Free Online Learning Opportunities for Members

These online learning events are free to anyone at a member institution. Nonmember pricing is $139. If you are uncertain of your membership status, please contact us at

ACUI Together Series | Through December 17

Sometimes, we just need a space to process what is happening in our lives with those who can relate. ACUI Together provides online space for you to meet with other ACUI members in small groups of 7–8 people. These spaces will be offered twice a month through December.

Once a month will be an open networking time, where attendees will be randomly assigned to small groups. For the first half of the session, groups will be given a discussion prompt and will have eight minutes to share. This will go for three rounds. Imagine moving from table to table at a face-to-face networking event. For the second half, attendees will continue discussion with no prompt. Groups can openly discuss their concerns, challenges, and stories with one another during this time.

In the second monthly session, attendees will be manually assigned into groups of professionals at the same level. They will remain in these groups for the entire session. If groups of 7–8 would like to stay together each month for consistency and mutual support, they can let the organizer know to always place them together for these sessions.

We hope these opportunities for networking and support will help our members stay strong and healthy during these challenging months. Hopefully, these sessions will provide a chance to get to know one another better and lift one another up.

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Future Event Dates
  • November 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern – Open Networking  
  • November 19 at 4 p.m. Eastern – Closed Networking 
  • December 1 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern – Open Networking 
  • December 17 at 4 p.m. Eastern – Closed Networking
Creating Space for Dialogue and Democracy: A Panel Discussion | October 28, 2 p.m. Eastern

With the college union being critical to promoting dialogue within campus environments, professionals serve an important role in supporting students engaged in campus activism and making meaning of their political identities, while also fostering democratic principles and free speech. Join researchers and practitioners in this panel discussion on strategies for creating spaces and campus climates that promote civic learning.

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About the Panelists

Moderated by Kerry Spicer, dean of students at Daemen College, this panel discussion will feature:

  • Nicholas Longo, Ph.D. is a professor of global studies and public service at Providence College. With a passion for educating the next generation of democratic citizens, Nick is author of Why Community Matters: Connecting Education with Civic Life and co-editor of Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education.
  • Demetri Morgan, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of higher education at Loyola University Chicago. With research interests centering on the purpose of higher education in a diverse democracy, Demetri seeks to understand how colleges and universities create campus climates that build the cultural competencies of students in order to foster lifelong civic and political engagement, serving as the co-editor of Student Activism, Politics, and Campus Climate in Higher Education.
  • Clarissa Unger is the co-founder and director of the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition, a project of the National Conference on Citizenship. Unger has a background in advocacy, communications, fundraising, and political campaigns and has worked on strategic campaigns both nationally and internationally. Prior to founding the SLSV Coalition, she served as the development coordinator for the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas where she helped to promote civic and democratic engagement on campus.
  • Adam Gismondi, Ph.D. is director of impact at the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, where he conducts research, leads communications for the office, and helps build theory-to-practice strategy. His scholarship focuses on the current state and future of higher education, including college student activism, technology, and campus climate. Prior to working in a research capacity, Adam spent six years working as a student affairs administrator.
Unique Spaces in the College Union | November 3, 11 a.m. Eastern

Every union building has a story. Unique features, hidden treasures, and bits of history fill campus buildings throughout the world. Two professionals from different institutions talk about the unique spaces in their union in this online learning program. Feel free to share an example from your building as well.

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About the Presenters
  • Michael Campbell, Assistant Director Indiana Memorial Union, Indiana University
  • Jordy Dickey, Assistant Director of Student Union, Department of Student Activities, Baylor University
Navigating Difficult Conversations | November 5, 2 p.m. Eastern

This webinar focuses on navigating difficult conversations that occur in our work life, including the areas of supervision, conduct, policy, change management, and more. Learn best practices for managing situations where there is a potential for conflict.  

Registration is not required. Please find access instructions here.

Access Instructions

About the Presenter 

Dr. Michael L. Sanseviro is the associate vice president for student engagement and dean of students at Georgia State University. Sanseviro has served in numerous leadership roles in higher education administration over the past 30 years and has been recognized for his career achievements by multiple institutions and professional associations. A published author, Sanseviro loves to travel the world and serve in various volunteer roles, including currently serving as the president of the International Leadership Council for Golden Key International Honour Society, president of the Waterdance Homeowners Association, and chair of the board of directors of LGE Community Credit Union. 

Using Principles of Restorative Justice in the College Union Context | November 11, 3 p.m. Eastern

Join Jocelyn Santana for a 90-minute workshop on restorative justice, its principles, and use within the college union context.

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About the Presenter

Jocelyn Santana is the director of social justice education at Northern Illinois University.

