Priorities & Initiatives

Five to Finish Initiative

The founders of High-Impact Practices recommend that to increase student engagement and student success, every student should participate in at least two HIPs during their academic career.


All colleges will ensure that all programs include five High-Impact Practices (HIPs).


As defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, High-Impact Practices are active learning practices that promote deep learning by promoting student engagement as measured by the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE). To be a high-impact practice, the experience must satisfy the definition established by George Kuh (2008, Kuh & O’Donnell, 2013) and his colleagues at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U): achievement of deep learning, significant engagement gains, and positive differential impact on historically underserved student populations.1

While only ten practices have nationally been elevated as high-impact practices, Kuh and O’Donnell (2013) found that these practices share eight key elements:

  • Performance expectations set at appropriately high levels
  • Significant investment of time and effort by students over an extended period of time
  • Interactions with faculty and peers about substantive matters
  • Experiences with diversity, wherein students are exposed to and must contend with people and circumstances that differ from those with which students are familiar
  • Frequent, timely, and constructive feedback
  • Periodic, structured opportunities to reflect and integrate learning
  • Opportunities to discover relevance of learning through real-world applications
  • Public demonstration of competence.

These characteristics need not be limited to the officially-designated high-impact practices. Rather, these characteristics can be used as principles to guide the design and delivery of nearly every learning experience. Doing so holds promise for reinforcing and amplifying the effects of deep learning and engagement, with particular benefit to underserved student populations.

  • Teaching and learning practices designated as “high-impact practices,” based on evidence of significant educational benefits for students who participate in them—including and especially those from demographic groups historically underserved by higher education. These practices take many different forms, depending on learner characteristics and on institutional priorities and contexts.
    • Capstone Courses and Projects
    • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
    • Common Intellectual Experiences
    • Diversity/Global Learning
    • ePortfolios
    • First-Year Seminars and Experiences
    • Internships
    • Learning Communities
    • Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
    • Undergraduate Research
    • Writing-Intensive Courses


A Provost initiative for all colleges and programs at Wright State University


Planning will occur beginning fall 2023 with implementation for fall 2025.


“Research shows that students involved in high-impact practices (HIPs) enjoy higher levels of learning success. These evidence-based practices include service learning, undergraduate research, and internships—to name a few.”2

Five to Finish: Pathways Initiative (PDF)


1 University of Maryland Eastern Shore High-Impact Practices

2American Association of Colleges and Universities High-Impact Practices