The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) identifies the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) as “A process that 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. An institution in AQIP demonstrates how it meets accreditation standards and expectation through a sequence of events that align with the ongoing activities of an institution striving to improve its performance.” Black Hawk College was accepted into AQIP in 2009.
AQIP Systems Portfolio – AQIP calls upon institutions to undergo a Systems Appraisal every four years. The Systems Appraisal is based on a Systems Portfolio assembled by the institution during the first four years of its participation in AQIP. The Systems Portfolio covers the nine AQIP Categories which provide a framework that colleges and universities can use to examine their key processes to ensure they are investing energy and resources in ways that will help attain their goals.
Action Projects – Action Projects focus institutions on demonstrating their efforts to quality improvement, developing structures necessary to organize and oversee a quality initiative, and to drive institutions to engage their faculty and staff in the project selection thus empowering employees. Just as important, Action Projects were developed to open the avenues for peer interaction, feedback, and review.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Information about the Higher Learning Commission can be found at the Higher Learning Commission website.