Call: “Mitigating Equity Gaps” 2020-21 Community of Practice

Are you someone who is always searching for new ways to promote equity in your courses? This year’s community of practice will bring like-minded individuals together to try out new interventions in our introductory and gateway courses to promote greater equity in student success. 

Structural inequities in higher educationexacerbated by the pandemicmay leave you struggling to find ways to promote change. This year-long community of practice will connect us with our colleagues so that we can collectively research strategies to enhance student learning and retention in our introductory or gateway courses. In the fall, we will discuss three different forms of interventions: interventions you can apply as the instructor; interventions you can encourage students to apply in their courses; and interventions you can leverage from the universityIn the spring semester, you will select and apply one strategy to a specific introductory or gateway course you are teaching, and we will work together to assess our impact on teaching and students. This community will also be able to investigate larger systemic issues that create barriers for students and instructors, and we will be able to share our ideas for change with decision-makers on campus. 


This year’s community of practice will meet once a month via Microsoft Teams and will engage in asynchronous work and discussion in Canvas between meetings.  Our synchronous meetings will be from 12-1 p.m. on Sep. 25, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Jan. 29, Feb. 19,  Mar. 26, and Apr. 23. We encourage you to apply even if you cannot make some of these times; we will provide alternative means of engagement for those unable to make a virtual meeting. 


This community of practice is open to anyone who teaches an introductory course or a course that serves as a gateway to the major. Research has uncovered national trends in high-enrollment courses across disciplines such as Economics, Accounting, Biology, Philosophy, and College Writing. While the experience is open to all who teach gateway or introductory courses, we are particularly interested in supporting instructors who teach courses in these and other disciplines that have systemic, national issues. We have space for 15 instructors. If you are a First-Year Seminar instructor, we encourage you to seek out the First-Year Seminar community of practice because it is designed to provide you with specific resources to support students in those courses. 


Instructors who complete the community of practice are eligible for a $500 stipend. If you are a 12-month, non-instructional staff member who teaches an introductory/gateway course, please reach out to your supervisor to see if they are supportive of this opportunity. 12-month staff receiving this stipend on overload may need to complete an Alternative Work Schedule Request to account for stipend-related activities performed on regularly-scheduled work time for their primary appointment, and the stipend will need to be approved by the Position & Compensation Review Committee. 

How to apply

Click below to apply in Qualtrics. It will ask you to list the class you wish to work on with our community and to share what sort of intervention(s) you may wish to explore. While you will have all of the fall semester to consider what you wish to do in the spring, we wish to hear what instructors are interested in doing so it can inform our program.  

Apply Here