For Faculty

High Impact Practices


High Impact Practices (HIPs) are undergraduate opportunities that demand time and effort, facilitate learning outside of the classroom, encourage collaborations, and provide frequent feedback to students (NSSE, 2019). These teaching and learning practices have been found to increase student retention and engagement for students from diverse backgrounds (AAC&U, 2008). In 2018, AAC&U surveyed hiring managers and asked: what percent more likely are you to hire an employee with one of these experiences:

 bar graph of hips employment

 USF's goal is for every student to have at least two HIP experiences in their academic career. To this end, the Enhanced General Education (EGE) curriculum require two HIP courses. However, faculty can include HIPs into their courses outside of the EGE as well. Information below is intended to assist faculty in finding ways to include HIP experiences into their courses.


An Internship is a work or service experience related to a student’s major or career goal that integrates the knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting under the supervision of practicing professionals. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths. A distinguishing factor of internships, from a temporary job or volunteer position, is that internships have intentional “learning objectives” and deliberate mentoring.  This definition also applies to Co-Op, Externship, Clinical Practicum, Elevated On-campus Student Employment, and equivalent mentored signature work in the Arts such as Senior Recitals, Art Exhibits, and Theater Performances. (USF definition)

Campus internship contacts can assist with any of the following:

  • Employers offering internships may post their internships on Handshake at to support the vetting process or faculty may vet and manage their internship providers themselves.
  • Faculty are encouraged to provide students with an internship orientation and/or handbook of information regarding rights and responsibilities in the internship.
  • Internship Agreements and/or Facility Memorandum of Agreements may be required for internship hosts especially if/when the student is unpaid.
  • Faculty may wish to have the on-site supervisor provide feedback on student intern performance.

Other resources to help with adding an internship experience to your course:

Campus Contacts


Lynn Chisholm, Director - Office of Internships and Career Readiness

St. Petersburg

Lesa Shouse, Director – Career Services


Ben Heins – Coordinator of Internships

Community Engaged Learning

Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is a high impact practice that adds new insights and dimensions to student learning. The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships supports CEL by educating faculty on best practices and creating mutually beneficial partnerships between USF faculty, students and our local, state and regional community. We work with faculty through the CEL Academy, workshops, presentations, one on one consultations, and the Community Sustainability Partnership Program (CSPP). CEL occurs at the intersection of teaching and community-engagement. Key components are: (1) understanding of course content is enhanced and tied to specific learning goals through consciously designed reflection, (2) one of the learning goals is civic engagement, intended to enhance students' sense of personal responsibility to participate in the public realm to address current pressing social problems, and (3) the foundation is a reciprocal relationship through which the activities are planned and implemented through collaboration with a community partner. Community-engaged learning must be an academically credited activity, requiring faculty guidance so the full learning potential is realized. Meaningful activities are related to course material through reflection activities such as directed writings, small group discussions, and class presentations.

Campus Community Engagement contacts can assist with any of the following:

  • Identifying community partners that align with course content and student learning outcomes
  • Syllabus development for CEL and ERCE courses
  • Speakers for courses (explain CEL to students)
  • Faculty consultation

 Campus Contacts


Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships
Mazi Ferguson, MBA - Interim Director

St. Petersburg

Center for Civic Engagement
Judithann Scourfield McLauchlan, Ph.D. - Director


Service Learning
Casey Welch - Assistant Vice President of External Affairs and Government Relations

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is an inquiry or creative project that makes an original contribution to their discipline. These curricular and co-curricular experiences are available to students from admissions to graduation.  At USF, we aim to cultivate a Preeminent Undergraduate Research Experience by fostering an ecosystem of partners and collaborators that will empower the next generation of citizen scholars: students equipped with 21st century workforce skills for a global environment.

For more information, please contact us at:

Education Abroad

USF offers a variety of ways for colleges and departments to extend the reach and impact of their courses through immersive experiences abroad. The professionals of the Education Abroad Office (Tampa), Global Engagement Office (Sarasota-Manatee), and Global Initiatives Office (St. Petersburg) are ready to work with departments and their faculty leaders to develop program itineraries and logistics that compliment curricular content and increase student engagement through cultural, linguistic, and academic exchanges. As a system, the USF team supports students and faculty from program development stage through implementation. We provide risk and safety review, 24/7 emergency services, budgeting, general promotional materials, and logistical support freeing the faculty to focus on crafting the academic experience as well as student recruitment and support.

Campus Contacts


USF World, Education Abroad
Rene Sanchez - Assistant Director

St. Petersburg

Global Initiatives
Wendy Baker - Director


Global Engagement
Amela Malkic - Director

Field Study

Field study is defined as a project, investigation, or activity carried out ‘in the field’, outside or away from the learner’s school, college, or university. Its purpose is to allow learners to investigate questions or subjects which can be better understood when studied in the specific context in which professionals in that field encounter them. (Adapted from “field study,” in A Dictionary of Education, edited by Susan Wallace. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.)

Originally associated with the sciences (biology, botany, etc.), field study experiences now extend to the social sciences and humanities as well. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) report “Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practices” recognizes field study as a high impact practice (HIP) that can have life-changing benefits for student learning.

For information on Field Study in Enhanced General Education, click here.

Contact Information

Office on Internships and Career Readiness
Diane Mellon - Coordinator of Experiential Learning

Collaborative Learning

The University of South Florida defines collaborative learning as learning that occurs by working with others in an intellectual endeavor, during which the insights of various group members are integrated in the common product. Examples of the nature of collaboration are:

  • Students offer alternative solutions or courses of action that build on the ideas of others
  • Students engage group members in ways that facilitate their contributions to meetings by constructively building upon or synthesizing the contributions of others
  • Students identify, acknowledge, and manage conflict
  • Students support a constructive team climate by respecting, motivating, and encouraging team members

For more information, please contact


Capstones are "culminating experiences" that "require students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some wort that integrates and applies what they've learned" (AAC&U, 2018). It is strongly recommended that Capstone courses be within the major so students can complete a culminating experience allowing them to reflect on course knowledge they have acquired during their major and apply it to situations outside the classroom.

All Capstone courses should have a culminating experience that students will go through. This should be culminating the students' overall academic career and not just the course. There should also be multiple chances for students to self-reflect on their past experiences that have led to this culminating course.

For more information, please contact