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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Professor with Students

Engaging Students


In this time of instant gratification, short attention spans and communicating in 140 characters or less, it seems more and more difficult to engage today’s students in the traditional classroom setting. Without having to transform into a technology-wiz, there are specific strategies that can engage students from the first class and help to sustain that engagement throughout the semester. 

The student who is engaged tends to attend class more regularly, participate more frequently in class and will be more motivated to complete course requirements. In addition, the student who is engaged in the learning process will do just that…learn. This workshop highlights specific strategies to engage students in small classrooms as well as in large lecture-hall style courses. Participants learn ways to enhance their teaching style to help promote greater student engagement.

About the Facilitator

Kendra Ogletree Cusaac obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South.  She served as the Treatment Services Director at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice from 1996 to 2005.  She then took on the role of full-time Instructor for the Department of Psychology in 2005, being promoted to Senior Instructor in 2012. During this time she also served in the Opportunity Scholars Program and as the TRIO Academic Coordinator.  Since 2006 she served as a Consulting Clinical Sport Psychologist for the University of South Carolina Department of Athletics. She has also worked as a sole practitioner for private practice in clinical and sport psychology services and served on the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology.

She won several teaching awards, including 2012 Outstanding Teacher of Psychology (South Carolina Psychological Association), Mortar Board Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2004, 2009, 2013, University of South Carolina), Outstanding Faculty Member (2006, 2007, 2008, Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, University of South Carolina Chapter) and most recently, the 2014 Non Tenure Track Teaching Award (College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina).  One of her favorite classes to teach was Psychology 380, Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology, in which she introduced hundreds of students each year to the topic of her own primary area of expertise.

This workshop is co-sponsored by TRIO Programs and the Center for Teaching Excellence. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.