Background of High Impact Practices

George Kuh (2008) identified teaching and learning practices that provided considerable education benefits as "high impact practices" (HIPs). His research shows that students who are underserved in higher education (e.g., first generation, low income, and/or ethnic minority students) benefit more impressively from these practices than do majority students. Teaching and learning strategies he identified as HIPs are First Year Seminars and Experiences; Common Intellectual Experiences; Learning Communities; Writing-Intensive Courses; Collaborative Assignments and Projects; Undergraduate Research; Diversity/Global Learning; Service Learning/Community-Based Learning; Internships; and Capstone Courses and Projects.

In 2013, the University established its HIPs Task Force, charged with identifying the HIPs being implemented on campus, tracking student participation, investigating the impact of specific HIPs on students with specific characteristics, and liaising with other CSU campuses regarding HIP implementation and best practices. The Taskforce (renamed in Fall 2017 as the GREAT HIPs Workgroup) started exploring not only traditional HIPs as part of the co-curriculum, but also started exploring questions around HIPs taking place within courses, and coined them as Pedagogical HIPs. The Taskforce, in collaboration with the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (FCETL) hosted a faculty learning community (FLC) in 2016/17 exploring development, implementation, and assessment of pedagogical HIPs, with 15 faculty implementing projects, and the GREAT HIPs Workgroup and FCETL hosted another FLC in 2017/18, with 13 faculty participants. All four colleges and all faculty ranks are represented in both FLCs.

The goal of high impact practices at Stanislaus State is to provide opportunities for all students, including underrepresented minorities and non-underrepresented minorities, to benefit fully from their educational experience through heightened engagement and achievement.

Graduation Rate Excellence and Assessment Team (GREAT)

What is a High Impact Practice?

A High Impact Practice at Stanislaus State integrates at least four of the following characteristics:

  • Students devote considerable time and effort to purposeful tasks
  • Students engage in conversation with faculty and peers about substantive matters
  • Students experience diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves through interaction and discussion about topics such as race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, immigration, politics, or religion
  • Students get rich and frequent feedback about their performance
  • Students apply and test what they learn in different settings, on and off campus
  • Students experience opportunities for active, collaborative learning
  • Students are provided with opportunities for reflective and integrative learning

Updated: June 21, 2023