RISE for Faculty

Teacher with students observing experiment

Instructors at Bellevue College have an immense responsibility before them. They are tasked with taking students from various backgrounds and levels of experience, and shaping them into critical thinkers and active learners ready to face the world beyond the BC campus. Through their hard work, BC faculty create future professionals and academics, engineers and artists, community leaders and global citizens. Our faculty know that education is more than just books and lectures; it takes creativity and perspiration.

The RISE Learning Institute applauds the immense work BC instructors put into improving the learning experience for their students, and we strive to contribute to that work by being a source of support, funding, ideas, and recognition.

RISE is for faculty.

RISE is Research

The RISE Learning Institute empowers BC faculty and students interested in research.  RISE recognizes that teaching and learning will always be paramount at BC, but we also know that engaging in research can be a powerful teaching method that promotes student success.

RISE works with faculty interested in research in several ways:

Faculty Development Workshops. We’re still finalizing our menu of offerings for 2021-22. If you’d like to receive our schedule of faculty programs as soon it’s released, just let us know here. In the meanwhile, you can see our past array of faculty programs from Fall 2020 | Winter 2021 | Spring 2021

BUGR Group.  That’s right: it’s pronounced “booger.” And its motto is “learning that sticks.” The Bellevue UnderGraduate Research Group is a group of 15 faculty from 8 departments.  This group grew out a multidisciplinary team of BC faculty who traveled with RISE staff to an Institute on Initiating and Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs in 2018. This faculty team drafted an action plan for building an undergraduate research program at BC. The group later developed a successful Lockwood grant, funded by the BC Foundation. RISE, the Library, Science Division, and Social Science Division also provided support. With that support, the members of the BUGR Group have redesigned their courses to include authentic research projects.

In 2019-20, 722 BC students participated in course-based undergraduate research. You can learn more in our annual report. The following faculty participate in the BUGR Group.

Lisa Lapointe, Library
Celeste Lonson, Psychology
Madhura Sohani, Psychology
Madeline Gorges, Psychology
Jacqueline Miller, Molecular Bio
Kathy Hunt, Anthropology
Grady Blacken, Chemistry

Sonya Doucette, Chemistry
Seema Jejurika, Enviro Science
Nancy Lane, Enviro Science
Christina Sciabarra, Political Science
Jason Fuller, Biology
Raji Sundar, Biology
Allison Kang, Biology
Cindy Xie, Biology

Support for Course-Based Research Experiences.  If you’re interested in bringing authentic research experiences into your course, the easiest way to get started is to talk with Jacqueline Miller, our Faculty Lead for Undergraduate Research, to explore options and connect to our faculty community of practice.

ComGen. The Community College Genomics (ComGen)Initiative is a community of practice of over 50 faculty members at 22 colleges. All of these faculty engage students in course-based research, and many of them have created their own research experiences.Several useful resources may be found in the ComGen curriculum library

Research Collaborations. We are currently working with the Institute for Systems Biology on an effort to bring computational biology approaches into 100-level courses. In previous years, we forged a collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that allowed BC faculty to become affiliates of the Hutch.

Student Research Presentations. We coordinate BC’s participation in the University of Washington’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, the largest celebration of undergraduate research on the West Coast.

RISE is Innovation

Working with faculty to create, pilot, and scale innovations in teaching and learning is the heart of RISE’s mission.

Project-Based Learning Workshops. We’re still finalizing our menu of offerings for 2021-22. If you’d like to receive our schedule of faculty programs as soon it’s released, just let us know here. In the meanwhile, you can see our past array of faculty programs from Fall 2020 | Winter 2021 | Spring 2021

PD Day 2020. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the RISE Learning Institute sent teams of faculty from across campus to the Institute for Project-Based Learning at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  These BC faculty who have attended thoroughly enjoyed the Institute, which helped them add more projects to their courses and make their existing projects more impactful. Last year, instead of bringing BC faculty to the Institute, we brought the Institute to BC. A combination of BC faculty and WPI faculty presented a wide range of workshops related to PBL at Faculty PD Day on October 20, 2020, and you can watch the workshops here.

