What is AQIP?
AQIP - the Academic Quality Improvement Program - is an innovation of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central States. Begun in 1999, AQIP allows colleges and universities to pursue accreditation by committing to continuous quality improvement. To learn more, please follow this link: http://www.hlcommission.org/aqip-home/
Zane State College's AQIP History
Zane State College actively embraced the concept of continuous quality improvement early in the first decade of the twenty first century. When leaders from the College learned that the HLC was launching a new accreditation process with the same commitment, they knew they had to learn more. Representatives from all areas of the College explored the concept of AQIP at a Champion Training in Chicago in 2002. The team saw the potential of the exciting new pathway to accreditation, and Zane State College was accepted as an AQIP college on February 13, 2004.
Three action projects were launched at this time. These projects have been completed and retired, and new projects have been initiated.
Our Systems Portfolio was submitted to AQIP on November 1, 2007. We received our Systems Appraisal Feedback Report on February 14, 2008. The opportunities cited in this report help us to shape our ongoing quality improvement efforts, especially those leading to accreditation.
On November 2, 2009, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, McHenry County College, and Dean Michael Berndt, Normandale Community College, represented AQIP in their site visit to Zane State College. They generated a Quality Checkup Report, which helps to guide our on-going steps toward accreditation.
The seven year accreditation process culminates this winter after, Zane State College submits its Quality Highlights Report (Due August 20, 2010), and by early winter of 2011, we will be informed of our accreditation status.
Having received notice of our reaffirmation of accreditation in Spring 2011, we began the new AQIP cycle by readying our 2011 Systems Portfolio.
Zane State College received their Systems Appraisal Feedback Report on February 22, 2012.
How AQIP is used at Zane State College
As previously stated, Zane State College has developed an Institutional Effectiveness strategy that is grounded in the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement. While Zane State College embraces the principles of AQIP across its institutional framework, we have found the term "Academic" to be confusing and in some ways limiting. In order to avoid confusion, the Team for Institutional Effectiveness has chosen to use the term AQIP to describe only a few select projects that are believed to demonstrate well, the College's commitment to data-driven decision making, institutional and process improvement, and continuous quality improvement.
Collectively, the term CQI Projects is used to describe all College-wide initiatives, including the AQIP Action Projects, strategic plan projects, and targeted initiatives.