ACUI offers online courses that allow you to obtain a badge or micro-credential to demonstrate competence in a specified skill set and receive recognition for continuing your education and advancing your career.

Course Expectations


Mini-courses only cost $99 and are self-paced! You have up to six months from your registration to complete a course. There are no classes or peer-to-peer interaction. ACUI offers mini-courses connected to the core competency skill sets as well as other relevant topics. See the list below for what is currently available and debuting soon.

Core Competency Learning Paths

ACUI is working to develop mini-courses related to core competency skills sets. The current focus areas are Assessment, Evaluation, and Research; Event Management; and Social Justice. Each mini-course completion earns you a digital credential. If you choose to complete all courses in a given core competency, you can apply for a supercredential in that competency.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Mini-Courses

Application of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Frameworks

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  • Assessment, evaluation, and research methods for various campus populations
  • Historical development of assessment methods and implications for application based on campus populations
  • Develop assessment, evaluation, and research tools to align with an institution’s priorities and values
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis
  • Demonstrate support of an institution’s accreditation priorities through assessment, evaluation, and research

Curriculum Development Team
  • Katie Wilson
  • Julie Fleming
  • Dan Maxwell
  • GC Brugnolo
  • Justin Camputaro
Data Collection & Use of Data

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  • Develop data collection strategies that complement methodology choices 
  • Employ privacy and equity when collecting and utilizing demographic data 
  • Accurately interpret data  
  • Align decision making with desired outcomes and use of critical thinking skills  
  • Write empirically based reports and recommendations  
  • Share data effectively to a wide variety of audiences 
  • Assist students in understanding the importance of assessment, evaluation, and research, and how these techniques can be used in their future work 

  • Software used for creating, implementing, and analyzing assessment, evaluation, and research projects 
  • Research methods and applications of assessment, evaluation, and research  
  • Correct use of assessment, evaluation, and research data to make decisions

Curriculum Development Team
  • Katie Wilson
  • Julie Fleming
  • Dan Maxwell
  • GC Brugnolo
  • Justin Camputaro
Language and Use of Assessment, Evaluation, & Research

This course will cover assessment-, evaluation-, and research-specific language, as well as the differences between assessment, evaluation, and research. This course is meant to provide an introduction to this skill set and provide learners with basic competency in this area. Further study is recommended for more advanced competency.

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  • Understand when to use assessment, evaluation, or research methodologies based on data needed 
  • Develop working knowledge of various reasoning methodologies 
  • Ground assessment, evaluation, and research in relevant theory related to higher education and learning 
  • Incorporate student voice in the assessment, evaluation, and research design process 
  • Understand the importance of using assessment, evaluation, and research to support decisions, set priorities, and align with campus mission, vision, and values

Curriculum Development Team
  • Katie Wilson
  • Julie Fleming
  • Dan Maxwell
  • GC Brugnolo
  • Justin Camputaro
Research Ethics

Topics covered will include ethical implications of assessment, evaluation, and research, such as human subject research, development of data-gathering tools, and interpretation and communication of results.

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  • Conduct assessment, evaluation, and research in a socially just and equitable manner 
  • Ethically use and share data, being conscious of issues of confidentiality and respect 
  • Consistently ensure that references to research are appropriately cited and attributed 
  • Create and be an active participant in scholarly contributions    
  • Submit research proposals and follow campus-specific institutional review board guidelines

Curriculum Development Team
  • Katie Wilson
  • Julie Fleming
  • Dan Maxwell
  • GC Brugnolo
  • Justin Camputaro

Social Justice Mini-Sessions

A Social Justice Mini-Course will be added soon to complete this competency.

Institutional Awareness & Communication

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Topics Covered
  • Various and inclusive communication, leadership, and management styles  
  • Cultural traditions and artifacts present in and important to the campus and local communities  
  • Manifestation of institutional oppression and strategies to create equity 

Overall Learning Objectives
  • Build and lead an inclusive, accessible, and creative environment that acknowledges, fosters, and supports differing cultures and identities  
  • Build effective partnerships with academic and other campus administrative units to create and maintain collaboration on issues of social justice, cultural knowledge, advocacy and intercultural education  
  • Design opportunities for all members of the campus community and their voices be included and represented in the array of physical displays and events offered   
  • Implement just and equitable programs, services, and facilities to meet the needs of diverse identities and populations  
  • Shift communication practices and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. 

