Broward College Closes Achievement Gaps for Black and Pell-Eligible Students Through Focus on Quality Teaching

Course Completion Gap Closed for Black Students and Gap in Passing Courses Closed for Pell-Eligible Students Taught by ACUE-Credentialed Faculty at Broward College 

New York NY and Ft. Lauderdale, FL (June 25, 2020) — The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and Broward College (Broward) today announced the results of a new study that finds students were more likely to complete and pass their courses when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty, with the impact being significantly larger on achievement outcomes for Black and low-income studentsThe research conducted over the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years indicated that an additional 282 students completed their courses than would have otherwise when controlling for student demographics and other factors. Similarly, researchers found that an additional 435 students passed their courses than would have otherwise. Among Pell-eligible students, the gap in passing rates was eliminated and more significant impacts were seen on course completion rates (compared to students not Pell-eligible)For Black students, the gap in course completion closed and the gap in passing rates was cut in half compared to White students. 

At Broward College, two cohorts of faculty completed the ACUE course in Effective Teaching Practices during the 2017–2018 academic year, and three additional cohorts of faculty completed the ACUE course during the 2018–2019 academic year. Course outcomes were analyzed for the 42,777 non-unique enrollments of students taught by the faculty in the first set of cohorts, and 56,022 non-unique enrollments of students taught by the faculty in the second set of cohorts, along with all enrollments from sections of the same courses that were taught by non-credentialed instructors.  

Both sets of analyses found that course completion and passing improved more for students of ACUE-credentialed faculty compared to students in matched sections. In addition: 

  • Among the first set (2017–2018) of ACUE-credentialed faculty cohorts studied, the gap in likelihood of passing courses between Pell-eligible and non-Pell-eligible students was eliminated. 
  • Among the second set (2018–2019) of ACUE credentialed faculty cohorts studied, the gap in likelihood of completing courses between Black and White students was eliminated. 

"These results show the value of addressing equity issues among our students and providing our faculty with the right tools and practices to serve them," said Dr. Marielena DeSanctis, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Services, Broward College. "Removing barriers to post-secondary completion remains one of our highest priorities. This partnership with ACUE is one way we are creating a pathway to academic success for all of our students regardless of age, gender, race, or financial status." 

Nearly 200 Broward College faculty have participated in ACUE’s faculty development programs in evidence-based teaching practices, for the classroom and online environment, proven to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. 

We are grateful for our partnership with Broward College and are motivated by the tremendous impact a great teacher can have on the lives of students,” said Susan Cates, CEO of ACUE. "ACUE’s curriculum is directly aligned with inclusive teaching principles that positively impact all students and create learning environments where every student is welcomed, valued, and supported. Research demonstrates time and again that quality teaching with evidence-based practices significantly improvemeasures of student achievement and closes equity gaps for students of color, Pell-eligible students, and others who are underserved. 

In addition to the May 2020 researchACUE also published research in May 2018 based on Broward student feedback on faculty who completed the ACUE course. Survey results indicated stronger implementation of teaching approaches associated with higher levels of student engagement, persistence, and learning. Students were also more likely to recommend their instructor to a friend and had a better experience in the course taught by an ACUE-credentialed faculty member compared to others they’ve taken. 

Read May 2020 Research Brief 


About  BrowardCollege: 
Serving more than 63,000 students annually,BrowardCollege provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of theCollegeis to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit 

About ACUEThe Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) promotes student success through quality instruction. In partnership with colleges, universities, higher education systems and associations, ACUE prepares and credentials faculty in the evidence-based teaching practices that improve student achievement and close equity gaps. Numerous and independently validated efficacy studies confirm that students are more engaged, learn more, and complete courses in greater numbers—more equitably with their peers—when taught by ACUE-credentialed faculty. ACUE’s online, cohort-based credentialing programs are delivered through institutional partnerships and open enrollment courses endorsed by the American Council on Education. To learn more, visit