Faculty Members Earn National Credential for Teaching Excellence

May 23, 2019 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst College faculty members are recognized in a ceremony for earning a national credential for teaching excellence.Elmhurst College faculty members reached a new milestone this spring as they continue to explore ways to promote student success and drive better outcomes in the classroom.

Twenty-one faculty members earned a national credential in teaching excellence co-endorsed by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and the American Council on Education (ACE). They were recognized during a pinning ceremony on May 17.

ACUE and ACE award a Certificate in Effective College Instruction to faculty members who complete an intensive, 34-week course that addresses more than 200 evidence-based teaching practices.

The course encourages the use of active learning techniques and other instructional tools that support students emotionally and intellectually.

“Even though I’ve been teaching college writing for 28 years, the weekly ACUE modules motivated me to enhance my classroom practice with everything from visual tools like concept maps to creative engagement triggers to keep students involved,” said Tina Kazan, assistant dean for academic success at Elmhurst and one of the course facilitators.

“I loved having the opportunity to work with faculty in a range of departments who are relatively new to the College. I was excited to talk about their teaching and eager to help our students succeed.”

The national teaching excellence credential shown here is recognized by the ACUE and ACE.The College has a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the faculty among the best in the Midwest for the quality of their teaching.

Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin, assistant dean for graduate studies and faculty development, co-facilitated the course with Kazan. “To me, the most exciting part was to see faculty members who are already great teachers embrace new teaching practices backed by the latest research on helping students learn.”

Said Karen Benjamin, an assistant professor in the Department of History and one of the faculty members in the cohort: “The ACUE class helped me reflect on what I was doing well and where I needed to improve. It provided a valuable opportunity to experiment in my classroom, exchange effective teaching practices with my colleagues, and receive useful feedback on my own teaching.”

The following faculty members received the teaching excellence credential:

  • Karen Benjamin, History
  • Álvaro Castillo, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Celeste Delbar, English
  • Steven Ellingson, Business and Economics
  • Ty Fagan, Philosophy
  • Amy Hebert, Biology
  • Dean Jensen, Computer Science and Information Systems
  • Tina Kazan, English
  • Andrea Krieg, Criminal Justice
  • Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Erika McCombs, English
  • Kelly Mikenas, Biology
  • Patrick Mineo, Biology
  • Laura Natalino-Czosnyka, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Emily Navarro, Sociology
  • Patrick Nebl, Psychology
  • Deborah Peot, Music
  • Hilary Rasmussen, Communications Arts and Sciences
  • Daniel Rortvedt, Occupational Therapy
  • Jessica Sim, Psychology
  • Cathy Thomas, Communication Sciences and Disorders

The College’s partnership with ACUE was made possible by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance, funded by the Strada Education Network.

In addition, the College promotes student success through the Learning Center on campus and encourages professional development for faculty via its Center for Scholarship and Teaching.

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