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CETL High Impact Practices: What are HIPs?

♦ High Impact Practices (HIPs) are research-based strategies for effective teaching proposed by George Kuh, Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment and the Association of American Colleges & Universities. This guide includes seven of these HIPs - First Year Experiences, Service Learning, Learning Communities, Writing Intensive Courses, Common Intellectual Experiences, Global Learning, and Capstone Projects - and offers you resources to continue exploring these concepts.

HIPs: Evidence-Based Best Practices

Analysis of National Survey of Student Engagement data found these six elements are common among High Impact Practices:

They are effortful. High-impact practices “demand that students devote considerable time and effort to purposeful tasks [and] require daily decisions that deepen students’ investment in the activity as well as their commitment to their academic program and the college.”                                   

They help students build substantive relationships. High-impact practices “demand [that students] interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters…over extended periods of time.” High-impact practices help students “develop a meaningful relationship with another person…a faculty or staff member, student, coworker, or supervisor” and “put students in the company of mentors and advisers as well as peers who share intellectual interests and are committed to seeing that students succeed.”

They help students engage across differences. High-impact practices help students “experience diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves” and “challenge students to develop new ways of thinking about and responding immediately to novel circumstances as they work… on intellectual and practical tasks, inside and outside the classroom, on and off campus.”

They provide students with rich feedback. High-impact practices offer students “frequent feedback about their performance…. [For example,] having one’s performance evaluated by the internship supervisor is rich with opportunities for immediate formal and informal feedback. Indeed, because students perform in close proximity to supervisors or peers, feedback is almost continuous.”

They help students apply and test what they are learning in new situations. High-impact practices provide “opportunities for students to see how what they are learning works in different settings, on and off campus. These opportunities to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge are essential to deep, meaningful learning experiences.”

They provide opportunities for students to reflect on the people they are becoming. High-impact practices “deepen learning and brings one’s values and beliefs into awareness; [they] help students develop the ability to take the measure of events and actions and put them in perspective. As a result, students better understand themselves in relation to others and the larger world, and they acquire the intellectual tools and ethical grounding to act with confidence for the betterment of the human condition.”


- Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

High Impact Practices: An Educators Guide

High Impact Practices

To see examples of implemented high-impact educational practices, AAC&U has compiled a number of Campus Models and Case Studies.

Recent Scholarly Literature Supporting HIPs

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CETL Center for excellence in teaching and learningCCBC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was established in 2008 to promote ongoing, college-wide discussions about teaching and learning practices to improve student learning and success.

Dallas Dolan, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Faculty Training and Development