SafeZone Foundations | November 16, 3 p.m. Eastern

The focus of this workshop is to provide participants with the fundamentals of awareness, history, language, and foundational tips on allying themselves with members of the LGBTQ+ community. Participants will be able to define common LGBTQ+ terminology and understand the importance of inclusive language. Focus will be placed on developing empathy and building cultural respect as we look to further develop one’s sense of self and inclusivity. This foundations workshop is the beginning step to complete the ACUI SafeZone badge.

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About the Presenters

Dr. Clayton Kolb currently serves as the director of the Sykes Student Union and student activities at West Chester University. He received a Bachelor of Arts in social work and a Master of Science in organizational leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Doctor of Education from Grand Canyon University. Prior to work in the union, his background consisted of student activities, leadership development, and first-year experience programming. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor for Southern New Hampshire University since 2014, teaching organizational management and leadership courses. Within ACUI, he currently serves as the co-lead for the LGBTQ+ Community of Practice.  

Shane Farmer currently serves as the associate director of venue and technical services within campus life at Clemson University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology with a minor in poverty studies from Furman University and a Master of Education in college student affairs from the University of South Florida. Prior to his work at Clemson, he has worked with student organization policy and advising, programming and programming boards, and union operations and event planning. He currently serves as the Region III inclusivity coordinator and as the co-lead for the LGBTQ+ Community of Practice.

Transitions: Career Evolution During a Pandemic | December 1, 3 p.m. Eastern

Many people have seen their career plans affected by the pandemic and other recent events. From new graduates entering a volatile workforce to furloughed staff to those starting new jobs during extreme circumstances, professionals have found their expectations are not matching with our current reality. This webinar focuses on managing transitions in your career. Topics covered include how your career plan might have changed as a result of recent events, how our jobs are changing, and how high-risk staff are navigating tough decisions.

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About the Presenters
  • Ann Comerford, Executive Director Student Union, University of Illinois–Springfield 
  •  Daniel Maxwell, Ed.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs University of Houston System, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Houston 
  •  Dave Barnes, Director, University Unions, James Madison University
2020 Review and Reflect | December 15, 11 a.m. Eastern

In this roundtable discussion, we reflect on the year, including the challenges and the silver linings, and look toward the future. What does “back to normal” look like now? What can the individual do to find rest, healing, and reflection during breaks? How do supervisors take care of themselves to have the energy to take care of others? What does the next term look like for college campuses? These are some of the topics we will explore together. 

Registration will be available soon.

About the Moderator
  • Jeremy Schenk, Executive Director, Norris University Center, Northwestern University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Series

The ACUI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Team and regional inclusivity coordinators have collaborated to develop a new monthly series aimed at addressing oppression and equipping members to create more inclusive spaces on college campuses. This monthly virtual series will focus on allyship and advocacy in action. Learn from experts, reflect on your own behaviors, and connect with colleagues on these important topics.

Through participation in the series, attendees will:

  • Be able to define and conceptualize key terms pertinent to anti-racism
  • Have increased knowledge and awareness of self, identity, culture, intersectionality, power, privilege and oppression
  • Be able to learn techniques for honest, respectful dialogue about race
  • Understand institutional, systemic forces of classism, sexism, homophobia, and systemic forms of oppression that intersect with racism
DEI Series

Upcoming Series Events

In addition to the initial program outlined below, future event dates will be December 7, January 11, and February 1.

Mental Health and the Election | November 2, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Eastern

Most Americans are reporting that the current election cycle is a source of stress according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Regardless of political party affiliation, independents, Democrats, and Republicans reported increased anxiety in 2020 in comparison to 2016. Additionally, people who are marginalized by racism and heterosexism are also reporting high levels of stress related to the election, discrimination, and police violence. Driving most of this angst is uncertainty about the immediate outcome of the election. In this session, let's further explore how additional stressors might be present for college and university folx, including special consideration for those with minoritized social identities. We will also begin to identify strategies for managing at the personal, interpersonal, and organizational levels.

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Sponsored by the regional inclusivity coordinators and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Team

About the Presenter

For more than 25 years, Dr. Carlton Green has held various roles in higher education settings. More specifically, he has worked in student activities, multicultural services, residence life, academic affairs, athletics, and counseling services in both public and private institutions.

Green earned his Ph.D. in counseling psychology and received masters-level training in mental health counseling and pastoral ministry from Boston College. Green’s dedication to diversity and inclusion facilitated his appointment as the multicultural post-doctoral fellow in
counseling and psychological services at the University of Houston.

Currently, Green is the director of diversity training and education in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Maryland–College Park. Prior to taking on this role, he served as a staff psychologist at the University of Maryland Counseling Center.

Green has developed and presented workshops on diversity and inclusion, including how to address racial trauma at many universities and colleges in the DMV (Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia) area and nationally. He is also a national advisor to The Steve Fund, which is the nation’s only mental health organization focused on the well-being of students of color.

