Belong@Coastal Grants - Coastal Carolina University
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Belong@Coastal Inclusive Excellence Grants

The 2022–27 QEP, Belong@Coastal, is a multi-year, campus-wide effort to enhance inclusive student learning and inclusive student engagement at the University through the implementation of specific high-impact learning activities and practices. QEP-aligned activities will bear the moniker of Belong.  Eligible applicants are invited to propose activities that demonstrate a well-defined plan that is aligned with the QEP’s goal and addresses one or both of its Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): 

Goal:  The goal of the QEP is to maximize students’ academic success and sense of belonging within the University by implementing teaching and mentoring practices focused on inclusive action, critical evaluation, and cultural reflection. 

Student Learning Outcome 1 (SLO 1): Students will engage in inclusive problem-solving activities that build awareness of self and others’ identities, experiences, and perspectives.  

Student Learning Outcome 2 (SLO 2): Students will participate in collaborative activities that elevate their academic and professional development through inclusive engagement with faculty, staff, and other students.  

Applicants are strongly recommended to consult the QEP website here to learn more about key terms and goals of Belong@Coastal. Applicants are also encouraged to consult with their unit’s liaisons for further guidance and information regarding the QEP.


All University academic departments, faculty, staff, and student organizations (with the approval of their advisor and Office of Campus Life) are eligible to apply. While members of the QEP Steering Committee are eligible to apply, they must abstain from participating in any part of the review process during the cycle/semester in which their application materials are evaluated. Successful applicants are required to complete the appropriate Belong Orientation and Training session/s in advance of implementing the QEP-aligned curricular or co-curricular activity and complete all continuing training. The QEP Steering Committee will identify the appropriate Orientation/Training to be completed by the applicant/s. Orientation and Training schedules will be provided at the beginning of each academic year.  

Eligible Activities 

Research across a wide range of disciplines and higher education institutions shows that when students feel like they belong, and that their perspectives and values are recognized and supported by staff, faculty, and peers, academic success and retention increase (see website for references).  Belong activities adopt inclusive practices and methods to maximize student achievement specifically for at-promise groups (identified at CCU as minoritized students, Pell recipients, and males); develop awareness of oneself and others’ identities, experiences, and perspectives; and foster student success through inclusive engagement with faculty, staff, and/or other students. Belong activities must address at least one of the QEP’s SLOs by incorporating one or more of the following High-Impact Practices (Kuh, 2008) identified as Best Practices for Belong@Coastal: First-Year Seminars and Experiences; Common Intellectual Experiences; Learning Communities; Writing-Intensive Courses; Collaborative Assignments and Projects; Undergraduate Research; Diversity/Global Learning; Service Learning, Community-Based Learning, and Internships. Priority will be given to intentionally designed and well-researched activities that follow best practices and target the improvement/enhancement of at-promise students' academic engagement and cultural belonging at CCU and that can demonstrate transformative impact for targeted populations in the context of broad inclusive student engagement. The ways in which at-promise groups are recruited and retained for Belong@Coastal must be intentional, measurable, and supported by best practices in student engagement.   

Courses/Sections of Courses: Belong designation can be applied to all sections of a course or to only specific sections of a course. Curricular focused applications must be submitted by department chairs or program administrators.  Course changes must also be approved by the appropriate college curriculum committee, and by the college Dean/s.  

Co-Curricular Activities: Belong designation can be applied to specific inclusive student engagement activities, events, or initiatives intentionally developed or enhanced to align with the goals of the QEP, demonstrate a plan to adopt one or more of the above-mentioned High-Impact Practices, and fulfill at least one of the QEP’s SLOs.  

Application Deadlines and Submission 

The application deadline for faculty/staff-led grants is April 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. The QEP Steering Committee will host a QEP IE Grant Q&A Session on April 17, 2023, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Dawsey Conference Room (Singleton Building).

Belong Designation for Courses/Sections of Course: College deans will be responsible for sharing their internal submission deadlines if they have them. The QEP Steering Committee may offer feedback and suggestions, as needed, to the relevant department or faculty members. Unless substantive changes are made to it post-approval, once a course or specific section of a course has been approved for Belong designation, it may retain the moniker in future semesters without needing to go through a re-application process. Similarly, once a course instructor has successfully completed the required Belong Orientation/Training session, they need not go through the same training repeatedly to teach the Belong course in future semesters.  Activities requiring funding will need to reapply for funding on a yearly basis.    

Belong Designation for Co-Curricular Activities: Unit heads/supervisors will be responsible for sharing their internal submission deadlines. Applications should be signed off by the respective Department Head and Vice President and forwarded to the QEP Steering Committee, which will review the proposals for compliance, communicate any concerns/questions for resolution to the proposer, and provide timelines for completion of needed reporting.  

Funding Eligibility, Duration, and Amount 

Funding for a Belong Course or Activity may be awarded for significant improvements or changes to an existing course, to support components of a new course, or to support co-curricular activities/events offered by student organizations or support offices across campus. Funding categories that can be supported include supplies, equipment, travel with students, software, consulting/speaker/training/workshop expenses, food and beverages at Belong events, and personnel expenses, such as summer salary or faculty release time for work undertaken beyond the terms of a faculty member’s employment agreement or compensation for an activity plan approved through supervisory channels for staff members outside their regular employment agreement. Proposals should clearly state the start date and duration of the funding. Note that the fiscal year begins July 1st, so proposers should take care to avoid bridging this date. Proposals must identify ways the Belong activity can be sustained in future years after the funding period lapses. The maximum award for individual proposals is $5,000, and the maximum duration is one calendar year; partial funding is possible. Belong applications that entail multi-year, active collaborations among individuals/academic units and/or Belong applications that involve the active and demonstrable participation of multiple academic units of the University may seek a higher level of funding with a longer duration, if warranted. If applicable, the proposal must also include the applicant’s/applicants’ Declaration of Unduplicated Request/Application for CCU Funds.  

Responsibilities of the Applicants for Belong designated Curricular or Co-Curricular Initiatives 

The applicant is: 

  1. responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, and assessment of all Belong activities, including fiscal and operational oversight. Co-applicants listed on the Cover Page are understood to be co-applicants and equally responsible for these responsibilities; 
  2. required to participate in appropriate (curricular and/or co-curricular) QEP-aligned training/orientation session before awarded funding is made available; 
  3. required to adopt the QEP’s SLO assessment rubrics provided on page 7 of the Application Form; and 
  4. responsible for completing and submitting all Belong SLO assessment reports to the QEP Director no later than July 15 of each QEP year; and
  5. An Annual Summary Report of funded activities will be due to the QEP Director by July 15

The QEP Inclusive Excellence Grant applications are composed of the following :

  • Title of Project or Activity
  • Abstract (50 words max)
  • Number of students served by proposed project or activity
  • Type of project/activity
  • Which SLOs are applicable to proposed project or activity
  • Description of project or activity (1,000 words max) that addresses the following:
    • At a minimum, your response should: (1) describe the relationship of the activity to the Belong@Coastal goals and SLOs; (2) identify the ways in which diverse student populations will be served by or benefit from the proposed activity; (3) describe your assessment and evaluation plans for the proposed activity; and, (4) address the financial and programmatic sustainability of the proposed activity.
  • Completed and signed Belong@Coastal QEP Budget Template to upload with the application
  • Letters of support for cost-shared or co-sponsored activities, or other general letters of support

Additionally, curricular applications will require course information and an uploaded syllabus. Co-curricular applications will require information on collaborations with campus offices and/or student organizations.


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