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
  • December 1 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern – Open Networking 
  • December 17 at 4 p.m. Eastern – Closed Networking
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. 

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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.

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 (February 8–April 2)
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.