Council of Independent Colleges, Association of College and University Educators Partner to Create New Consortium Focused on Preparing Faculty with Career Advising Skills

4/9/2018 — Washington, DC

​$1.2 million grant from Strada Education Network enables organization to credential more than 500 faculty at up to 25 institutions to advance student success and career preparedness

The Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance, a new initiative announced by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), in partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), aims to capitalize on the leadership students seek from their professors by credentialing up to 500 faculty at up to 25 institutions on best practices in instruction and career guidance.

The program is made possible by a $1.2 million grant from Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening America’s pathways between education and employment. CIC will select 20 to 25 of its member institutions to join the Consortium, through which faculty will enroll in ACUE’s new Course in Career Readiness and 21st Century Skills. The course is based on more than 30 years of research revealing the evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student outcomes while providing course-embedded career guidance.

“Although CIC member colleges and universities justly pride themselves on being primarily teaching-oriented institutions, comprehensive training in pedagogy is sometimes not part of faculty members’ formal preparation,” says Richard Ekman, CIC President. “ACUE has a strong record of working with institutions to prepare faculty members in the evidence-based pedagogical skills that are essential to student success.”

ACUE’s course is organized into five units of study: designing an effective course and class, establishing a productive learning environment, using active learning techniques, promoting higher order thinking, and assessing to inform instruction and promote learning. In addition, ACUE will debut two new modules specifically addressing career readiness:

  • Embedding Career Guidance, in which faculty members will learn how to provide frequent, course-embedded information about the specific careers for which the discipline prepares students, and
  • Preparing Students with 21st-Century Career-Ready Skills, in which faculty members will be aided in the design of course content and assignments to ensure that students develop—and are assessed on their development of—“career-ready” skills.

“We know from the Strada-Gallup 2017 College Student Survey that current college students feel significantly more prepared for workplace success if they have had conversations with faculty about career options,” said Bill Hansen, president and CEO of Strada Education Network and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education. “At Strada, we’re committed to scaling proven, evidence-based models like the partnership between CIC and ACUE, which will provide Consortium members with the tools they need to boost student confidence and preparation for success in work and in life.”

“This new course prepares faculty members to develop students’ critical thinking, leadership, interpersonal, professional skills, and more, which are all crucial to success in obtaining and keeping a job,” says Dr. Penny MacCormack, ACUE’s Chief Academic Officer. “These new modules go a step further to guide faculty members in providing specific career examples and skills assessments throughout their coursework.”

Consortium applications were due April 6, and CIC will announce participants selected by April 27.


​About CIC: The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 767 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

About ACUE: The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) 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 supports and 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. Learn more about ACUE.

About Strada Education Network: Strada Education Network is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to catalyzing more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. Strada engages education, nonprofit, business and government partners to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together with its partners, Strada addresses critical postsecondary education and workforce challenges through a combination of strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned member organizations – all focused on advancing the universal right to realized potential, which Strada calls Completion With a Purpose®. Learn more about Strada Education Network and follow on Twitter @StradaEducation.