High Impact Practices (HIPs) are intentionally designed transformative learning experiences (Kuh, 2008). These hands-on, collaborative, practices are considered "high impact" because they promote student persistence and they hold the power to change lives. This presentation will: a) describe the university-wide institutionalization of transformative experiences (GC Journeys); b) highlight the unique dimensions of a mentor-led, field-based cohort model of teacher preparation at Georgia College & State University; and c) describe the significant role of mentor leaders in guiding students through these high impact experiences.
As junior education majors enter one of the cohort programs (Early Childhood Education, Middle Grades Education, Special Education), they join 20-25 other program majors. The cohort remains together for two years, taking their coursework together (common intellectual experiences). Most of their college coursework entails field-based projects that students complete in collaboration with their partner teachers, students, and families. Within this model, partner teachers serve as powerful mentors for teacher candidates as students complete over 1300 hours in P-12 classrooms. Teacher candidates complete undergraduate research in classrooms, take diversity courses, have opportunities to study abroad in Tanzania or London/Paris, and they complete semester-long capstone courses that include creating e-Portfolios and delivering capstone presentations to faculty panels.
As a case study, the presentation will describe the award-winning teacher preparation programs that encompass many of the high-impact teaching and learning practices outlined by the Association of American Colleges & Universities: common intellectual experiences, learning communities, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, e-Portfolios, internships, and capstone courses and projects.
Nicole DeClouette, Georgia College & State University, United States