The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has promoted the increased use of high-impact practices, which are forms of active, engaged learning — first-year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, service learning, internships, and capstone experiences. These practices have been shown to improve the academic performance of all students, but especially historically underserved students from minority or low-income backgrounds.
Based on his work with the National Survey of Student Engagement, educational researcher George D. Kuh has recommended that institutions “make it possible for every student to participate in at least two high-impact activities during his or her undergraduate program, one in the first year, and one taken later in relation to the major field.” He has also recommended that institutions aspire to a campus culture in which “one high-impact activity is available to every student every year.” Fortunately, Cal Poly students have multiple opportunities in which to be engaged in such practices, as evidenced by the metrics below.
79% of Cal Poly seniors reported participation in two or more high impact practices on the 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement, compared to 74% of their CSU peers.
See NSSE 2017 Snapshot for more results.
1,234 Cal Poly students studied abroad during the 2017-2018 academic year. This figure represents 25.4% of the number of undergraduate degrees awarded that year; the national average was 10%.
Cal Poly students studied in 33 countries during 2017-18. The top five destinations (in preference order) are Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, and United Kingdom.
INTERNSHIPS OR FIELD EXPERIENCE
65% of Cal Poly seniors reported participation in internships or field experience on the 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement.
See the 2017 NSSE Pocket Guide to Choosing a College for more results.
CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE: THE SENIOR PROJECT
100% of Cal Poly undergraduates complete a required capstone experience known as the senior project. This has been a distinctive component of every student’s education since the university first began to award bachelor’s degrees in 1941-42.
Kuh, “High-Impact Educational Practices” (Washington DC: AAC&U, 2008), 19-20.
National Survey of Student Engagement (2017). High-Impact Practices: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo [PDF file]. The Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University Bloomington School of Education.
National Survey of Student Engagement (2017). Snapshot: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo [PDF file]. The Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University Bloomington School of Education.