AQIP Basics

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An introduction to the Academic Quality Improvement Program of the Higher Learning Commission

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  • AQIP Basics

    1. 1. AQIP and continuous improvement Stephen D. Spangehl, Director Academic Quality Improvement Program The Higher Learning Commission
    2. 2. 19 States 1000 institutions The North Central Association region
    3. 3. Goals of AQIP <ul><li>Help organizations improve performance and maximize effectiveness while meeting accreditation requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Reshape the relationship with members of the Commission into a partnership and network </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the public with credible quality assurance information concerning higher education providers </li></ul>
    4. 4. Who can participate? <ul><li>Institutions already accredited by HLC that want to use this process to maintain continued accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions not accreditable by HLC that want to use AQIP to drive institutional improvement and seek interaction with other continuous improvers </li></ul><ul><li>Quality-focused colleges or schools within large universities (where the university itself continues to use traditional process for institutional accreditation) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Admission Strategy Forum Action Projects Annual Updates Systems Portfolios Systems Appraisal Quality Checkup Reaffirmation of Accreditation
    6. 6. > Maintain Systems Portfolio > Action Project Update Strategy Forum > Systems Appraisal > Check-Up Visit > Reaffirmation of Accrediation > 1 4 7
    7. 7. > Maintain Systems Portfolio > Action Project Update Every year
    8. 8. Strategy Forum > Systems Appraisal > Every 4 years
    9. 9. Check-Up Visit > Reaffirmation of Accrediation > Every 7 years
    10. 10. <ul><li>A mission and vision driven by students' and other stakeholders' expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Broad-based faculty, staff, and administrative involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders and leadership systems that support a quality culture </li></ul><ul><li>A learning -centered environment </li></ul><ul><li>Respect for and willingness to invest in people </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration and a shared institutional focus </li></ul><ul><li>Agility , flexibility, and responsiveness to changing needs and conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for innovation and improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Fact-based information -gathering and thinking to support analysis and decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity and responsible institutional citizenship </li></ul>Principles of High Performance Organizations
    11. 11. What produces current performance? Suppliers Providers Processes Recipients Beneficiaries Customers INPUTS OUTPUTS Input Requirements Output Requirements
    12. 12. The Silo View Student Affairs Humanities Finance Academic Affairs Maintenance Sciences Support Services Collecting the data needed for decision-making Envisioning and Preparing for an Unknown Future Developing and Capitalizing on People’s Talents
    13. 13. Silo Perspective Systems Perspective
    14. 14. Admission Should be preceded by broad discussion of what quality improvement is and whether it fits the institution’s culture and vision
    15. 15. <ul><li>Institution must present evidence that it </li></ul><ul><li>Understands what continuous quality improvement implies </li></ul><ul><li>Has begun to look at itself from a process-focused perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Has begun to identify potential Action Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Meets the five Criteria for Accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Has been responsive to Commission concerns and advice (from its last comprehensive evaluation) </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Applying institutions in Higher Learning Commission area must </li></ul><ul><li>Be currently accredited and in good standing </li></ul><ul><li>Have completed two comprehensive PEAQ evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Be less than seven years from last comprehensive PEAQ review </li></ul>
    17. 17. Strategy Forum
    18. 18. <ul><li>Interactive forum for institutions to review each others’ Action Projects and strategies, providing and receiving constructive feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to receive peer review of Action Projects and organizational improvement strategies before they are undertaken </li></ul><ul><li>Teams of institutional leaders craft and shape Action Projects and strategies together </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional teams begin to plan implementation and measurement to ensure that plans succeed </li></ul>
    19. 19. Action Projects
    20. 20. <ul><li>Dynamic improvement projects that drive an institution’s quality </li></ul><ul><li>program — and inform AQIP </li></ul><ul><li>Selected by institution to promote learning and culture change and respond to opportunities for improvement, problems, or challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Institution reports to AQIP annually on progress or completion of projects </li></ul><ul><li>Action Projects shared via AQIP website to promote collaboration and to enhance self-improving image of higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially serve as intense action learning cycles that focus the institution on hands-on, useful work that further drives change in the entire institution’s culture </li></ul>
