In April 2004, Moraine Valley Community College was accepted into AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program). The college decided to pursue this reaccreditation option because it “fit” with our focus on continuous improvement. Since the college’s Strategic Plan was established in 2001, Moraine Valley has formed teams or task groups to work on specific projects related to the following five strategic priorities:
•Emphasize and promote student success
•Enhance community awareness, connections and partnerships
•Plan, achieve and manage growth
•Build organizational capability through continuous improvement
The AQIP reaccreditation program, as one of the two reaccreditation options offered to schools accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), is structured around quality improvement principles and processes. Participation in AQIP involves the following structured goal-setting, networking, and accountability activities:
•Strategy Forum – This workshop provides an institution with a supportive, facilitated peer review process that will stimulate and assist it in selecting, critically examining, and committing to Action Projects that will drive quality improvement.
•Action Projects – These projects create a foundation for an institution’s improvement initiatives and demonstrate the vitality of its commitment to quality. AQIP institutions commit to three to four projects that will move it closer to being the institution it wants to be. At least one Action Project must relate directly to helping students learn.
•Action Project Progress Reports – These annual progress reports, submitted to the HLC each September, include: 1) progress made, based on timelines, goals and measures; 2) problems and challenges encountered; and 3) outstanding successes and discoveries made.
•Systems Portfolio – This document presents an overview of our institution that explains the major systems we use to accomplish our mission. AQIP institutions assemble a Systems Portfolio every four years and answer questions under nine AQIP characteristics.
•Systems Appraisal – A team of trained reviewers who read and produce an Appraisal Feedback Report that assesses the maturity and identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement within each of the AQIP Systems Portfolio’s nine characteristics.
•Quality Check-up – A team of trained evaluators conduct a visit to:
a. affirm the accuracy of the institution’s Systems Portfolio;
b. review Action Projects and strategies identified to capitalize on the strengths and opportunities for improvement;
c. assure continuing quality improvement commitment; and
d. confirm the institution’s compliance with accreditation expectations.
•AQIP Definition of Terms
•AQIP Frequently Asked Questions and Answers