High-Impact Practices Initiative
Past initiative — Conducted September 1, 2011 - August 31, 2014

Identifying and Promoting High-Impact Educational Practices in Community Colleges

In response to increasing demand from the community college field and to escalating national emphasis on college persistence and completion, the Center for Community College Student Engagement has undertaken, through the generous funding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, a large-scale research and practice-improvement initiative focused on Identifying and Promoting High-Impact Educational Practices in Community Colleges.

The Center intends to build on emerging knowledge about "promising practices" in promoting student success in community colleges—knowledge built through the efforts of the Community College Research Center, Achieving the Dream, other foundation- and federally funded projects, and the Center's own work, including both the quantitative surveys and dozens of student focus groups conducted since 2002. Data from the Center's student surveys, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), will help to define high-impact educational practices in community colleges as well as measure the extent to which those practices are part of the current student experience. Using results from new promising-practice item modules administered with CCSSE and SENSE, the Center also will study whether participation in high-impact educational practices varies across subgroups of students and how student participation in these practices is related to overall student engagement, academic progress, and college completion.

Results from the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE) will illuminate the current realities of teaching practice. Finally, the Center's newest online survey, the Community College Institutional Survey (CCIS), will address questions about whether those key practices (when offered) are required or optional and what key components they include—for what target student populations and at what current scale.

Accompanying the survey work will be a series of focus groups conducted with students and with full- and part-time faculty, providing—as is the Center's custom—authentic voices and video documentation that help to enrich understanding of the quantitative data.

By incorporating additional items and item modules into the large-scale national surveys—student, faculty, and institutional—and through the focus groups, the Center will produce unprecedented data regarding student and faculty experiences in regard to a vetted set of promising educational practices; and the field will have will have meaningful and actionable information for use in strengthening student persistence and completion in community colleges.

Findings from this three-year project will be disseminated in various ways, including through the Center's annual national reports and other publications, video products, and additional web-based resources. The Center also will incorporate the findings in statewide workshops, national conferences, and other Center-sponsored activities. Further, a new High-Impact Practices Institute will provide facilitated opportunities for five-person college teams to explore their own data and develop action plans to move their evidence-based student success and college completion agendas forward.

The Center for Community College Student Engagement is a research and service organization of the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Center for Community College Student Engagement
—a Service and Research Initiative—
Program in Higher Education Leadership | Department of Educational Leadership and Policy  | College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
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