Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)
Launched in July 1999 with a generous grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Academic
Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) provides a process for already-accredited institutions
to maintain their status. The program also allows institutions to demonstrate continuous
improvement and growth, maintaining accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations
by aligning policies and actions with the principles that characterize performance
improvement. HLC leadership recently reviewed all AQIP elements and, in 2014, redesigned
the AQIP Categories, Systems Portfolio and Strategy Forum; as well as revised the
AQIP timeline to align with an eight-year reaffirmation cycle.
Major elements and requirements of the AQIP program include:
- Action Projects - Each institution must develop a minimum of three Action Projects focused on promoting
student learning and responding to opportunities for improving problems or challenges.
Action Projects are always aligned with one of six AQIP Categories. The institution reports to AQIP annually on progress or completion of Action Projects
and new Action Projects are developed to replace completed projects.
Current Action Projects at Aims Community College include:
- Creating a seamless and intentional career engagement continuum
- Early college high school initiative
- Business Process Review (BPR) Action Project
- Course Quality Assurance Plan for the Aims Online Learning Management System
- Systems Portfolio (submitted every four years) This 100-page public document describes and analyzes
fundamental institutional systems centered around six AQIP categories.
- Systems Appraisal (also every four years) Submission of the systems portfolio initiates an appraisal
conducted by a panel of trained reviewers. Through both independent and consensus
review processes, feedback represents shared views of institutional strengths and
opportunities for improvement.
- Strategy Forum - A few months after receipt of the Systems Appraisal, AQIP institutions send teams
to participate in a strategy forum, at which the team receives guidance on developing
new action projects and participates in peer review of initiatives for continuous
- Comprehensive Quality Review (CQR) (every eight years) Conducted one year prior to reaffirmation of accreditation, this
two-day visit is conducted by a trained two-person team. The purpose of this visit
is to assure accreditation issues have been addressed, to spot-check accuracy of the
systems portfolio and to affirm the institution's commitment to quality improvement.
Aims will finish the old seven-year cycle with a CQR in the fall of 2017. The college
will then move into the new eight-year cycle of reaffirmation of accreditation.
AQIP Quality Checkup Visit Report 2009
2017 CQR Site Visit FAQs
- Reaffirmation of Accreditation - Following the comprehensive quality review, an AQIP Pathway Review Panel of Reaffirmation
will review the college’s record of activity and determine whether the institution
meets HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation and complies with Federal Regulations. Reaffirmation of Accreditation, April 26, 2011
- Multi-Location Visit - Institutions with three or more off-campus additional locations are required to
undergo a Multi-Location Visit every five years. The visit is conducted by an HLC
peer reviewer and involves a representative sample of the institution’s additional
locations. The purpose of the Multi-Location Visit is to confirm the continuing effective
oversight by the institution of its additional locations.