Faculty Champions of PBL. Project-based learning is RISE’s largest program. Nearly 80 faculty, representing all 6 divisions, have done multi-day PD related to PBL. These faculty–and several others–form an informal network known as the “Faculty Champions of PBL.” They don’t hold meetings, but they do share resources and strategies in a very useful Canvas shell. Contact Michael Reese if you’d like access to the shell.

Provost’s Award for Equity and Innovation. Our signature program for supporting faculty innovators, the Provost’s Award, offers up to $25,000 for teams of faculty who want to bring a high-impact practice into a course (or sequence of courses) that reaches at least 300 BC students per year. Information about the criteria and process appear here, and the accomplishments of previous winners appear in our annual report.

1:1 Support for Faculty If you would like to learn more, connect with faculty engaged in this work, or discuss project options, you can reach out to Miranda Kato, Faculty Lead for Project-Based Learning. If you are interested in working with an external partner in an upcoming course, please contact Michael Reese or Sapan Parekh.

RISE is Service

Due to COVID-19, the RISE Learning Institute is encouraging instructors to offer remote learning opportunities that still allow students to connect with their communities. Despite online learning and social distancing, our communities still need support, and there are plenty of ways for your students to engage with the world around them as a part of your classes.

Student learning can be greatly enhanced when community engagement and civic education are incorporated into their courses. However, the RISE Learning Institute recognizes that faculty may not know how best to do this, or may be wary of altering their already well-designed curricula. Nevertheless, Bellevue College and the RISE Learning Institute want to support those instructors who have interest in bringing their classroom into the community in a meaningful way.

Community-Engaged & Civic Education

Community-Engaged & Civic Education, also known as CECE, enables faculty to take the students out into the community – remotely or in-person – while bringing the community in. CECE supports instructors in whatever allows them to center the community in their education, whether through service-learning, projects, research, civics, or more. CECE can connect instructors to community partners, help them with course integration and assignment design, and more. Visit the CECE site to learn more about how all the pieces – faculty, students, community, volunteering, and more – fit together to provide a multi-faceted approach to community-engaged learning.

The What and How of Service-Learning

Community-Engaged & Civic Education helps students meet their course learning outcomes, build lifelong skills, and develop a greater sense of civic responsibility. The most well-known type of community-engaged learning is Service-Learning, which provides opportunities for students to contribute to community-based organizations (e.g. non-profits and government) to meet course outcomes. This helps students make real what they’re learning in their class, and critical reflection activities or assignments facilitate the extraction of learning that goes beyond the course content.

The RISE Learning Institute defines “service-learning” differently from most institutions. Your class likely fits. Read more.

Helping You Prepare for Your Class

RISE’s Community-Engaged & Civic Education program wants you to succeed in bringing your students and the world together. Visit the options below to learn more about how RISE can support you in this work.

Through one-on-one meetings, the RISE Learning Institute helps faculty determine the best way or ways to engage the community through their classrooms.  Therefore, if you have interest in adding service-learning, community-engaged learning, or civic education to your class, or simply want to learn more about them, contact Sapan Parekh to set up a meeting. Additionally, instructors implementing CECE for the first time may be required to attend a short orientation prior to the start of the quarter.

Integrating the community, and possibly community organizations, can feel really complicated. But it does not have to be. Whether you are redesigning a course or offering the community-engagement for the twentieth time, to make sure you have everything you need for your course, visit our quick Faculty CECE Checklist.

Perhaps you would like your students to practice learned skills in a final project or capstone. Perhaps you would prefer that students support the capacity of an organization, often remotely. Projects or research might be the best options for your students. Working with partners – in the community or across Bellevue College – adds real world authenticity, builds professional communication, encourages time management, and creates a greater sense of pride in work done.

