Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrates a new Quality Matters (QM) achievement.  Dr. Richard Espinosa, Allied Health Sciences department chair and professor, was recognized for his leadership to improve the quality of online courses through faculty development and course certification. Espinosa received the 2021 QM Making a Difference for Students Award in the Outstanding Impact by an Individual in the Higher Education category.

Six of his courses are QM certified, and ACC’s Allied Health Sciences department is the only department at the college that is fully QM approved. QM remains the international leader for quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. Espinosa’s Pharmacology for Health Professionals (HPRS 2300) course saw a 14 percent increase in the student success rate (grade of A, B, or C) after QM certification.

“I am thrilled to be receiving the Making a Difference for Students Award and am humbled by this national recognition. This honor lets me and the college know that our courses promote engagement, retention, satisfaction, and achievement for all of our students,” says Espinosa. “With the times we are in now, I am glad our courses are ready for our students so they can grow with the latest technology tools and interactive applications we have incorporated.”

Each year, the QM community celebrates individuals and institutions that exemplify QM’s focus on student success. Awardees demonstrate an unwavering commitment to ensuring high course quality and use varied but valuable approaches to improving learner outcomes, including the implementation of QM Standards, practices, and processes.

All award recipients will be recognized Thursday, November 4, at the QM ConnectLX Online Conference. Watch Espinosa accept the 2021 QM Making a Difference for Students Award below.