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What is rise3?

Birmingham-Southern's rise3 program includes collaborative, experiential learning courses and projects: faculty-student research, internships, and service-learning. The initiative engages students to think critically and creatively and to focus on critical reflection before, during, and after their experience. Student accomplishments are then celebrated in campus-wide forums.

What constitutes a rise3 project?

Rise3 experiences are both courses and individual projects that incorporate experiential learning and reflection. They may include a summer research project in mathematics that connects students and faculty from BSC and other colleges; an English seminar that analyzes questions about race, gender, and class and requires students to work with community partners as a way to explore those issues; and a history course that gives students month-long internships in local libraries, archives, museums, and more.

How did rise3 begin?

The program is BSC's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a requirement of the institution's SACSCOC reaffirmation. Sixteen rise3 projects were offered in the 2013-2014 school year.

What is a QEP?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) describes the QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan, as part of every school's accereditation process, one designed to enhance the quality of the educational experience. As the SACSCOC Guidebook reads:

"By definition, the QEP describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning. The QEP should be embedded within the institution's ongoing integrated institution-wide planning and evaluation process and may very well evolve from this existing process or from other processes related to the institution's internal reaffirmation review."

Who was involved?

A rise3 Implementation Team has been charged with moving the program initiative forward. That team includes:

QEP Implementation Team

  • Kent Andersen - Director of the Hess Center for Leadership Studies+*
  • Noreen Gaubatz - Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment+*
  • Kristin Harper - Director of the Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action, Service Learning Group Chair+*
  • Alan Litsey - Professor of Theatre, QEP Director
  • Mary-Kate Lizotte - Assistant Professor of Political Science, Research Learning Group Chair*
  • Sara Robicheaux - Associate Professor of Business*
  • David Schedler - Professor of Chemistry+*
  • Kristina Scott - Executive Director, Alabama Poverty Project (community partner)*
  • Sandra Sprayberry - Professor of English*
  • Kimberly White - ├é┬áInternship Coordinator

QEP Development Committees


  • Barbara Domcekova - Associate Professor of Spanish
  • Dave Resha - Assistant Professor of Media and Film Studies
  • Ann Dielen - Women's Tennis Coach and Senior Women's Administrator for Athletics+
  • Kelsie Overton - Senior Religion major - Harrison Scholar - Pre-professional internship with YMCA
  • Melanie Nichols - Warren, Averett, Kimbrough, and Marion (WAKM) (community partner)
  • Cindy Brown - Sterne Agee (community partner)


  • Leo Pezzementi - Professor of Biology, Subcommittee Chair+
  • Kelly Russell - Assistant Professor of Education
  • Eric Kennedy - Circulation Supervisor Library
  • Sydney Middleton - Sophomore Chemistry major -Harrison Scholar - Summer research with Stultz and Hanson
  • Kristen Greenwood - Associate Curator of Education, Birmingham Museum of Art (community partner)


  • Jack Hinnen - College Chaplain+
  • John Tatter - Professor of English
  • David Eberhardt - Vice President of Student Development+
  • Ian Diament - Junior English major, Hess Fellow for Operation New Birmingham
  • Melissa Patrick - Executive Director, Urban Ministry (community partner)

+ Individual served on the QEP Topic Selection Committee.
* Individual served on the QEP Development Committee.