RISE encourages you to start searching for non-profit or government partners 1-2 months prior to the next quarter. CECE works with over 175 vetted agencies, and can help find the right ones for you. Whether you want project or research partners, options for informational interviews, guest speakers, or volunteer sites for students, reach out to Sapan Parekh as early as possible to get the conversation started. To work specifically with for-profits, contact Michael Reese.

Growth as an instructor never ends. RISE’s CECE program supports faculty in gaining and practicing the skills necessary to succeed in integrating community into courses. This is achieved through its Learning Communities, Micro-Workshop Series, one-off Workshops, Retreats, and Immersions (see below). The Fall 2021 offerings are available now!

Single Quarter Learning Communities

Civic Action in the Classroom Faculty Learning Community (FLC): Faculty participants attend four meetings over a single quarter to gain knowledge and learn skills to build a civic action into their courses. They support each other in developing the civic component, creating critical reflections, and fostering deliberative dialogue, all to help students walk away with a greater sense of civic responsibility.

Climate Justice in Action FLC: Similar to the Civic Action FLC, this 4-session learning community provides opportunities for faculty to integrate climate justice and civic action into their courses. To learn more, contact Sonya Doucette.

Multi-Quarter Learning Communities

RISE Community Engagement Fellows: The CE Fellows program is a wholly unique experience that offers a community of learning for a mix of Bellevue College faculty and community partners. Over two quarters within a stress-free and guilt-free environment, participants build authentic relationships, learn a variety of skills and concepts for their own work, and support each other in community problem solving. The first cohort, Winter-Spring 2021, consisted of faculty from Adult Basic Education, Economics, English as a Second Language, iBIT, Life Sciences, Nursing, and Sociology, and community partners reflecting the areas of arts, city government, community wellness, housing insecurity, immigration, juvenile detention, legal aid, and tribes. Community Engagement Fellows will be offered again in Winter 2022.

Service-Learning FLC: Over three quarters, faculty participants received in-depth guidance into how to incorporate service into a course. These Service-Learning Fellows learned about theory before diving into redesigning their courses.


Reflection Micro-Workshops: Six half-hour lessons on different attributes of reflective practices to help students think more critically about topics covered in class. This is not specifically for those interested in community-engaged learning; reflection is a useful practice no matter the field! Faculty can attend one or all. The micro-workshop topics are:

  • Bringing out Depth through Reflection
  • Creating Connections using the 8Cs
  • Unleashing the Power of Reflective Journals
  • Reflecting Beyond Writing
  • Planning Your Quarter Using Reflection Mapping
  • Assessing Reflection

Stepping Out & Stepping Into: This workshop, developed with support from community partners and other academic institutions, deep dives into what ethical community engagement looks like. This 2-hour workshop is open to faculty, students, staff, board members, and the community, and covers topics such as bias, anti-racism, storytelling, and more. This is for anyone who wants to know how they promote equity in how they engage with the community – whether through their work or their personal interests. This workshop is offered Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Community-Engaged Teaching at a Time of COVID: This workshop provides practical ideas for how to continue with community and civic engagement when students cannot go into the community due to the pandemic. The workshop has some work time built in so participants can apply the concepts right away.

Review the Fall offerings page to see what faculty workshops RISE is offering this quarter. Visit the calendar to learn about all RISE events, including for career exploration.

The RISE Learning Institute has a collection of books devoted to different aspects of CECE and service-learning, from creation to assessment. There are also books and other resources about eService-Learning, Team-Based Learning, Community-Based Research, Project-Based Learning, history and philosophy of service and education, civic responsibility and participation, and more. Feel free to check out any of the books by visiting B241.

Additionally, the RISE Library contains many booklets from the National Issues Forum that you are welcome to use to promote deliberative dialogue around challenging issues. They go well with PDF booklets and worksheets found on the Service-Learning SharePoint; just meet with RISE before using any of the materials.

