Smiling students in class

Belong: An Inclusive Learning Community

About Belong

Belong is a network of CIC member colleges and universities dedicated to making their campuses more welcoming and inclusive. Designed in partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), Belong offers a suite of professional development resources for faculty and staff to support student belonging in class and campus-wide.

Belong works in concert with your campus’s distinctive mission and values, equipping faculty and staff with evidence-based skills and knowledge that increase student belonging and advance campus retention efforts.

Four Foundations of the Belong Community

Belong is designed as both a broad and deep response to today’s challenges, providing individual-level support and institution-wide reach. Members of the Belong community gain access to nationally recognized credentials, live webinars for all employees, on-demand engagement resources, and a community of practice. Details on these key benefits:

  1. Nationally Recognized Credentials: Credentials for up to six faculty or staff annually in “Fostering a Culture of Belonging,” ACUE’s nationally recognized course on issues of bias, microaggressions, and inclusivity. Find out more about the microcredential course. Additionally, take advantage of exclusive CIC Belong member pricing on a wide range of ACUE credentials in effective teaching shown to increase student achievement and retention, deepen learning, and close equity gaps.

  2. Cornerstone Webinars: Unlimited access for all faculty and staff to attend live quarterly webinars that address issues of inclusivity and belonging, and recommend practical approaches that can be implemented right away.

  3. On-Demand Resource Library: Resources shareable with all faculty and staff on how to create an inclusive community that leads to higher satisfaction and student success. Curated resources in this toolkit—including instructional videos, sample surveys, implementation guides, articles, past expert webinars by leaders in the field, etc.—are available for use by all employees.

  4. Community of Practice: Following the example of NetVUE, online opportunities for shared learning and networking on DEI issues and best practices for campus leaders. Participating institutions will also receive a membership badge for their website and a marketing toolkit to communicate their support for success for all students.

Advancing Solutions across Campus

Belong has been designed to address a series of institutional needs.

  • For Presidents & Boards… demonstrable and effective action that is both broad and deep

  • For Faculty and Staff… researched guidance on successfully engaging today’s students, and access to a nationally recognized microcredential for selected individuals

  • For HR… campus-wide webinars, on-demand engagement library with shareable best practices for retention and belonging, and communication templates

  • For VPs and Strategic Plans… cost-effecitve ability to operationalize strategic priorities on diversity and faculty and staff development

  • For Chief Diversity Officers… a community of support, encouragement, and consultation

  • For Teaching and Learning Centers and Deans… access to faculty-designed and tested guidance that is already developed and ready for use

  • For the campus community… visible action on the value of inclusivity that aligns with campus values

  • And for students… a place to belong and thrive

Belong works alongside other campus actions (such as campus culture assessments) and national efforts (such as those by USC Race & Equity Center, NADOHE, and others), while providing actionable skills and knowledge for the community.

Our shared vision

  1. Bring CIC members closer together to accelerate student success and equity
  2. Deepen members’ ability to meet the needs of all students
  3. Support faculty and staff with advanced skill development
  4. Showcase the leadership of private independent colleges
  5. Strengthen the education of 2+ million students over 5 years

Belong in Action

Like other CIC communities (NetVUE, TEP, OCSC), Belong services are facilitated by a campus lead on each campus and CIC staff, in partnership with colleagues at ACUE. The Belong Campus Lead will serve as the point of contact for community services, helping connect campus with the resources and opportunities provided through Belong.

Belong can be led by any office on campus and sponsored by presidents, chief academic officers, chief diversity officers, chief human resource officers, or chief student affairs officers.

In addition to the four foundational offerings listed above, CIC supports member campuses by providing Belong background support, including prepared promotional materials, social media pushes, and guidance on how to broadly share resources.

Download a summary PDF for use in campus conversations on Belong.

Sign Up Now for Inaugural Pricing

​The annual institutional fee for membership in the Belong community is $7,500.

To celebrate the launch of the community and recruit leading institutions who will shape the future of Belong, CIC is offering an inaugural pricing package to the institutions who join Belong in this early phase.

< 1,000 enrollment$7,500($2,000)$5,500
1,000–3,000 enrollment$7,500($1,500)$6,000
> 3,000 enrollment$7,500($1,000)$6,500

*By undergraduate FTE
To join, complete this simple online application.

Registration is open for Belong with community offerings fully launching in February 2023. Membership runs annually from time of registration (with registrations received by January 31 beginning active membership on February 1, 2023). Early adopters who sign-up in Fall 2023 are ensured access to Spring 2023 credentialling opportunities and will have more lead time to invite faculty and staff to live webinars in the spring.

Join fellow CIC institutions as we advance student belonging and improve retention efforts by empowering faculty and staff across campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I share this with my campus team?

Download a summary PDF for use in campus conversations on Belong. The Belong team is also happy to meet with campus representatives to discuss the network; just reach out using the contact information below.

​What are the membership details?

Membership is exclusive to CIC members. Institutions may sign up at any time, with membership valid for one year. The community launches in February 2023, and members renew annually on their anniversary date.

Who makes a good campus lead?

The Belong campus lead can be an administrator, faculty member, or staff member and can come from any office on campus. This person is normally a senior campus leader (assistant dean, director level or higher) with the ability to share programming and resources with all of campus.


Belong membership includes six individual certifications annually. Find out more on the credential page. Additionally, many institutions will pursue additional credentialing in effective and equity-promoting teaching strategies across all modalities through ACUE, now offered at exclusive CIC Belong member rates. For more information about this, please contact Bacari Brown, ACUE partnership director, at


Campuses can select various passive to active engagement levels with these resources. For instance, some campuses might select one topic monthly and provide focused resources to the community. Some campuses may plan lunch-and-learns and small group conversations utilizing the resources. While some campuses might plan large staff and faculty gatherings around the webinars to reinforce the learning, others may share the invite for those interested and available to attend.


As we launch, we are constantly expanding and evolving the offerings in the library. Our goal is to offer top practices without an overwhelming list, and then to add additional elements as campuses complete/use the provided tools and request specific new resources. The resource library will highlight four topical areas: 1) Managing the Impact of Bias, 2) Reducing Microaggressions, 3) Addressing Imposter Phenomenon and Stereotype Threat, 4) Creating an Inclusive Environment. Each area is then supported with videos, articles, surveys, implementation guides, and handouts.


Invoices are now being sent within two weeks of completion of the online application. Starting in January 2023, further materials will be shared with institutions who have completed the invoicing process. In February 2023 with the official launch of the community, the first credentialling begins, the online library opens, and the first webinar of 2023 occurs.


The pricing package currently listed is the active pricing for Belong.

Contact Information

For questions about joining the Belong community, contact Matt Trainum, CIC vice president of networks and strategic partnerships, at

For questions about staff and faculty credentialing (including registering individuals for certification or expanding credentialing options for your campus), contact Bacari Brown, ACUE partnership director, at