A professor assisting a student with work on her laptop.
Story Faculty

CSU Named a “Movement Maker” in Higher Education

Janessa Thropay

The ACUE has honored the university for providing faculty with a foundation for delivering excellent instruction through evidence-based, equitable teaching practices.

A professor assisting a student with work on her laptop.

​Photo courtesy of CSUN


The California State University (CSU) was among seven colleges and universities to receive the “Movement Maker" award from the Association of College an​d University Educators (ACUE) for an enduring commitment to student success through innovative, evidence-based teaching practices. The awards were part of ACUE's inaugural National Higher Education Teaching Conference held June 22-23. In partnership with ACUE, the CSU offers professional development programs to faculty systemwide that not only educate but also inspire them to use research-backed methods that lead to higher retention rates, deeper learning and improved equity.

Two universities—Cal State LA and CSUN—were highlighted in the award for their involvement with ACUE and are prime examples of how these programs give faculty the necessary skills and insight to teach today's students.

Cal State LA was an inaugural partner of ACUE and contributed to their original faculty development framework through faculty focus groups and surveys. They have been an active member of the ​ACUE network since 2015, participating in classroom demo videos, assisting in the development of their curriculum and engaging in ACUE research studies. In addition to their collaborative participation, 450 Cal State LA faculty have completed some level of ACUE programming with a subset of 173 completing its full 25-module certificate course.

CSUN has also taken advantage of ACUE's certificate program with almost 200 faculty completing the 25-module course since the onset of the pandemic. The latest roster of faculty participating in the program has already reached capacity for the 2023-24 academic year.

“In all my years of doing faculty development, I have never seen the sign-ups for a program in such demand," says Whitney Scott, director of faculty development at CSUN. “In some cycles we don't have enough seats for all the interested faculty."

The CSU is committed to providing its more than 29,000 faculty members with the knowledge and resources necessary to deliver a high-quality, equitable education. In 2020, the CSU's involvement with ACUE grew rapidly due to the system's transition to online learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The CSU enrolled eight of its universities, roughly 540 instructors, in ACUE's online course on Effective College Teaching. Faculty who completed the program were awarded ACUE's Certificate in Effective College Instruction, endorsed by the American Council on Education.

Additionally, several universities opted to offer some or all of their faculty access to ACUE's course on Effective O​​nline Teaching. This program addressed a comprehensive set of practices native to the online environment and prepared faculty for the educational and instructional obstacles they potentially would face in transition to virtual instruction.

By engaging in ACUE's process of learning, exploring and implementing a variety of instructional skills and strategies, CSU faculty are encouraged to reflect on and refine practices that improve learning comprehension, promote student engagement and increase​ equitable outcomes. Professional development opportunities like ACUE programs inspire faculty to transform their teaching to help students develop a deeper sense of belonging while advancing their educational and personal achievements.


Learn more about the CSU's dedication to instructional excellence by visiting the universities' faculty development websites.