Green is also an active member in the American Psychological Association. His contributions to the field earned him a Rising Star Award at the 2019 National Multicultural Conference & Summit. In 2019, the Maryland Psychological Association recognized Green with the Grady Dale Jr. Award for Outstanding Contributions to Diversity in Psychology. Green was awarded the Committee on Sexual  Orientation and Gender Diversity Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association in August 2020.

Dr Carleton Green
Working Across Difference: Making Better Connections | December 7, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Eastern

Make sure that everyone understands what is required to work with people who are “not the same” as you are. Spoiler alert: it’s not about them; it is all about you! We communicate across difference in passing, on purpose, in person, and virtually. And while we “know” our co-workers, we often struggle to understand the cultural nuances of different cultural backgrounds, religions, languages, sexual orientations, gender expressions, socioeconomic variety, and more. We may be well intended when we enter or step back from a conversation, but we often fail to understand the impact of our actions nor learn from them. This practical workshop will help participants understand cultural and social differences, clarifying tips to function better in a diverse workplace, and address forbidden or contentious topics.

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Sponsored by the regional inclusivity coordinators and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Team

About the Presenter

Jess Pettitt, M.Ed., CSP, has always had a foot in two different approaches to her life. Perhaps it is her Texas roots, but she believes to thrive in this world you have to ride two horses at once: one of humility and one of ego. This is why while hosting and performing stand-up in New York City she also worked as a diversity and inclusion specialist as a day job.

Almost 20 years later, Pettitt still uses humor to deliver actionable content related to everything you ever wanted to know about where leadership and diversity collide but are afraid to ask. She brings to this conversation experience as a college administrator in student affairs at schools in South Carolina, Oregon, New York, and Arizona, understanding the importance of educators examining privilege, oppression, entitlement, and our collective responsibility to make change.

Though often referred to as a thought leader, Pettitt responds that she just makes leaders think. For diversity, equity, and inclusion work to stick, the first step is a conversation that matters about what you don’t know you don’t know then you can do the best you can with what you have some of the time without getting sued, losing talent, or failing customers.

Jess Pettitt

Upcoming Online Courses

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.

Traditional Courses

Traditional 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.

Contracting (January 11–February 28)

This training will provide valuable content related to developing, negotiating, and executing contracts on behalf of a union at public and private institutions. Topics covered will include activities/events contracts, tenant agreements, facilities/service provider contracts, and banquet event orders, as well as signature authority, involving students, and mediation.

Virtual classrooms for this course will be Thursdays at 2 p.m. Eastern.

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Module topics
  • Simple contracts and contract language
  • Contract terms and language of contracts
  • Advanced contract information
  • Negotiations
  • Managing to the contract

Subject Matter Experts
  • Jason Levy, Director, Student Centers & Conferences, Temple University
  • Zane Reif, Senior Director, Purdue Memorial Union, Purdue University
  • Susan Pile, Senior Director, University Unions and Auxiliary Services, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Inclusive Spaces (February 1–March 28)

This training will provide valuable content concerning strategies for creating and maintaining union/student center environments that welcome, respect and honor all individuals. Topics covered will include the establishment of LGBTQA inclusive spaces, accessibility, cultural audits of art and campus icons, employment practices, programming policies.

Note that this course will break the week of the 2021 Virtual Annual Conference.

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Module Topics
  1. Foundations of design
  2. Accessible spaces
  3. LGBTQ+ and space
  4. All faiths space
  5. Cultural audits and traditions
  6. Social justice and equity
  7. Practice and policy

  • Rachel Henry, Director of Event Management and Marketing, Louisiana State University
  • Jeremy Davis, Director, Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, University of Wyoming
  • Jordy Dickey, Assistant Director of the Student Union, Baylor University
Legal Issues (January/February)
This training is designed to provide a broad overview of legal issues impacting college union and student activities professionals. Potential topics could include Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, and Title IX.


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.

In addition to the Online Accessibility Course that is now available, ACUI will offer the following mini-courses in 2021:

  • Language of and Use of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
  • Application of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Frameworks
  • Data Collection and Use of Data
  • Research Ethics
  • Programming and Event Planning
  • Event Operations
  • Event Risk Management
  • Understanding of Self, Identity, and Culture
  • Institutional Awareness and Communication of Social Justice
  • Social Justice Advocacy
Online Accessibility (Ongoing)

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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Course Expectations


Participants 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

These 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).

Courses includes 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 the course will receive a certificate and digital badge.

Method of Evaluation and Grading Policy

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

Netiquette Expectations

It is expected that all participants 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

You will be contacted mid-course to collect feedback on your experience with the course. You will also be able to fill out the 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.