These resources have been compiled and vetted by RISE for use by faculty in CECE and service-learning courses. Additionally, direct volunteer service-learning at BC is facilitated using the BC in the Community volunteer management portal (see below). If you have not taught a service-learning course or used the portal before, please set up a meeting with RISE before starting. Additionally, if you choose to outreach to any of the agencies listed in the portal for a course, contact RISE first so it can inform the agencies and help facilitate the partnerships.

Other Support and Opportunities from RISE

RISE’s CECE program does more than help you prepare for your course. Through surveys, notations, speakers, lists, websites, and more, RISE supports you and your students in becoming more community-engaged people.

To help gauge the collective impact of community-engaged learning at BC, RISE – along with inputs from faculty across divisions – developed a pre- and post-survey for students to take. The survey collects information shared with participating instructors every quarter, and then shared with the CECE Community (see below) annually. This information helps the instructors see the extra benefits of their work, as well as think through areas for increasing the multifaceted depth of student learning.

In 2020-2021, 585 students took the short pre-survey, and 470 took the post-survey. The pre- and post-survey share the same ten questions. Here are results from that year specific to growth in civic awareness and values:

Graph of percent responses of students agreeing and strongly agreeing with statements given in surveys: I know at least one way to make a positive impact on a challenging community issue 84.93% pre-survey and 97.45% post-survey, I have a good, research- or experience-based understanding of at least one need or problem facing the community in which I live 80.65% pre-survey and 95.74% post-survey, I plan to volunteer or participate in the community after the course ends 72.73% pre-survey and 80.85% post-survey, and I personally can make a difference in my community 85.64% pre-survey and 91.28% post-survey
Percent of students self-selecting “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” to these statements in both Pre- and Post-Surveys

Below are the responses to statements that only appear in the Post-Survey, and reflect the student’s experience and learning from the community-engaged experience.

Graph of percent responses of students agreeing and strongly agreeing with statements given in a post-survey: I see the relevance of my area of study to broader social, environmental, civic, or community issues 91.94%, The CECE experience helped me meet my course objectives 85.84%, My instructor seemed excited about the course’s service-learning or CECE component 95.07%, I learned something new about myself through the process of doing CECE / service-learning 79.74%
Percent of students self-selecting “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” to these statements in the Post-Survey

The surveys are relatively simple to use. RISE has designed short assignments in Canvas for each of them, and they are easily accessed and imported into instructor classes. Contact Sapan Parekh to learn more about implementing the surveys in your class.

Students have an opportunity to earn a special notation in their transcripts that officially acknowledges the successful completion of a course that uses community contribution to reach course outcomes. This notation shows transfer institutions and potential employers that students have undertaken experience-based academic coursework, and have thus developed skills such as teamwork, client-engagement, problem-solving, empathy, and critical thinking. Therefore, the benefits of the notation are plenty, which is why RISE has heard many students express interest in receiving it. To do so, students must take a course that qualifies for the notation.

2020-2021 was a challenging year for community engagement. And yet, these classes, by these instructors, met the strict requirements to be eligible for the transcript notation that year. They demonstrated that they could provide robust and critical community-engaged and civic opportunities for their students:

DMA 103 – 2-D Design – Mariella Lawson
ENGL& 101 – Composition I – Jeremiah Allen
ENGL& 235 – Technical Writing – Katie Austin-Miranda
ENVS 105 – The Science of Sustainability – Roshni Tewari
HPM 462 – Practicum Prep – Tony Vo

If you are interested in learning more or submitting your class for review, please read the Transcript Notation for Service-Learning Instructor Guide and scroll to the bottom of the Faculty Checklist for a summary. Submit your course syllabus and supporting documents to Sapan Parekh by the third week of the quarter.

The RISE Learning Institute can help arrange guest speakers or other connections from community-based organizations to visit your class. Additionally, RISE can provide some workshops to help connect your content to community issues. For example, RISE has given presentations on housing insecurity, sustainability, the LGBTQ+ communities, and more. A full list is on RISE’s CECE site.

