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Student Experience Project


Many institutions are seeking strategies to improve student belonging as part of their equitable student success efforts. The Student Experience Project (SEP), a national collaborative of education organizations, found that engaging faculty in communities of practice to use evidence-based classroom practices boosted student belonging and other aspects of student experience tied to academic success.  Participating institutions engaged nearly 300 faculty in communities of practice to utilize new practices and meet regularly to reflect on their teaching and receive direct feedback on students’ experience; these faculty improved student experience in their courses, and students with better experiences were more likely to get A’s and B’s in the course. 

The following USU/APLU members participated in the initial SEP cohort:

  • Colorado State University

  • Portland State University

  • The University of New Mexico

  • The University of Toledo

  • University of Colorado Denver

  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The SEP produced a number of practical resources that institutions can use to improve student experiences in the classroom and beyond. To learn more about the Student Experience Project, visit 

SEP Institute

In 2023, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) established the SEP Institute, a two-day in-person intensive followed by monthly virtual cross-cohort meetings to support universities to improve student experience in the classroom. Leveraging tools and frameworks developed and tested in the SEP, the Institute supports campus teams through the process of designing and implementing a faculty community of practice with the potential to transform the learning environment and lead to improved student outcomes. During the two-day intensive, participating campuses will learn about the social-psychology research on belonging and student success from national scholars, receive coaching from student success leaders who have successfully implemented communities of practice with faculty, and get hands-on experience with SEP tools and resources that can support faculty in implementing new teaching practices and gathering student feedback.

For more information on the SEP Institute, please visit

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