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What are HIPs?

Based on the work of George Kuh (2008) on institutionally-structured teaching and learning practices and student experiences positively associated with deep student learning, persistence, and student satisfaction, the following are considered by AAC&U as High-Impact Practices (HIPs) when delivered with high quality:

First-Year Seminars and Experiences – with emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, and collaborative learning
Common Intellectual Experiences – such as a core curriculum/common courses; an integrative, vertically-aligned general education program; or themed learning communities
Learning Communities – with two or more linked courses, many with a common theme or readings
Writing-Intensive Courses – as a repeated practice across the curriculum to include final-year writing projects
Collaborative Assignments and Projects – such as team-based learning assignments and collaborative research projects
Undergraduate Research – that connects key concepts and questions with early and active involvement in systematic investigation and research
Diversity/Global Learning – courses and programs (including study/education abroad) that explore “difficult differences” such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequalities or global struggles for human rights, freedom, and power
Service Learning/Community-Based Learning – utilizing experiential learning with community partners as instructional strategies, with required application and reflection
Internships – providing direct experience in a work setting with structured supervision and coaching from professionals in the field
Capstone Courses and Projects – at the end of a general education program and/or major that require completion of an integrated and applied project
ePortfolios – that capture and demonstrate student learning through multiple modes and mediums

Why are these considered High Impact?

AAC&U and Hart Research Group reports have found the following benefits of student participation in two or more HIPs:

  • Increased satisfaction with general education
  • Increased GPAs
  • Increased feelings of connectedness
  • Decreased college completion times
  • Compensatory effects, especially for first-generation college students and students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (Finley & McNair, 2013)