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High Impact Practices (HIPs)

What, Why, and How?

What are High Impact Practices?

High Impact Practices (HIPs) are educational strategies associated with better student outcomes.  They are based in a large body of empirical research.

When done well, they are associated with positive outcomes:

  • Deeper learning
  • Increased persistence and retention
  • Higher GPA
  • Greater sense of belonging

Dr. George Kuh coined the term High-Impact Practices in 2008 in his AAC&U monograph “High-Impact Educational Practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter.  (link).  He identified 10 educational practices associated with better outcomes using the National Survey of Student Engagement dataset. See the next tab Examples of HIPs for a complete list.

Learn more:

Video: “Overview of High-Impact Practices, Taxonomies, and Assessment” by Jerry Daday, founding member of HIPs in the States.

Podcast: “HIPs (High Impact Practices) – Pam Bowers, Ken O’Donnell, and Robin Schofield from HIPs in the States” s01e11 from IUPUI Leading Improvements in Higher Education: A podcast with Stephen Hundley.  

Bristol Contact: Tim Hathaway,


Examples of HIPs

The most widely cited list of HIPs comes from AAC&U which includes 11 curricular strategies which can be found here: AAC&U: High-Impact Practices

The Center for Community College Student Engagement issued a series of reports on curricular and co-curricular HIPs called Matter of Degrees 

HIPs are difficult to define because there are many models and contexts in which they are practiced. For this reason, we have compiled a list of descriptions of HIPs at Bristol with examples and resources.