High-Impact Practices

What are High Impact Practices?

High Impact Practices (HIP) are experiences that engage students with real-world problems, allow students to interact with their instructors, fellow students and community members, encourage students to explore new interests and develop new passions, and provide students with opportunities to challenge themselves and achieve things they may not have thought possible.

Some examples of High Impact Practices include:

  • First year seminars
  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Learning communities
  • Writing-intensive courses
  • Collaborative assignments and projects
  • Undergraduate research, scholars and creative activities
  • Diversity/global learning
  • Service learning/community-based learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone courses

Why do HIPs make a difference?

Key characteristics of HIPs is that they are effortful and help students build substantive relationships. They engage students across disciplines while providing them with rich feedback. They also help students apply and test what they are learning in new situations, and provide opportunities to reflect on the people they are becoming.

High Impact Practices such as those listed above have numerous positive impacts on students and on the institution, such as increased student persistence and GPA, higher rates of student-faculty interaction, increased critical thinking and writing skills, greater appreciation for diversity, and higher student engagement overall.

In short, deep approaches to learning, such as High Impact Practices, help students make richer more lasting connections to material through an emphasis on integration, synthesis and reflection.

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