MCC Faculty Boost Student Success with New Nationally Recognized Teaching Credential

ACUE Certification improves teaching, student success 

(Muskegon MI) – Muskegon Community College (MCC) leaders celebrated 38 faculty members for earning Certificates in Effective College Instruction from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Faculty demonstrated their commitment to student success and equity by completing coursework that equips them with the evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student engagement, increase persistence, and close equity gaps.   

ACUE Certification, the only nationally recognized collegiate teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education, ensures faculty have demonstrated comprehensive knowledge and skills across all core teaching competencies. Certificates, pins, and medallions were presented during an award ceremony on the main campus on Wednesday, January 4.   

“I have the utmost respect for those who participated in this program,” said Dr. Kelley Conrad, Provost and Chief Student Services Officer, during the ceremony.   “You showed grit, tenacity, and commitment to your peers, your craft, and your students.”  Conrad acknowledged that faculty completed the program over the period of about 10 months while teaching full-time and simultaneously influencing thousands of students. 

MCC President, Dr. John Selmon, joined Conrad in praising the commitment of faculty.  “We know the core of what we do is all about teaching and learning and your efforts demonstrate our commitment to student success.”  Selmon acknowledged that faculty and others on campus will continue pursuing professional development in support of the college ‘aspiring to be the best.’  

Faculty members recognized for earning a Certificate in Effective College Instruction, as of January 2023, include: 

  • Rudy Bartels, Geography 
  • Hollie Benson, College Success Center 
  • Ed Breitenbach, Academic Affairs/English 
  • Sandra Burley, Spanish 
  • Karin Burrell, Math 
  • Eric Carballido, Geography 
  • Shanika Carter, Communications 
  • Diana Casey, Geography 
  • Irene Church, Business 
  • Tonya Clevenger, Education 
  • Matthew Cooper, Biology 
  • Anna Cunningham, Nursing 
  • Dawn Gainor, Psychology 
  • Debbie Grube, Respiratory Therapy 
  • Audra Gustafson, Math 
  • Amy Herrington, Nursing 
  • Heather Johnson, Medical Assisting 
  • Michael Johnson, English 
  • Jennifer Jones, Education 
  • Mick Kilburn, Physics 
  • Jenny Klingenberg, English 
  • Shawn Macauley, Biology 
  • Anita MacDonald, Biology 
  • Wanda MacLeod, Medical Assisting 
  • Ashley Nederveld, Psychology 
  • Nicholas Palmer, Music 
  • Kathy Pollock, Biology 
  • Jennifer Riggs, Respiratory Therapy 
  • Evin Rodkey, Anthropology 
  • Virginia Rogers, English 
  • Les Rorick, Theater 
  • Janna Rosenkranz, English 
  • Jason Shaughnessy, Health and Physical Education 
  • Deb Spoors, Psychology 
  • Heather Vanderzanden, Nursing 
  • Farris Withers, College Success Center 
  • Sarah Woycehoski, History 
  • Jamie Wright, Writing Center 

Full- and part-time faculty had the opportunity to participate in two cohorts, “Effective Teaching Practices,” and “Effective Online Teaching Practices,” both with 25 modules intended to develop faculty competencies in designing an effective college class, establishing a productive learning environment, using active learning strategies, and promoting higher order thinking. Faculty also had the option to earn the ACUE micro-credential, “Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners.”   

Numerous independently validated impact studies show that students learn more and that equity gaps close when courses are led by ACUE Certified faculty. The training was coordinated by English faculty Jenny Klingenberg and Medical Assistant faculty Heather Johnson. 

Classes related to 85 areas of study are taught by 84 full-time and 211 part-time faculty members.  Muskegon Community College, which was founded in 1926, has locations in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, and Grand Traverse Counties. Visit to learn more. 

Les Rorick, MCC Theater faculty, receives his ACUE Certificate at the college’s Winter 2023 Faculty Seminar Day.