One of the most popular workshops involves Bellevue College’s Bags to Bedrolls Project. RISE can talk with your class about housing insecurity and sustainability, and then lead your students through an activity that engages students with the Project. To learn more about bringing a guest speaker or workshop to your class, contact Sapan Parekh.

These two-day events provide opportunities for BC faculty and staff to deep dive into issues with local significance. All Community Immersions are carefully curated to engage participants in the various sides of the issue and to network them with experts throughout the community. Faculty can earn professional development hours for participating.

The first Community Immersion, about salmon, had ten participants representing eight departments in three academic divisions. Read about the event on BC Today and 425 Business.

The second RISE Community Immersion, in December 2019, focused on the trans community and on gender diversity more broadly. The 15 participants represented nine academic programs and five student services.

During the pandemic, RISE planned two virtual immersions opened to all within the Bellevue College community, on housing and food insecurity and on social justice for Black lives.

Due to COVID-19, the earliest the next Immersion will be offered will be in early 2022.

RISE recognizes the amount of work that goes into creating any innovative class, including a community- or civically-engaged one. To help promote your class to students, RISE compiles a list of innovative courses utilizing high impact practices. Check out the listing of Spring 2021 courses. If you would like to be listed this or next quarter, let us know. And for subsequent quarters, send your courses to RISE the week before registration begins.

RISE hosts Bellevue College’s service-learning and volunteer portal, BC in the Community, free for all students and employees. The portal provides opportunities for faculty to explore RISE’s many community partnerships and become inspired to build collaborations of their own. Service-Learning classes are typically administered through the portal, as this is an easy way for faculty to manage volunteer opportunities and keep track of student progress.

The Community-Engaged & Civic Education program in RISE is striving to build a community of faculty, from all divisions, who care about this work. Since 2019-2020, members of this CECE Community have met annually for a half-day retreat. In 2021-2020, RISE plans to create opportunities for more frequent meetings. The goal is three-fold: 1) To help design strategy and move the program as a whole forward, 2) To improve the skills and capacities of the individual instructor, and 3) To create a culture of mutual collaboration and support across the college.

RISE is Experiential Learning

The RISE Learning Institute supports and promotes a wide variety of high-impact experiential learning opportunities.  Of course, undergraduate research, project-based learning, and service-learning all provide great experiential education for students.  But RISE does not confine itself to these categories: our staff members are happy to work with faculty from all disciplines to brainstorm ways of bringing experiential learning into the classroom—and ways of connecting students to the world beyond BC.  Please feel free to reach out to us.

Making Learning Visible.  Every quarter, RISE organizes a public showcase of student learning. This interdisciplinary celebration of student work is a time for students to present their work to an authentic audience of other faculty, students and administrators. It elevates final projects and gives students real world experience presenting their work. Making Learning Visible is typically the last Monday of the quarter. Given the remote nature of Winter 2021, RISE will provide a remote Making Learning Visible. If you’re interested in learning more and/or having your students participate, just send a quick note to Sapan Parekh.

Administrative support.  Faculty often make a connection with an outside partner or come across an experiential learning curriculum idea, project or space but they need the help to figure out how administratively that can be implemented at BC. RISE can help secure the permissions and administrative support you need to implement an experiential learning project. Check out an example of this type of support and how we helped Life Sciences faculty develop a long-term research plot in partnership with the Washington Department of Agriculture.

Internships. Internships are one of the most impactful forms of experiential education.  The Academic Internship Program, which is part of RISE’s Center for Career Connections, helps students in all majors connect to internships and other experiential learning opportunities.  If you would like the RISE staff to speak to your students about internships related to your field of study, please contact Chiew Jones, Associate Director for Experiential Learning, or Kimberly Martin, Program Manager for Internships.

In addition, the Center for Career Connections runs a fantastic job and internship board, CONNECT, and you can let Chiew Jones know if you would like to receive a weekly email of internship opportunities in a particular field.

Last Updated October 18, 2021