Curriculum Development Team
  • Keith Kowalka
  • Zac Lomas
  • LaSabra Williams
  • Vicki Highstreet
  • Amy Liss
Understanding Self, Identity, & Culture

This course explores how one's own intersecting identities and behaviors shape one's worldview and lived experience, identity and cultural difference on campus, how and why intersecting identities and behaviors manifest in differing situations, the impact of privileged identities on campus and how campus climate and identity shape one another. This mini-course is part of the Social Justice Core Competency learning path.

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  • How one’s own intersecting identities and behaviors shape one’s worldview and lived experience   
  • Major aspects of identity and cultural difference within the campus community and in society   
  • How and why intersecting identities and behaviors manifest in differing situations   
  • Privilege and privileged identities, and the impact of privileged identities on campus and on underrepresented identities and communities   
  • How campus climate and identity impact one another  

  • Seek appropriate resources and partner with experts on campus and in the community to address issues of identity and culture   
  • Identify and take advantage of continuing education opportunities on identity, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice   
  • Use empathy toward others and seek to understand their social perspectives   
  • Understand personal biases and mitigate their influence on decision making and relationships   
  • Engage in continuous learning as world events and research develop new information in this area  

Curriculum Development Team
  • Brandon Dula
  • LaSabra Williams
  • Sameera Luthor
  • Keith Kowalka
  • Jocelyn Santana

Event Management Mini-Courses

Additional mini-courses coming soon include Event Risk Management and Event Operations.

Programming & Event Management

Programming and event planning is a skill set under ACUI's Event Management Core Competency. This core competency focuses on the ability to successfully plan and execute high-quality programs with and for campus and external stakeholders. The Programming and Event Planning Skill Set covers:

  • Venue-specific scheduling and room reservation policies 
  • Contract creation, review, negotiation, and execution 
  • Event planning timelines 
  • Best practices related to on-site work with contracted talent and vendors 
  • Environmentally responsible event practices 
  • Relevant local and national laws and ordinances

This mini-course can be taken on its own or as part of the Event Management Learning Path. After successful completion, learners should be able to:

  • Gather and utilize student and community input relative to proposed content  
  • Create balanced event programming to serve the full campus community, paying attention to cultural and social identities  
  • Develop and maintain relationships with agencies and third-party vendors  
  • Establish event objectives, such as revenue generation and learning outcomes  
  • Create and operate within an event budget  
  • Develop a volunteer or staffing plan, including training  
  • Generate assessment and post-event follow-up plans  
  • Liaise with campus groups and event stakeholders to build relationships across campus  
  • Organize catering and food as needed for events while following campus-and venue-specific guidelines

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Additional Mini-Courses

Fundraising and Alumni Development

Many college union professionals are now being asked to include fundraising and alumni development as a part of their financial plans. This course will offer some examples of successful techniques for fostering relationships from graduation to donor.

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  • Complete your comprehensive approach to a fundraising and alumni development campaign, including a case for support, marketing strategy, donor identification/ cultivation, fundraising platforms, and stewardship.

 Subject Matter Experts
  • Matt Burchett
  • Mark Guthier
Legal Issues on the College Campus

This training is designed to provide a broad overview of legal issues impacting college union and student activities professionals.  Potential topics include diversity and inclusion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, Title IX, student organizations, as well as other areas.

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  • Identify different legal issues faced on the college campus 
  • Identify legal issues your institution has faced in its history
  • Start processing the gray area of legal issues and how that affects you and others
  • Explore cases surrounding legal issues in higher education

Subject Matter Experts
  • Dave Barnes
  • Jeff Pelletier
  • Loren Israel
  • Jon Kappell
Mental Health on the College Campus

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This course explores topics that could be triggering for some individuals.

