Where are My Keys? Unlocking Belonging in Higher Education

Proposals are due by July 31, 2024.

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The feeling of belonging plays a pivotal role in shaping vibrant learning communities that explore ideas and deepen understanding through dialogue. Still, individuals in all roles within a higher-education institution at times experience a lack of belonging, which can lock them out of the critical thinking process and learning experiences. A 2023 discussion of the implications of belonging in higher education in The Chronicle of Higher Education poses this question: "If the feeling of not belonging is an inescapable part of life, and a context-specific and ephemeral one at that, what should colleges be aiming for?" In other words, if belonging is the door to success in higher education, where are the keys?

The University of Arizona Global Campus Teaching and Learning Conference November 5-7, 2024


The 2024 UAGC Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) aims to address this question through discourse about the diverse factors of belonging that impact the higher-education experience - for students, faculty, and staff at all levels and disciplines. TLC invites proposals that consider what belonging means; how it looks; and how to build it in any functional area of an institution of higher learning. Proposals might consider theoretical and practical approaches to topics like:

  • Definitions of belonging in higher education (e.g., cultural, social, institutional, professional, intellectual, economic, etc.)
  • Barriers to and opportunities for creating belonging in higher education (e.g., technology, finances, culture, geography, academic background, at-potential characteristics, values/beliefs, etc.)
  • Operational solutions to issues of belonging (e.g., institutional policies and practices, both student- and staff/faculty-facing)
  • Discourse practices that foster intellectual belonging (e.g., teaching and/or advising practices; staff/faculty teamwork practices, using artificial intelligence)
  • Tangible approaches to measuring belonging (e.g., how to know when a factor of belonging is achieved; how to design a belonging-focused initiative so that it is measurable, etc.)
  • Discipline-specific research on the concept of belonging (e.g., the study of humanities, cultural studies, etc.)

Keywords: hidden curriculum, faculty belonging, learning community, self-efficacy, first-generation learners, ESL learners, peer mentoring, inclusion, culture, mentorship, interdisciplinary collaboration, social responsibility, community of inquiry, critical thinking, creative thinking, effectiveness, equity, evidence.

Celebrating its 10th year, the annual UAGC Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) is evidence of continuous effort, growth, and commitment to fostering teaching and learning excellence. Over the last decade, the UAGC Teaching and Learning Conference has adapted to changing educational landscapes, examined emerging trends in teaching and learning, and consistently provided a valuable platform for scholars, researchers, educators, and learners to share insights, experiences, and innovative approaches.

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TLC Ambassador
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Important Dates
  • July 31 - Call for Proposals ends
  • May 30, June 28, and July 15 - TLC Think Tank Sessions – Register to attend.
  • October 1 - Pre-recorded sessions due
  • October 22 - Conference platform launches for asynchronous engagement, pre-recorded presentations
  • November 5-7 - Live Conference Sessions

TLC Think Tank Sessions - attend to discuss, ideate about, and get feedback on your conference proposal. TLC Think Tank session reflects the TLC 2024 conference theme by supporting our community and empowering them to engage– it's a unique opportunity to engage with scholars and practitioners, foster personal, professional, and intellectual growth, and expand one's network, no matter your background or experience. The Teaching and Learning Conference is a developmental opportunity designed to support all levels of conference presentation experience. If you have an idea or thought or even a thought about an idea, attend a think tank session to take those thoughts to the next level!

Who Attends TLC?
  • Higher-education thought leaders from across the US and abroad
  • Faculty, students, and researchers in all disciplines
  • Curriculum developers, instructional designers, and instructional technologists
  • Student Affairs and Student Advising professionals
  • Library, Writing Center, and academic publishing professionals
  • Faculty Support and Development professionals
Why Attend? TLC Attendees Share

"Come to TLC you will learn from practitioners and researchers alike, which makes the conference really "feel" like a professional learning community. The session lengths are perfect and the keynote and featured sessions are always dynamic."

"Great conference--I had many takeaways as a new instructor/member of the UAGC team!"

"Opportunity to grow, hone skills, reinforce knowledge, research and pay it forward. A great platform for learning!"

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Office of Student Access and Wellness: Accessibility Support Services

The University of Arizona Global Campus is committed to providing an equal opportunity to access a full educational experience within the programs and services provided.

Those who would like to request accommodations such as captioned videos, transcripts, or live remote captioning to ensure access should contact the Office of Student Access and Wellness at [email protected] to submit a request for services. If you have any accessibility-related questions, please email [email protected] as soon as possible and by, November 1st. Access and Wellness will work to support any requests made after this date however late requests cannot be guaranteed.

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