Unlocking the Potential: High-Impact Education Practices at Commonwealth University — Bashar Hanna
When parents send their children to college, all they can do is hope and trust that they learn and succeed to the best of their ability. This is what my wife and I hoped for our two children when they went to college. As parents, we must have confidence in them as individuals to realize their potential, but there is also a level of trust bestowed upon the respective university. This trust must be earned by the institution, it is not just handed out lightly, which is what we strive for at the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania.
Research shows that students involved in high-impact practices (HIPs) enjoy higher levels of learning success. These evidence-based practices include service learning, undergraduate research, internships, capstone courses and projects, -to name a few.
At Commonwealth University, through implementation of High-Impact Education Practices (HIPs) across all campuses, we hope that we not only give our students the tools they need to succeed in their careers, but also tools to thrive in life, and most importantly, teach them how to enjoy learning. All students have had moments when they hate a class or a topic because they are just not interested in it. This makes learning the topics a chore, and I guarantee that they will not remember the details after the exam. Whereas, if the students are learning for the sake of learning, they will remember the topics for much longer and be able to use the knowledge gained in future endeavors. HIPs help to make this the standard across all our campuses, because they link the classroom experience to the real-world. Through learning communities and collaborative projects, students get to engage with their peers in a constructive and advantageous manner, as they are compelled to consider others’ points of view and learn from them. Undergraduate research and capstone projects allow students to take classroom learning and apply it in an experimentally applied setting. You can only learn so much with a pen and paper, but getting the opportunity to apply what you learned in a hands-on way greatly increases the success and enjoyment of the learning.
With these and other HIPs, we give students the tools they need to succeed well beyond their years on our campuses. As the students learn, we will also continue to learn and make changes that keep the students at our core. We strive to continuously improve as we turn students into gifted learners.