New study finds that first-year student retention was 3.7 percentage points higher among students taught by ACUE faculty at USM.


Student retention is only one benefit of the ACUE Faculty Development Institute, according to USM Executive Vice Provost Amy Chasteen. “We are seeing a supportive faculty network emerge through our cross-disciplinary cohorts of faculty fellows,” explains Chasteen. “Participants in the Faculty Development Institute support one anothers’ teaching and overall success as faculty members, resulting in new community connections across the university as well as powerful impacts in the classroom.”


At The University of Southern Mississippi, ACUE faculty retain more students, improve student achievement, and narrow equity gaps. Additional studies examining the impact of ACUE credentialed faculty from 2015 to 2020, found the following results:

  • Stronger achievement in first-year gateway courses with passing rates up 6.4 percentage points and DFW rates down by 5.3 percentage points. 

  • Stronger equity, with decreases in DFW rates 6 percentage points greater for Black first-year students as compared to their White peers in gateway courses 

  • Sustained improvement with DFW rates 3 percentage points lower in subsequent courses among students who took gateway courses with ACUE faculty. 

  • More academic success and equity overall, when students take more courses with ACUE faculty, they earn higher GPAs and complete and pass more of their courses – with larger impacts for Black students.