C-TELCenter for Teaching Excellence and Learning

Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (C-TEL)

Our Temporary Location

206A Mabee Library | Washburn University | 785.670.2546

Latina student in regalia at her graduation

High Impact Community Engagement Practices

High Impact Practices (HIP) include any teaching/learning strategies that encourage students to actively participate and engage in their learning.  C-TEL is particularly interested in promoting the use of a particular subset of High Impact Practices which incorporate and use community engagement as an essential element in student learning.  These are known as High Impact Community Engagement Practices (HICEPs).  Seeking to honor the university motto "No nobis solum" (not for ourselves alone), C-TEL seeks to facilitate collaborations between Community Partners and Campus Partners to build relationships and capacity within our community.  C-TEL (in cooperation with LINC) works with Community Partners to identify how they seek to build capacity within their organizations.  We provide information and advice to faculty and staff about incorporating HICEPs into their courses and programs and we help to match faculty/staff with Community Partners for their High Impact projects.  C-TEL Small Grants prioritize proposals that enhance the use and development of HICEPs.  In all things, we approach High Impact Community Engagement projects as partnerships between the Community and Campus.

Community partners can be as varied as: Let's Help, Kansas Legislature, Kansas State Historical Society, after school reading programs, Senior Centers, or the Chamber of Commerce.

The objective behind the use of High Impact Community Engagement projects is that these opportunities offer students an opportunity for authentic learning.  Through High Impact Community Engagement practices students also recognize their connection and commitments to the communities in which they live.  Students also reflect on how they are part of society and the responsibilities they carry as citizens of their towns, states, the country and our world.   Finally, High Impact Community Engagement projects promote the growth of a strong and committed citizenry which is essential for a democratic society. 


Features of High Impact Community Engagement Projects

High Impact Community Engagement Projects ideally include an emphasis on:

  • Place-based learning that incorporates community understanding, local context, local assets and includes community voice in defining the nature of the project and the relationship.
  • Co-creation of projects and products in which community partners and campus partners (students, faculty, staff) share in status as co-educators
  • Integration of academic and practical knowledge
  • Time depth for multi-year capacity building (multi-year relationship between campus partners and community partners)
  • Development of student participants through the identification of challenges that meet their intellectual, academic and skill level.
  • Scaffolded (sequenced) projects that evolve over multiple semesters or years
  • Team -based learning in which  students and community work together to maximize learning, collaboration, and leadership
  • Reflection on the community context, broader implications, and student learning
  • Mentors who coach and guide the process through dialogue
  • Learning opportunities that are clear, collaborative, and well defined through outcomes
  • Focused around Capacity Building needs of the community partners
  • Use of Evidence-based Models for community engagement and assessment of student learning
  • Assessed for evidence of student learning and community impact

2014-2015 High Impact Community Engagement Practices

November is High Impact Practices Month:  Please go to "Our Programs" section of this site and  browse our Workshops, Webinars, and Speakers during the month of November.

Our culminating event will be a Match.com style meet and greet between Community Partners and Campus Partners so that each can begin to establish relationships for the following academic year.  Keep your eyes pealed for details.