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Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)
The Ohio AQIP Coalition hosted the HLC's Eric Martin at the annual October get-together at Columbus State. Flanking Eric is, left, Bruce Massis, Columbus State Accreditation Liaison Officer and, right, AQIP Faculty Fellow Dr. David Tom.
In 2006, Columbus State began participating in a new HLC Accreditation program, the Academic Quality Improvement Program, or AQIP. This annual program replaces the traditional ten-year review cycle and is based on the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program.
AQIP requires colleges and universities to complete a minimum of three measurable quality improvement projects each year. Peer reviewers, assigned by AQIP, evaluate the work and provide timely feedback.
After four years, institutions are required to summarize all their quality improvement efforts in a Systems Portfolio which cover the following nine AQIP categories:
- Helping Students Learn
- Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives
- Understanding Students' & other Stakeholders' Needs
- Valuing People
- Leading and Communicating
- Supporting Institutional Operations
- Measuring Effectiveness
- Planning Continuous Improvement
- Building Collaborative Relationships
An HLC/AQIP Peer-Review Team will visit Columbus State in 2012/13 to confirm our overall compliance with accreditation expectations.
Other components of AQIP include:
- Strategy Forum - this regional meeting brings together teams from diverse colleges and universities for three days to generate and test new improvement strategies in a creative, supportive environment.
- Action Projects– a minimum of three substantive and measurable quality improvement undertakings per year.
- Systems Portfolio – a comprehensive report about the institution documenting school efforts in each of the nine AQIP categories.
- Systems Appraisal - an evaluation of the Systems Portfolio performed by AQIP reviewers every four years. This is an opportunity for an institution to receive expert feedback on its strengths and opportunities for improvement.
- Quality Check-up – a visit by a team of trained evaluators to affirm the accuracy of the institution's Systems Portfolio; progress of Action Projects and the school's overall compliance with accreditation expectations.
At a recent Strategy Forum, College leadership selected five organizing principles to guide future accreditation work:
- Collaboration - Cross-campus teams foster strength.
- Communication - A transparent process that allows everyone to contribute.
- Data-driven - Measurable outcomes underlie all improvement work.
- Integration - Improvements become part of the College culture.
- Implementation - Successful use of data improves College processes.
Continuous Quality Improvement - CQI
Many factors go into this effort including the adoption of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), an organizational framework based upon the guidelines of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Awards program, and adapted by the Higher Learning Commission in their Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).
While AQIP deals with accreditation-specific tasks, CQI provides a broad context for other process improvement work going on at the school. The CQI Steering Committee lends support to faculty, staff, and students on AQIP/acc matters. Now in their third year, the Columbus State Quality Awards recognize faculty, staff and project teams for their CQI efforts.