Abstract: For over twenty years, research has consistently shown that students learn more from active learning at the college level. Yet active learning is still rarely used by university faculty. Even small changes benefit student learning. I will share practical strategies for incorporating small doses of active learning without the need to completely overhaul your course or teaching style. Furthermore, many of us have heard about growth vs. fixed mindset, and that students with a growth mindset learn more. But recent results show that a teacher’s mindset *about their students* matters just as much. Instructors who believe that success is within reach for all students lead their students to higher learning gains and higher persistence in STEM. This is particularly true for URM students, who historically have had lower retention in STEM. Lastly, I will also provide strategies to augment student motivation by articulating your goals, reducing barriers to participation, and using differentiated instruction to simultaneously offer more challenge to over-prepared students and more support for under-prepared students.