Oakton Community College faculty earn national credential in online teaching excellence

Kanchana Mendes, Ph.D., Professor of Biology (left), accepts her ACUE certificate of completion from Ileo Lott, Ed.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, at a pinning ceremony on May 17.

(June 9, 2022) — More than 60 Oakton Community College faculty members recently earned a nationally recognized teaching credential designed to improve the learning experience for students enrolled in online courses. The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Effective Online Teaching Practices course is an intensive 25-week, evidence-based course designed to empower participants to be impactful online instructors and ensure student success today and in the future. 

The modules addressed five major areas of development:

  • Designing an effective course.
  • Establishing a productive learning environment.
  • Using active learning strategies.
  • Promoting higher-order thinking.
  • Assessing to inform instruction and promote learning. 

ACUE's standards-based approach leads to the only nationally recognized Certificate in Effective Instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE). Numerous, independently validated studies confirm that students learn more, and more equitably, when taught by ACUE-credentialed educators.

"ACUE gave us the time and space to really talk about our teaching and the students for whom we care so deeply," said Mary Johannesen-Schmidt, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and coordinator of Oakton's Center for Teaching Innovation.

Program completers, comprised of two cohorts, were recognized during a pinning ceremony at Oakton's Des Plaines campus in May. Completers include:

Effective Online Teaching Practices Cohort 1

  • Ragaa Abdallah, Professor of Computer Information Systems
  • Stephanie Levi Blumer, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Olabisi Adenekan, Professor of English
  • Maria Antonopoulos, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Arti Ayachit, Lecturer, Division of STEM and Health Careers
  • Eva de la Riva Lopez, Professor of Psychology
  • Bob Gynn, Professor of Speech and Theater
  • Anna Hammer, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Ji-Hyae Park, Associate Professor of English
  • Khursheed Ichhaporia, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Mary Johannesen-Schmidt, Distinguished Professor of Psychology
  • Paul Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology
  • Scott Johnson, Professor of English/ Coordinator of Technical Communication
  • Cheryl L. Joseph, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
  • Steven Ko, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Marcia Kiraly, Lecturer, Division of Business and Career Technologies
  • Megan Klein, Associate Professor, Anthropology and Sociology
  • Kristine Lefeber, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Kanchana Mendes, Professor of Biology
  • Ragy Mikhaeel, Lecturer, Division of STEM and Health Careers
  • David Molley, Lecturer, Division of Business and Career Technologies
  • Edith Monroy, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Sarah Moses, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Myrthe Potts, Medical Assistant Advisor
  • Philip Prale, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Gerardo Salvacion, Lecturer, Division of STEM and Health Careers
  • Bill Strond, Professor of Biology
  • Cecilia Villarruel, Assistant Professor of English
  • David Williams, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Bradley R. Young, Associate Professor of Mathematics 
  • Effective Online Teaching Practices Cohort 2
  • Danielle Aquiline, Professor of English
  • Elena Belova, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Larry Benjamin, Lecturer, Division of Business and Career Technologies
  • Linda Berendsen, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Thomas Byrne, Lecturer, Division of Business and Career Technologies
  • Lisa Cherivtch, Professor of Business
  • Reza Dai, Distinguished Professor of Electronics, Local Area Networks & Mathematics
  • Mary Hope Griffin, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Iftikhar Haider, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Greg Hamill, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
  • Spencer Kimura, Chair, Fire Science
  • Matthew Lee, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Paula Luszcz, Professor of Early Childhood Education
  • Richard Lyon, Lecturer, Division of Business and Career Technologies
  • Michael Mauritzen, Associate Professor of English
  • Harper Mazock, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Michelle Naffziger-Hirsch, Professor of Sociology
  • Janet Nogowski, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Margaret O'Kerns, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Lori Oster, Professor of English
  • Kalpa Patel, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Larry Penar, Chair/Professor of AHR/FME
  • Kritika Pershad, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Jessica Pinedo, Associate Professor of English
  • Mary Ringstad-Gagliano, Professor of Speech and Theater
  • Marian Staats, Professor of English/Co-Coordinator of Environmental Studies
  • Jack Taha, Lecturer, Division of STEM and Health Careers
  • Nargis Wardak, Lecturer, Division of STEM and Health Careers
  • Kasia Wereszczynska, Lecturer, Division of Liberal Arts
  • Hanna Wierzchowski, Chair and Professor of Health Information Technology
  • Boguslaw Zapal, Associate Professor of Manufacturing

Oakton is committed to creating high-quality academic programs and supporting students in a variety of course formats. In fall 2021, 86% of Oakton students enrolled in exclusively online or a combination of online and face-to-face courses. That's a significant increase from the pre-pandemic fall 2019 semester, during which 35% of students enrolled in at least one course with an online component. Registration for summer and fall 2022 courses is now open, and Oakton offers a variety of in-person and online courses. Visit Oakton's newly redesigned website to learn more and register for classes. For more information about the Association of College and University Educations (ACUE) visit acue.org.