Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)

Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)Launched in July 1999 with a generous grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Academic Quality Improvement Program infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities by providing an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that align with those ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving to improve their performance.

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 nine 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:
    • Designing Systems to Measure Effectiveness
    • Determining the Needs of Underserved Students
    • Transforming Early Alert to Enhance Student Success
    • Creating a Seamless and Intentional Career Engagement Continuum
  • Systems Portfolio (submitted every four years) This one-hundred page public document describes and analyzes fundamental institutional systems centered around nine 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 the teams 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 development of new Action Projects and participate in peer review of initiatives for continuous improvement.
  • Quality Checkup (every seven 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, spot-check accuracy of the Systems Portfolio and affirm the institutions commitment to quality improvement.
    AQIP Quality Checkup Visit Report 2009
  • Reaffirmation of Accreditation (every seven years) The review for reaffirmation examines evidence that the organization meets the five Criteria for Accreditation (as outlined by the Higher Learning Commission), is dedicated to continuous improvement and that performance results indicate that the commitment is paying off.
    Reaffirmation of Accreditation, April 26, 2011