National Higher Education Teaching Conference ’24 Focuses on Accelerating the Great College Teaching Movement

Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) announces esteemed line up of higher education leaders and change makers as featured speakers at second annual conference


NEW YORK — February 29, 2024— Today Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) unveiled the stellar line up of higher education leaders and change makers who will present at the second annual National Higher Education Teaching Conference (NHETC). Slated for June 13-14, 2024, at the Hilton Minneapolis, the conference will focus its discussion on helping higher education leaders navigate change to advance great teaching at their institutions.

This is the second annual gathering of advocates for evidence-based teaching practices. Last June more than 500 higher ed administrators, professors, policymakers, researchers, and philanthropists gathered in New York City to expand a national commitment to excellent teaching in every class.

Dr. Michael Sorrell is the conference’s featured keynote for its awards dinner on June 13. President of Paul Quinn College Sorrell is widely recognized in education and business circles as a visionary change agent who steps into complex situations and gets results. His keynote, “Strategies for Leading Through Change and Uncertainty” will offer insights on how leaders can effectively advance the great teaching movement across higher education, starting within their own campus communities.

At the awards dinner, the second annual college teaching Movement Maker awards will be given by ACUE to nationally recognized institutions for their leadership.

An inspirational closing plenary will send NHETC ’24 attendees back to their colleges and universities ready to grow the great teaching movement. Facilitated by NPR national correspondent Michele Martin, the panel will feature movement makers from a variety of walks of life, including:

  • Jamira Burley, head of Youth Engagement & Skills for the Global Business Coalition for Education and a nationally recognized leader in the social justice movement;
  • American author, journalist, and activist Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, who helped successfully lead the movement for marriage equality; and
  • Yolanda Watson Spiva, Ph.D., President of Complete College America, who advocates nationwide for policies and practices that advance the college “student success” movement.

The panel will share what it takes to build and sustain national movements for social change, providing examples of the highs and lows from their own experiences to give confidence to higher education leaders on why, and how, to accelerate the great teaching movement.

“The response to last year’s inaugural NHETC was overwhelmingly positive. College presidents, provosts, professors, students, funders, and policymakers made clear—we need excellent teaching and learning in every college class, and we need a national movement to make it happen. This year’s conference is designed to accelerate these efforts, showcasing policies, practices, and the leaders getting it done. This is the next, necessary change movement in American higher education,” said Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D., ACUE President and Co-founder.

Conference leadership topics will address the policies and practices shown to give teaching more prestige on campus, which engage and recognize professors, and that lead to measurable student impact. Conference “practicum” sessions range from teaching with A.I., and fairer grading to how to cultivate student and faculty wellbeing. Other confirmed change makers include:

  • Denise Bartell, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Kent State University, and leader of the Student Experience Project
  • Michelle Blank, Director of Academic Success, Goshen College, and founding member of the Council of Independent College’s Belong: An Inclusive Learning Community
  • José Antonio Bowen, Senior Fellow, American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and author of Teaching with A.I.
  • Corbin Campbell, Ph.D., Acting Co-Dean, Professor, School of Education, American University, and author of “Great College Teaching: How It Happens and How to Foster It Everywhere”
  • Joe Feldman, Author of, “Grading for Equity,” and CEO of Crescendo Education Group
  • Peter Felten, Executive Director, Center for Engaged Learning, Professor of History, Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Elon University, and author of “Relationship Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College” and “Connections Are Everywhere: A College Student’s Guide to Relationship-Rich Education”
  • Kelly Lester, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Bethany Simunich, Vice President, Innovation and Research, Quality Matters
  • Carleen Vande Zande, Chief of Staff, National Association of System Heads (NASH)
  • Wanda White-Walker, Ed.D., Director of the Center for Innovative and Transformative Instruction, Winston-Salem State University and a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania, and author of “The Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America”

NHETC ‘24’s co-hosts and supporters include the Council of Independent Colleges, the National Association of System Heads (NASH), Mursion, Ascendium, Lumina, and the Raikes foundations.

For more information on the conference program and to register today, visit

About ACUE

The Association of College and University Educators’ (ACUE) mission is to ensure student success through quality instruction. ACUE delivers the highest-quality courses, pathways, and certifications with quick-to-implement teaching practices that make a measurable impact on student success including higher grades and closed achievement gaps. ACUE Certified instructors are proven to boost persistence and completion for students, improve faculty confidence and engagement, and help institutions meet their strategic retention and graduation goals. Endorsed by the American Council on Education, ACUE’s online, facilitated, and cohort-based, courses are delivered through institutional partnerships and open enrollment courses. ACUE is higher education’s only provider of nationally recognized college teaching certifications. To learn more visit


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