Superior Successes: "High Impact Practices" (HIPs) in Teaching and Learning

UW-Superior's faculty and staff are committed to using well-researched and proven teaching and learning practices and strategies that have been shown to have a highly positive impact on undergraduate student learning, success, and achievement.

At UW-Superior we have focused on four signature High Impact Practices (HIPs) that have been infused and assessed throughout our undergraduate curriculum. These HIPs are critical to delivering on our mission and our enduring promise to graduate students who possess essential analytical, problem-solving, communication, creativity, collaboration, leadership, and service skills and experiences that they will need in order to achieve successful lives and careers, whatever their area of study and learning interest.

Computer Science Image for HIPS page

Our faculty and staff actively utilize and assess the following teaching and learning practices, strategies that have been widely tested and proven to be beneficial for diverse college students from many backgrounds. Presented below are brief descriptions of HIPs that are central to a UW-Superior liberal arts education across the curriculum.

Academic Service-Learning (ASL)

Coordinators: Jenice Meyer and Katelyn Baumann

Academic Service-Learning (ASL) is an educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs. The idea is to provide students direct experiences with issues that they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element to ASL is the opportunity for students both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and to reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and a broadened sense of civic responsibility.

Our ASL programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important learning outcome and that working with community partners and peers is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life. Internships are another increasingly common form of experiential learning.

Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (URSCA)

Coordinator: Julie O'Leary

Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (URSCA) at UW-Superior allows students to make real intellectual and creative contributions to their field of study with active support and guidance from faculty and staff mentors and advisors, many of whom are recognized leaders in their field of scholarship. The goal is to involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from seeking to answer important questions. Inquiry-based research, scholarship, and creative activities are provided though course-imbedded projects in all disciplines on the campus.

UW-Superior students also benefit from opportunities provide by four campus-affiliated nationally-recognized research centers, an active summer fellowship program (SURF), and a thriving McNair Scholars Program Program that provides challenging research endeavors that help to prepare students for careers and graduate studies.

Global Awareness Initiative

Coordinator: Dr. Lynn Goerdt

Global Awareness is promoted across the curriculum at UW-Superior, as well as through the Office of International Programs. UW-Superior, which enrolls over 200 international students from over 50 countries annually, emphasizes courses and programs that help students explore local and global cultures, diverse life experiences, and multiple worldviews different from their own.

These global awareness studies, which address diverse United States and global world cultures, explore issues of equity, diversity and inclusion related to racial, ethnicity, class, religious, gender, and sexuality inequality. Global Awareness studies encourage us to be knowledgeable and empathetic to the struggles around the globe related to human rights, personal and social freedoms, and social justice. Frequently, global awareness is facilitated or augmented by experiential learning in diverse communities, study away/abroad opportunities, and collaborative international online learning.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

Coordinator: John McCormick II

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) emphasizes the use of writing as an active and critical way of learning and expression. UW-Superior’s WAC program emphasizes "scaffolded" writing at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum, including final-year projects. Students are encouraged to produce and revise various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines. The effectiveness of this repeated practice "across the curriculum" has led to parallel efforts in such areas as quantitative reasoning, oral communication, information literacy, and, on some campuses, ethical inquiry.

Our goal is to help students develop specific writing skills in their discipline and to think critically about how they use and approach their writing over their college career. UW-Superior's outstanding Writing and Library Science Department offers majors and minors in writing, and students in any major can participate in the innovative Certificate of Writing Excellence Program.