UW-Whitewater is committed to providing experiences that enhance student learning and development, which is articulated in the university's Strategic Plan 2017-2022. Goal 2 of the strategic plan includes plans to build upon the strong foundation of our LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) initiative to define, establish, and promote high-impact practices (HIPs) .
Participation in UW-Whitewater High Impact Practices
Due to their positive associations with student learning and retention, certain undergraduate opportunities are designated "high-impact." High-Impact Practices (HIPs) share several traits: They demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, encourage collaboration with diverse others, and provide frequent and substantive feedback. As a result, participation in these practices can be life-changing (Kuh, 2008). George Kuh recommends that institutions should aspire for all students to participate in at least two HIPs over the course of their undergraduate experience—one during the first year and one in the context of their major (NSSE, 2007).
Kuh identified eleven learning experiences as high-impact practices:
In September 2017, the Lumina Foundation awarded the National Association of System Heads (NASH) $1.2 million dollars to support the deeper integration of student success strategies – and specifically High Impact Practices (HIPs) – at four university systems, including the University of Wisconsin System. The purpose of the grant is to:
a) identify and promote promising HIPs models at both the system and institutional level
b) demonstrate the impact of a coordinated and scaled approach to HIPs that includes the integration of faculty, curriculum and learning outcomes
c) examine the access to and impact of a coordinated approach to HIPs on underrepresented minority and low income students
d) develop approaches to data collection on participation and impact
e) create tools for implementing and tracking HIPs for institutional and system-level use
According to the UW System Administration’s grant coordinator: “The UW System’s participation in the NASH Lumina TS3 High Impact Practices and Equity-Minded Pathways grant provides a platform for the pursuit of three larger systemic goals critical to quality assurance and enhancing capacity across all of the UW institutions to provide underserved students more opportunities to engage with high impact practices.”
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has played an important role in the implementation of the NASH Lumina TS3 High Impact Practices and Equity-Minded Pathways grant since 2018 by supplying the UW System Administration with data on participation in HIPs on the UW-Whitewater campus, as well as by participating in system-wide workshops and presentations aimed as sharing best practices among UW system institutions.