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High Impact Practices Spotlight Series

By Tiffany MacLennan, Maple League Research Fellow and Strategist (left) and Tanisha Campbell, Maple League Student Fellow, Knowledge Mobilization & Community Engagement (right)

As four primarily undergraduate liberal arts institutions, teaching across the Maple League is one of our greatest strengths. Through our four small communities, we are big in delivering extraordinary undergraduate student experiences.

Over the next six weeks, we will be highlighting examples of High-Impact Practices (HIPs) in a series of case studies and vignettes across the four Maple League universities. HIPs are evidence-based educational activities that have a significant and positive impact on students’ deeper learning. HIPs aid in the development of intellectual and practical skills, civic responsibility, and a greater appreciation for different cultural perspectives (see Kuh 2008; Finley & McNair, 2013). We believe that HIPs are an integral component of a 21st-century liberal arts education. Through their engagement with HIPs, Maple League faculty create rich learning environments for our students and help them become future-facing leaders in higher education and beyond.

In the High-Impact Practice Visibility Project[1], we will be highlighting HIPs from faculty members on each campus to celebrate the HIP teaching champions and continue generating ideas and encouraging appreciation for the teaching and learning efforts at the Maple League Universities.

Kuh (2008) identifies 10 High Impact Practices:

– Collaborative research and assignments

– Undergraduate research experiences

– Writing-intensive courses

– Signature first-year experiences

– Building common intellectual experiences through specialty programs & colloquia

– Service and community-based learning

– Experiential learning through internships, co-op, field experience & practicums

– International field study and global learning

– Learning communities

– Capstone experiences as senior project or thesis, portfolio, etc. (Kuh, 2008)

What is exciting is that this project is itself a high impact practice that engages ML students as partners and co-designers. The Maple League’s Research Fellow and Strategist, Tiffany MacLennan (StFX), and the Maple League Student Fellow, Knowledge Mobilization and Community Engagement, Tanisha Campbell (Bishop’s), have spent the fall term learning about the exciting and innovative teaching practices across the four Maple League campuses.

Stay tuned as we begin HIP spotlights on the Maple League’s websites and social media channels!

[1] The HIP Visibility Project is a part of a larger HIP project conducted by Research Fellow and Strategist Tiffany MacLennan. The goal of the HIP project is to make HIPs more accessible for both faculty and students. For more information about the HIP project or would like to participate, please contact Tiffany at


Finley, A., & McNair, T. (2013). Assessing underserved students’ engagement in high-impact practices. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Kuh, G. (2008). High Impact Educational Practices. What are they, Who has Access to them and Why they Matter? Washington, D.C.: AAC&U, Association of American Colleges and Universities.

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