Actions to Support Active Learning and High Impace Practices in the
California State University (CSU) Graduation Initiative 2025


AS-3293-17/AA (Rev)



RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU (ASCSU) urge the CSU to actively commit to high impact practices through it’s funding of the Graduation Initiative 2025, a portion of which funds should be used for professional development and implementation of high impact practices in the classroom; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU emphasize that such funding and programs be made available to instructional faculty and staff, who play a central role in high impact practices which facilitate graduation and student success; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the CSU to reaffirm its commitment to active learning and high impact practices as outlined in and adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees in the Access to Excellence system-wide strategic plan, which highlights the important connection between these practices and the successful retention and graduation of our students; and be it furtherr


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU campus Presidents, CSU campus Senate Chairs, CSU Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, theCalifornia State Student Association (CSSA), California Faculty Association (CFA), and the CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (CSU ERFA).

High impact practices as listed in the CSU strategic plan, Access to Excellence, include:

    • First-Year Seminars and Experiences
    • Common Intellectual Experiences
    • Learning Communities
    • Writing-Intensive Courses
    • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
    • Undergraduate Research
    • Diversity/Global Learning
    • Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
    • Internships
    • Capstone Courses and Projects


The importance of high impact practices to student success is well documented in the empirical literature. The literature on the role of active learning and high impact practices in student success is well reviewed in Kuh, Kinze, Buckley, Bridges, and Hayek (2006; attached). More locally, attached is the ASCSU Academic Affairs Committee White Paper Report from May 2015, which reviewed the use of “active learning” or “high impact practices” in the CSU, to the extent that data had been gathered at that point (see Appendix A). Since that time, more evidence has emerged about the importance of infusing such learning in our undergraduate and graduate courses.


For instance, at the recently concluded CSU Academic Conference, “Closing the Achievement Gap” (February 9-10, 2017; San Diego State University), we heard from Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), who asserted that students who complete capstone experiences that are high impact practices (e.g., senior theses, internships, collaborative research projects, service learning projects), are more likely to be hired and are thought to be more marketable by employers than students who do not participate in such experiences (

These kinds of courses are sometimes deemed too expensive because of the need for resources and facilities, but also because of the intensive mentoring and teaching on the part of the faculty member. However, this kind of engaged learning is precisely what leads to retention and student success, to graduation and eventually to hiring. It is important to note that high impact practices are both cost-effective and cost-efficient in facilitating time to degree, enhancing graduation rates and leveraging student success. Thus, as Dr. McNair’s example shows, and as the data referenced in the ASCSU White Paper report confirms, high impact practices are in fact more efficient for providing the kinds of employees and citizens that California most needs. Because the investment in high impact practices is so efficient and valuable, the ASCSU recommends an appropriate level of funding, directed to faculty and curriculum, to allow this element of the CSU Access to Excellence system-wide Strategic Plan (, and CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 (, to succeed..






Approved Without Dissent – May 18-19, 2017





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