NC State students don’t simply attend class. They are forward-thinking, and they are fully engaged in the university experience. They are active participants in those opportunities considered to be high impact practices — activities that have a direct and lasting impact on student success.
What are high impact practices? Why do they matter?
High impact practices are a diverse range of student engagement experiences that shape students into mature leaders who can turn classroom knowledge into real-world action. Examples of high impact opportunities at NC State are:
- Living and Learning Villages
- Service Learning (e.g. Alternative Service Break)
- Undergraduate research
- Internships, co-ops, field experience, or student teaching
- Study abroad opportunities
- Culminating senior experiences (e.g. capstone projects)
The world is changing. Expectations are higher. Education needs to be more than classes and tests. Students need to engage with their university, their peers, and their world, so that at graduation they can make a seamless transition from thinking to doing.
Who says that high impact practices matter?
Employers do. A 2010 study conducted by Hart Research Associates, a leading strategic and public opinion research firm, found that among 302 executives surveyed, more than 80% expect graduates to have completed:
- A culminating senior experience
- An internship or field project
- A research opportunity
Moreover, 30 million Americans are working in jobs that didn’t exist in the previous year. Employers surveyed expressed that they have higher expectations of new college graduates than ever before. They expect graduates to, solve complex problems in real-world settings, work as a team, and communicate effectively orally and in writing.
Higher education experts do. Studies show consistently that higher levels of student engagement lead to higher grades, better retention, and faster progress to graduation.
Other universities do. Similar programs to the Chancellor’s Challenge exist at peer institutions, such as the University of Maryland, and at nearby universities, such as Duke University.
Even Bill Gates does. Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, speaks often about the future of higher education. He cites student engagement as critical his vision.