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Institute Description

Over a decade of research in social psychology indicates that learning mindsets play a role in students’ persistence and achievement; these mindsets are not fixed, but are shaped by messages students receive from society, from daily interactions and observations, and from their experiences in school.  By fostering a positive student experience in the classroom and beyond, individual instructors can increase a student’s likelihood of persevering through academic challenges to graduation.

The P3 Collaboratory at Rutgers-Newark is launching The Student Belonging Institute for faculty interested in collaborating with peers on campus to implement evidence-based teaching practices to improve student experience. Practices include revising syllabi, reviewing and revising course policies, utilizing new grading and feedback processes, and other evidence-based approaches that increase sense of belonging, convey a growth mindset, and foster inclusivity and institutional trust. Faculty will have the opportunity to get frequent student feedback about their classroom experiences using Ascend, a survey tool that helps faculty reflect on and improve their teaching practices. By participating in this community of practice, faculty will build expertise in inclusive teaching practices to improve student success for students of all backgrounds at Rutgers-Newark.

Activities for Student Belonging Institute Participants: As part of participation in the community of practice, admitted faculty will:

  • Revise course syllabi to include messaging and language proven to increase sense of belonging and growth mindset among students.

  • Review course policies to ensure equitable experiences for all students.

  • Utilize approaches to giving critical feedback in a way that engenders trust, increases academic engagement, and helps close academic outcome gaps.

  • Implement practices to establish an identity-safe classroom where all students feel welcome and respected.

  • Meet twice (2 times) in late Fall 2023 to set up for the Spring implementation of new teaching strategies. 

  • Survey students three (3) times throughout the Spring 2024 term using Ascend

  • Meet as a community of practice three (3) times over Spring 2024 to discuss five (5) training modules and compare classroom experiences.


Incentives and Application Process:

  • Faculty of all ranks and titles are welcome to apply. (Application link below)

  • All participants must commit to the shared meeting structure and planned classroom activities, i.e. completion of modules, implementation of new teaching approaches, and administration of surveys. (See meeting schedule below)

  • Faculty who complete the program will receive a $1,000 incentive.

  • Faculty who complete the program will earn the [name] digital badge. 

APPLY NOW! Application closes on 10/31/2023.

Have questions? Please reach out to Catherine Clepper at with any queries about the The Student Belonging Institute community of practice or application process.

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