Why do HIPs Matter in the UW System?

The University of Wisconsin System strives to prepare students to be productive global citizens, equipped with the necessary tools to be competitive in an increasingly demanding and interconnected world. Meaningful learning outcomes can be used to measure student success that will enable them to thrive in this environment.

The UW System Growth Agenda for Wisconsin outlines the Shared Learning Goals, outcomes that every graduate should be able to meet as a result of their college educations. These include knowledge of human cultures and the natural world; critical and creative thinking skills; effective communication skills; intercultural knowledge and competence; and individual, social, and environmental responsibility.

Research shows that effective educational practices, also known as High Impact Practices (HIPs), are particularly beneficial in helping students reach such outcomes. Further, HIPs demonstrate proportionately higher gains for historically underserved populations.

Through its participation in the "Give Students a Compass" grant, the UW System is working to ensure that more UW students will have access to HIPs.

In December 2010, the Education Committee of the Board of Regents heard a presentation on "Student Success Programs for Populations of Opportunity through High-Impact Practices." The presentation institutional practice and research findings from UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, and UW-River Falls. The minutes from the Education Committee meeting provide a full account of the presentation and ensuing discussion.