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AAC&U’s 11 High-impact Practices

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Nebraska Wesleyan University
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AAC&U’s 11 High-impact Practices

How NWU's Archway Curriculum integrates them all

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Archway Curriculum is grounded in practices that lead to career success. Our integrated curriculum helps students demonstrate proficiencies that employers value most.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) analyzed the student experiences that best correlate with success after graduation. This work identified 11 high-impact practices that get results for college graduates.

Most schools apply only a handful of the AAC&U’s identified practices. At Nebraska Wesleyan University, you'll benefit from all 11.

  1. First-year seminars
    NWU offers Archway Seminars on dozens of topics from bioethics to global conflict. Each seminar will help you build the same key skills in researching, writing, presenting and collaborating.
  2. Common intellectual experiences
    At NWU, you’ll choose a “thread” of interdisciplinary courses that explore a single topic from several angles. These threaded courses bring you together with students from different disciplines. By combining your perspectives, you’ll learn to see complex issues in new ways.
  3. Learning communities
    NWU’s learning communities take several forms, from field-specific residence hall floor and pod groupings to student life activities grouped by Archway Seminars.
  4. Writing-intensive courses
    Employers say many workers lack the writing skills required to succeed. NWU helps you become a stronger writer by scaffolding writing-instructive courses across all four years.
  5. Collaborative projects
    NWU prioritizes small-group work across your four years. We do it this way to foster leadership, interpersonal communication and teamwork skills that will be valuable to you throughout your professional life.
  6. Undergraduate research
    At NWU, you’ll have opportunities to work alongside your professors in the kind of intensive research experiences that most students don’t find until graduate school. And our annual Research Symposium gives you a campus-wide audience for your work.
  7. Diversity and global learning
    On average, about 2% of American college students study abroad. At NWU, it’s 33%. NWU maintains sister-school partnerships with universities in Estonia, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom. And our incoming classes keep raising the bar for racial and geographic diversity.
  8. Service learning
    At NWU, you’ll join in community service as your first semester begins. And many professors integrate service projects into their courses to help you put what you study into practical use.
  9. Internships
    NWU does more to connect you to life-changing internship opportunities across our region. And partnerships with the Chicago Center for Urban Life and the Capitol Hill Internship Program extend those opportunities to a national scale.
  10. Capstone projects
    Completing your major means more than checking classes off a list. Each NWU major involves a capstone experience—a professional practicum, thesis presentation, research project, performance or exhibition—something dynamic that captures the entirety of your learning within your chosen field.
  11. Reflective e-portfolios
    How does your entire NWU experience fit together? What connects the things you learned in your major, your labs, your internship, your residence hall? Most schools leave it to you to connect the dots. But NWU makes this reflection part of the experience. Your e-portfolio helps you articulate your strengths and experiences, which will serve you well in professional interviews.