Foundation for Best Practices in Postsecondary Education

Commonly accepted principles for improved learning of college students serve as guides for identifying best practices. Chickering and Gamson (1987) identify seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education: (a) encourage frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class, (b) facilitate cooperation among students since learning is a social process, (c) promote active learning through social interaction and engagement with the content material, (d) give prompt feedback to students to allow them to reflect and make changes in behavior, (e) increase time on task to increase higher outcomes, (f) communicate high expectations to prompt extra effort by learners, and (g) respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

Blimling  and Whitt (1999) extend several of these best practices outside of the classroom by identifying seven principles of good practice in student affairs: (a) engage in active learning, (b) develop coherent values and ethical standards, (c) set and communicates high learning expectations, (d) use systematic inquiry to improve performance, (e) use resources effectively to achieve institutional mission and goals, (f) forge educational partnerships among stakeholders, and (g) build supportive and inclusive communities.

  • Blimling, G. S., & Whitt, E. J. (1999). Good practice in student affairs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Higher Education. Retrieved from