High-Impact Practices

The teaching and learning practices below have been widely tested and have been shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds, especially historically underserved students, who often do not have equitable access to high-impact learning. These practices take many different forms, depending on learner characteristics and on institutional priorities and contexts.

  • First-Year Experiences
  • Common Intellectual Experiences
  • Learning Communities
  • Writing-Intensive Courses
  • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Diversity/Global Learning
  • ePortfolios
  • Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
  • Internships
  • Capstone Courses and Projects

On many campuses, assessment of student involvement in active learning practices such as these has made it possible to assess the practices’ contribution to students’ cumulative learning. Educational research suggests that the high-impact practices mentioned here increase rates of student retention and student engagement. However, on almost all campuses, utilization of active learning practices is unsystematic, to the detriment of student learning.

Read an excerpt from High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh (AAC&U, 2008).

Download a pdf flyer describing the High-Impact Practices here.

Campus Models and Case Studies

Every Campus a Refuge: Guilford College's Powerful Effort to Help Refugees Resettle

Every Campus a Refuge: Guilford College's Powerful Effort to Help Refugees Resettle

The woods west of Greensboro, North Carolina, have been a place of refuge for nearly two hundred years. Nearby Quaker communities would help slaves hiding there and smuggle them out to continue their... Read More

Civic Learning in the Major: Fusing Academic Disciplines and Community Engagement

Facing today’s most urgent challenges takes more than disciplinary knowledge. It takes good citizens. To prepare students for their future roles as leaders, humanitarians, and innovators, academic... Read More

A New Institution in a New LEAP State: Faculty-Driven Reform and Innovation at the University of North Georgia

Even before it became an institution, the University of North Georgia (UNG) had LEAP in its DNA. North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) and Gainesville State College (GSC)—which... Read More

High-Impact Taxonomies: Designing Faculty Development Tools at IUPUI

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has a long and successful history of using high-impact practices (HIPs) to engage students inside and outside the classroom. National... Read More

Town Halls and Great Debates at Shenandoah and Tarleton State

There is a moment that Eric Leonard, Henkel Family Chair in International Affairs at Shenandoah University, looks forward to each year. On town hall night, he watches students leave the auditorium... Read More
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