Due to their positive associations with student learning and retention, certain undergraduate opportunities (such as first-year experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research and culminating experiments) are designated “high-impact.” High-impact practices often share several traits; for example, they demand considerable time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, require meaningful interactions with faculty and students, and provide frequent and substantive feedback. 

ATL Mini Grant Project: In the academic year 2015-16, the Department of English received assessment mini grant funding in support of their project, “Student Interviews to Inform Curriculum Development and Revision.” This project involved hiring a student worker to conduct and process surveys from undergraduate majors to assess student experiences, needs and perceptions associated with high-impact practices, specifically internships, service learning and undergraduate research.

According to Leeann Hunter, Clinical Assistant Professor and project leader, “This project contributed to our department’s review of our curriculum and integration of high-impact practices, the development of a proposal for a new option in the major that includes an internship or independent studies requirement, and also supported the development of workshops and activities during spring 2017.”

For additional information about assessment mini grants, including examples of other previously funded projects, see ATL’s Assessment Mini-Grant webpage.