Overall Objectives
  • Describe a variety of mental health issues present on and off campus 
  • Recognize mental health issues faced by students on your campus 
  • Describe typical approaches, strategies, and challenges when dealing with mental health issues on campus 
  • Explain how stress and anxiety work, how they affect overall wellness, and strategies for addressing them 
  • Recognize risk factors and warning signs of suicide and basic skills for becoming an ally to someone in need 
  • Identify issues faced by marginalized groups 
  • Describe how mental health perspectives are different around the world 
  • Develop a manual or training on mental health helping skills 

Topics Covered
  • Overview of mental health and wellness
  • Mental health on campus
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression, suicide, and suicide prevention
  • Mental health and special populations

Curriculum Development Team
  • Krista Harrell
  • Ben Perlman
  • Scarlett Winters
Online Accessibility

This training covers a variety of online communication methods, and how to make each more accessible. Covered topics include websites, PDFs, e-communications, and video.

This is a mini-course that only costs $99! This is a self-paced program, has no set dates, and does not require you to connect with faculty or peers. 

Please note, this course is structured so that students can participate as part of their virtual employment.

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Full Courses

Full courses last several weeks and include both synchronous and asynchronous learning with your cohort. Courses cost $199 for members and $259 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is one week prior to start date.

Conference Services

This training covers logistics and operations, tools to streamline processes, marketing for conference services, and revenue models.

  • At the end of this course, learners will be able to plan basic conference services for a single or multi-day event.

Topics covered
  • Foundational Conference Services Knowledge
  • Regulatory Laws, Institutional Liability, and Campus Safety
  • Logistics and Facilitation
  • Marketing and Sales
  • One Stop Shop
  • Conference Management Technology
Student Development Theory

Student Development Theory is an online course for student affairs professionals who seek the most recent information in student development theory for the purpose of applying these theories to practice. 

Learners will be able to
  • Think critically about student development theories
  • Discuss a range of theories and how they relate to their own work and lives
  • Reflect on the intersection of theories and other student identities, and their role in college student development.

  • Introduction to Student Development Theory
  • Psychosocial and Cognitive-Structural Theories
  • Social, Racial, & Ethnic Identity Development
  • Sexual Identity, Gender, and Gender Identity Development
  • Disability, Identity, and Social Class Identity
  • Self-Authorship
  • Emerging Theories

Course Expectations

Participants in full courses should complete the work in the week it is scheduled. Participants must reach out to the instructor of that module to request an exception.
Course Format
Full courses consist of six to eight weeks of online learning. Some aspects are asynchronous (done on your own time) and some are synchronous (done as a class). As a general rule, you should set aside 4 hours per week for these courses. Mini-courses are 100% self-paced, and consist of approximately 30 hours of training that can be completed within six months.  
Full courses include high engagement, not only with the content, but also with your peers and faculty. Assignments and knowledge checks are included throughout the course. In addition to reading and viewing content, students will engage in class discussions through discussion boards and attend regularly scheduled virtual classroom sessions in real time. These virtual classroom sessions will be recorded for those for whom attendance is not possible. 
Students who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate and digital credential. 
There are no prerequisites for courses, but a computer with high-speed Internet connection will be required to submit and participate in course activities. A webcam is strongly encouraged for virtual classroom meetings in full courses.

The final grade will be based both on the assignments and participation in full courses. Participation includes completion of all aspects of the course, full participation in the discussions, and attendance or viewing of virtual classroom sessions in full courses. Faculty will grade all assignments in full courses and provide feedback.

Only the final project will be graded by a human being in mini-courses. All other aspects of the course are self-paced and managed through the Learning Management System.

It is expected that all participants in full courses actively participate in the Discussion Board and Virtual Classroom and that all participants are respectful to each other and adhere to all ACUI policies.
Program Evaluation and Feedback
Students taking full courses will be contacted mid-course to collect feedback on their experience with the course. All course types ask students to fill out a survey at the end of the course with opinions on the program and suggestions on how we can improve going forward. Please take notes as you go through this program, and share with us your perspective on how we can better serve you in future.
Prerequisite/Technical Requirements

There are no prerequisites for courses, but a computer with high-speed Internet connection will be required to submit and participate in course activities. A webcam is strongly encouraged for virtual classroom meetings.