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When designed and implemented with equitable outcomes in mind, more engaged and active teaching and learning approaches—known as “high-impact practices” (HIPs) —can benefit college students across the board, especially students of color and adults, a Lumina-supported project shows.
In their report on the project’s efforts in Tennessee, “Scaling High-Impact Practices to Improve Community College Student Outcomes,” Jessa Valentine and Derek Price used the state’s data to examine HIPs at five Tennessee community colleges.
Among the findings:
Over the past decade, community colleges in Tennessee have implemented a wide-ranging set of tools to help students find and complete high-quality, post-high school education and training. The state has integrated HIPs into its strategic plan and made it a core component of Tennessee’s “Momentum Year” work.
Lumina provided support for a study of HIPs and a guide for educators developed by the National Association of System Heads, which coordinated the HIPs initiative, and this new report is a companion to that work. For me, the report offers three important takeaways that can help ensure equitable access to effective HIPs:
The accomplishments of the five Tennessee community colleges involved in the Lumina-NASH project are noteworthy and should serve as a model. Nonetheless, there is still much work to be done with regard to high-impact practices—both in practice and research. Adult learners with increased personal, professional, and community responsibilities may not be able to participate in traditional HIPs. We need to reimagine these practices in ways that enhance their accessibility and effectiveness among minoritized students and adult learners.
I also urge researchers to study how racialized experiences limit student engagement among marginalized students. Researchers also need to examine which practices minoritized students themselves deem educationally purposeful. Put another way, more research should be done with minoritized students rather than on them. Given the barriers that minoritized students and adult learners in community colleges face, it is imperative that they be placed at the center, in research and in practice.Back to News