Connect 360: The Eagle Experience

Texas A&M University-Texarkana's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Connect 360: The Eagle Experience is a 5-year plan to engage junior and senior level students at a deeper level in the learning process using experiential learning.  High-Impact Practices (HIPs) have been added to engage freshman and sophomore students using widely tested instructional designs for successful learning of diverse groups of students.

Why Should You Care

Research on HIPs and Experiential Learning shows:

  • Increase practices associated with learning and student success
  • Important to faculty
  • Beneficial and enjoyable for all students. Research say benefits and outcomes positively associated with:
    • Persistence & GPA     
    • “Deep approaches to learning”
    • Higher rates of student-faculty interaction
    • Increases in critical thinking and writing skills
    • Greater appreciation for diversity
    • Impact is larger for underserved students

Bronwell, J. & Swaner, L (2010); NSSE, (2007); Kuh (2008)

  • Valued by employers. Here is what potential employers say:
    • 84% say they highly value students who complete a significant project before graduation that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their major AND their acquisition of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.
    • 81% say they highly value students who complete an internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences.
    • 81% say they highly value students who develop research skills appropriate to their field and develop evidence-based analyses.
    • 73% say they value student who work through ethical issues and debates to form their own judgments.

Raising the Bar (2009)

For more information:

Visit the QEP website for the definitions of HIPs and Experiential Learning Practices listed above.


Email questions to: Dr. Sara Lawrence – QEP Director and Associate Professor Education Psychology at