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Service-Learning as a High-Impact Practice

Service-Learning at Nazareth College incorporates key components of High-Impact Practices. The definition of High-Impact Practice is: An investment of time and energy over an extended period that has unusually positive effects on student engagement in educationally purposeful behavior.*

*Kuh, G. "Foreward," Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion, and Quality by Jayne E. Brownell and Lynn E. Swaner, AAC&U, 2010

More about High-Impact Practices

High-Impact Service-Learning Practices

~They are effortful: High-Impact Practices demand that students devote considerable time and effort to purposeful tasks and require daily decisions that deepen students' investment in the activity as well as their commitment to their academic program and the college.

~They help students build substantive relationships: High-Impact Practices demand that students interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters over extended periods of time. High-Impact Practices help students to develop a meaningful relationship with supervisors, faculty, staff, and peers and put students in the company of mentors and advisers as well as peers who share intellectual interests and are committed to seeing that students succeed.

~They help students engage across differences: High-Impact Practices help students experience diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves and challenge students to develop new ways of thinking about and responding immediately to novel circumstances as they work on intellectual and practical tasks. Inside and outside the classroom, on and off campus.

~They provide students with rich feedback: High-Impact practices offer students frequent feedback about their performance. For example, having one's performance evaluated by the internship supervisor is a rich with opportunity for immediate formal and informal feed back. Indeed because students perform in close proximity to supervisors or peers, feedback is almost continuous.

~They help students apply and test what they are learning in new situations: High-Impact practices provide opportunities for students to see how what they are learning works in different settings, on and off campus. These opportunities to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge are essential to deep, meaningful learning experiences.

~They provide opportunities to reflect on the person they are becoming: High-Impact practices deepen learning and bring one's values and beliefs into awareness; they help students develop the ability to take the measure of events and actions and put them in perspective. As a result, students better understand themselves in relation to others and the larger world, and they acquire the intellectual tools and ethical grounding to act with confidence for the betterment of the human condition.

Kuh, G. (2008). High-Impact Educational Practices: What they are, who has access to them and why they matter. American Association of Colleges and Universities.

Importance of High-Impact Practices

High-Impact Practices Increase Odds That Students Will...

~Invest time and effort

~Participate in challenging, active learning experiences

~Interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters

~Experience diversity

~Get more frequent feedback

~Discover relevance of their learning through real-world applications

~Increase undergraduate student success beyond grade point averages

~Engage to a greater extent than traditional classroom-based instruction alone

~ Experience deep learning: Attend to underlying meaning of information as well as content; Integrate and synthesize ideas, information; Discern patterns in evidence or phenomena; Apply knowledge in different situations; View issues from multiple perspectives

~From General Education - Writing; speaking clearly; critical thinking

~Practical Competence - Working with others, solving real problems, work related knowledge

~Personal/Social Development - understanding self; contributing to community

Components of Successful High-Impact Practices Within Service-Learning Programs

~Create opportunities for structured reflections

~Ensure faculty connect classroom material with the service experience

~Require enough service hours to make the experience significant

~Focus on the quality of the service, ensuring that students have direct contact with the clients

~Oversee activities at the service site

Additional Information

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