High-Impact Practices (HIPs) are teaching and learning techniques designed with the express purpose of enhancing students' engagement with course material and providing enduring retention of the material. The practices described below have been identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) as particularly effective in promoting engagement in college students from many different backgrounds, and are currently being offered to UNF students.
Capstone Projects and Courses | Community-Based Learning | First-Year Seminar | Global Learning | Internships
Living-Learning Communities | Supplemental Instruction | Transformational Learning | Undergraduate Research
Capstone Projects and Courses
UNF offers many courses with culminating capstone projects which require students to integrate and apply what they have learned, whether it's a research paper or presentation, a portfolio, or an artwork exhibit. In addition, those students enrolled in the Hicks Honors College are required to complete a senior capstone project relevant to their post-graduate career or educational choices.
Honors Capstone Capstone Courses
Community-Based Learning/Service Learning
Community-Based Learning allows students to directly engage with community partners and apply what they have learned in their classes. There are two key elements of successful community-based learning project: one is the application of their learning to the community settings and the other is students' reflection on their real-world experience in a classroom setting. These types of programs allow universities to establish and maintain ties with important organizations in the community, engage students in "experiential learning," and encourage an attitude of civic engagement in the student body. In the past, UNF's Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) has partnered with Brooks Rehabilitation, United Way, and HabiJax, among others.
First-Year Seminar courses are designed to assist students in the transition to college both academically and socially. The AACU states that "The highest-quality first-year experiences place a strong emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, collaborative learning, and other skills that develop students’ intellectual and practical competencies." UNF offers a Venture Studies course to first-year students with a specific focus on reflective judgment and critical thinking skills,
Global learning is focused on exposing students to diverse cultures in order to encourage critical thinking regarding lifestyles, worldviews, and cultures different from their own. These programs can range from coursework exploring different cultures to study abroad programs in foreign countries. The International Center at UNF offers study abroad programs to its students and faculty as well as many courses exploring diverse cultures. Past and current study abroad trips have been taken to China, Italy, Austria, and France.
UNF International Center
Internships provide students with an opportunity to apply their learned skills in a workplace setting. Students are encouraged to choose internship sites related to their career aspirations. This allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience, as well as determine if a similar job site is somewhere they would want to be employed in the long term. UNF offers internships for course credit as well as non-structured career internships that can assist students in deciding what career is right for them. UNF students have interned at CSX, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and John Hancock Financial Services among other sites.
UNF Internships UNF Career Internships
According to the AACU, learning communities are structured in order to "encourage integration of learning across courses and to involve students with big questions that matter beyond the classroom." Students take multiple related classes together and are encouraged to reflect on the coursework and collaborate with each other and their professors. UNF offers s Living-Learning Community (LLC) in which students with related interests live on the same floor of a residence hall and take classes together.
Supplemental Instruction (SI)
Supplemental Instruction is a service offered by UNF in an effort to improve students' grades and increase graduation rates and retention. Supplemental Instructions are informal, regularly-scheduled review sessions led by a student who has previously done well in the class. Students are encouraged to reflect on what they have learned and to collaborate in order to obtain a better understanding of course material. According to the AACU, these collaborative study groups combine two goals: "learning to work and solve problems in the company of others, and sharpening one's own understanding by listening seriously to the insights of others, especially those with different backgrounds and life experiences."
UNF Supplemental Instruction
Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs) are unique educational opportunities designed to "broaden and deepen students' intellectual and world views." Faculty members and undergraduate students work together to plan and build a TLO which has the potential to significantly impact students' learning and personal development. These experiences can be inside or outside the classroom and can occur locally or internationally, but they all provide students with opportunities to participate in a unique learning experience.
Undergraduate research gives students the opportunity to engage with faculty on collaborative research projects. "The goal is to involve students with actively-contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions." UNF encourages its undergraduate students to conduct research with on faculty-driven projects as well as their own faculty-guided undergraduate thesis.