High Impact Educational Practices and the Student Athlete Experience: The Implementation and Barriers of HIPs in the Student Athlete Support Setting

Farah J. Ishaq – State University of New York College at Cortland
Jordan Bass – University of Kansas


The purpose of this study was to examine the implementation of higher education high impact practices (HIPs) in the student athlete academic setting and the barriers to their implementation on the administrative and student athlete level according to student athlete support services staff. High impact educational practices are a set of ten practices, including internships, undergraduate research, global learning, and learning communities, to name a few, that illustrate beneficial outcomes for diverse student populations. The researchers also determined how athletic academic staff were involved in the process and explored how higher education theory was utilized within student athlete academics. Through semi-structured, phenomenological interviews with 11 student athlete support staff members from six Division I NCAA institutions, the researchers were able to further understand high-impact educational practices as a phenomenon in the student athlete setting.Barriers to implementation that were discovered included university control of HIPs, differences in attitudes between coaches and academic staff, lack of funding or resources, and student athlete time commitment. Administrators, both in athletics and on campus, can learn to establish relationships for their students on campus and create a comfortable climate and connection between athletics academics and on-campus resources.