (IN)
Concordia University Texas
Dillard University (LA)
Elmhurst College (IL)
Goshen College (IN)
Husson University (ME)
Lebanon Valley College (PA)
Lourdes University (OH)
​Lynn University (FL)
Maryville College (TN)
Mills College (CA)
Mount Saint Mary’s University (CA)
Nebraska Methodist College
Regis College (MA)
Roanoke College (VA)
Sacred Heart University (CT)
Stillman College (AL)
Talladega College (AL)
Tiffin University (OH)
University of La Verne (CA)
Wesleyan College (GA)