What are the RISE QEP’s goals?

  1. Students will successfully complete 100-  and 200-level courses;
  2. Students will experience a sense of academic belonging; and
  3. Students will experience a sense of campus belonging.

Achieving these three goals will increase performance in those courses for all students and reduce or close racial equity gaps in successful course completions.

How will the RISE QEP achieve its goals?

RISE will seek to accomplish these goals through two main components.

  • RISE Faculty Institute: In each year of the 5-year QEP, 20 faculty members who teach 100-  or 200-level required courses will learn to remove barriers to learning; engage with students, diversity, and differences; and foster academic belonging through inclusive and active learning pedagogies; and,
  • RISE Community Action Teams (R-CATs): collaborative groups of students and faculty members committed to advancing campus belonging within colleges, creating community through one-time and ongoing events.

When does the RISE QEP start?

The Faculty Institute will begin forming the first cohort of faculty in Spring 2023. The R-CATs will be formed in Spring 2023 with activities to begin in Fall 2023.

Why are we doing the RISE QEP?

  • It aligns with student success and enrollment growth goals in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.
  • We researched a 10-year period of grade data for 315 distinct 100-  and 200-level courses, and saw definitive gaps in the grades achieved when sorted by race.  The data showed White students experienced an advantage while Black, Hispanic, and Multiracial students experienced a disadvantage. The QEP is designed to address this serious equity issue within student learning and success.
  • The plan will increase student performance and belongness of all students.
  • Research shows that with faculty development (Bensimon, 2007) inclusive and active pedagogies increase students’ sense of belonging and academic performance and close equity gaps (e.g., Dewsbury, et al, 2022; Zumbrunn, et al,  2014).

For more information, contact Merrie Winfrey, Co-Chair of the QEP Development Committee, mwinfrey3@radford.edu.


Bensimon, E.M. (2007). The underestimated significance of practitioner knowledge in the scholarship on student success. The Review of Higher Education, 30(4), 441-469.

Dewsbury, B.M., Swanson, H.J., Moseman-Valtierra, S., & Caulkins, J. (2022, June 15). Inclusive and active pedagogies reduce academic outcome gaps and improve long-term performance. PLOS One. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0268620

Zumbrunn, S., McKim, C., Buhs, E., & Hawley, L.R. (2014). Support, belonging, motivation, and engagement in the college classroom: A mixed method study. Instructional Science, 42, 661-684. DOI: 10.1007/s11251-014-9310-0