Image: A student welds together part of the frame for the 2019 Cal Poly Rose Float.
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.” Cal Poly students have multiple opportunities in which to be engaged in such practices, as evidenced by the metrics below.
Percentage of seniors who reported participating in two or more high-impact practices while at Cal Poly: 85% (2022 NSSE)
Percentage of seniors who reported participating in internships or field experience (co-op, student teaching, or clinical placement) while at Cal Poly:
66% (2022 NSSE)
National Rank among master's-level universities sending students on study-abroad experiences, 2021-2022: #1 (Institute of International Education)
Percentage of students who are required to complete a capstone experience before graduating: 100%
"Cal Poly Again Ranks First in the Nation in Study Abroad Survey." Cal Poly Press Release, November 15, 2023.
Kuh, George D. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities, 2008, pages 19-20.
National Survey of Student Engagement. "NSSE 2022 Snapshot: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo" [PDF]. Bloomington: Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University School of Education, 2022, page 1.
National Survey of Student Engagement. "A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College: NSSE 2022 Answers from Students: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo" [PDF]. Bloomington: Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University School of Education, 2022, page 3.