    21. 21. Plan, Design, Invent, Propose, Create, Devise, Formulate, Originate, Arrange Do, Execute, Implement, Carry Out, Perform, Experiment, Test, Try Out Check, Study, Evaluate, Verify, Research, Assess, Monitor, Confirm, Review Act, Revise, Fine Tune, Redirect, Adjust, Modify, Alter, Change, Improve PDCA Cycle
    22. 22. Systematic Improvement <ul><li>Methods for selecting improvement opportunities and setting targets </li></ul><ul><li>Action Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Plan-Do-Check-Act cycles of improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Trend lines in measures </li></ul><ul><li>Closing gaps between institutional performance and benchmarks </li></ul>
    23. 23. Improving Processes <ul><li>Documenting and stabilizing processes </li></ul><ul><li>Simplifying processes </li></ul><ul><li>Removing “special” causes of variation </li></ul><ul><li>Improving connections among processes </li></ul><ul><li>Redesigning an ineffective process </li></ul><ul><li>Deploying good processes broadly </li></ul>
    24. 24. Annual Updates
    25. 25. <ul><li>Simple report, due September 21st, describing progress on Action Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewed by quality experts, who provide feedback and advice </li></ul><ul><li>Option for institution to request assistance in cases where progress is stalled </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for institutions to identify “outstanding practices” that may deserve Commission recognition and widespread publicity </li></ul>
    26. 26. Systems Portfolio
    27. 27. <ul><li>75-100 page public portfolio describing fundamental institutional systems </li></ul><ul><li>Covers the nine AQIP categories, describing processes, results, and improvement in each system </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio created once (with the first 3 years after an institution joins AQIP) and then kept up-to-date with changes in systems and results </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable for employees, other accreditors, state agencies, and other stakeholders by building shared understanding, consensus, and support for the institution </li></ul>
    28. 28. Academic Quality Improvement Categories <ul><li>The Categories provide buckets or lenses for examining groups of related processes </li></ul><ul><li>The Categories promote a non-prescriptive dialogue about how an institution determines and achieves its goals </li></ul><ul><li>Each Category inquires into processes (approach & deployment), results, and improvement </li></ul>
    29. 29. Overall, the AQIP Categories ask: <ul><li>Are you doing the right things — the things that are most important in order to achieve your institution’s goals? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you doing things well — effectively, efficiently, in ways that truly satisfy the needs of those you serve? </li></ul>
    30. 30. Each AQIP Category asks: <ul><li>How stable, well-designed, and robust are your systems and processes? </li></ul><ul><li>How consistently do you deploy and employ your systems and processes? </li></ul><ul><li>How satisfying are the results your systems and processes achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you use your performance data to drive improvement? </li></ul>
    31. 31. AQIP Categories
    32. 32. Measuring Effectiveness Understanding Students’ and other Stakeholders’ Needs Building Collaborative Relationships Planning Continuous Improvement Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives Leading and Communicating Valuing People Helping Students Learn Supporting Institutional Operations
    33. 33. 1P1 How do you determine your common student learning objectives as well as specific program learning objectives? Who is involved in setting these objectives?
    34. 34. 1P4 How do you communicate expectations regarding student preparation and student learning objectives (for programs, courses, and the awarding of specific degrees or credentials) to prospective and current students? How do admissions, student support, and registration services aid in this process?
    35. 35. 1P5 How do you help students select programs of study that match their needs, interests, and abilities? In providing this help, how are discrepancies between the necessary and actual preparation of students and their learning styles detected and addressed?
    36. 36. Systems Appraisal
    37. 37. <ul><li>When an institution joins, AQIP sets the date of its next re-affirmation of accreditation in 7 years </li></ul><ul><li>Re-affirmation of accreditation every 7 years, based on pattern of participation that provides evidence of dedication to continuous improvement and a pattern of results that indicates the commitment is paying off </li></ul><ul><li>No single visit or event precipitates or causes re-affirmation </li></ul><ul><li>Independent appraisal of an institution’s Systems Portfolio conducted every four years </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable professional feedback report for improvement created for each institution </li></ul>
    38. 38. <ul><li>Prompt, consistent appraisals conducted by heterogeneous panels of trained, experienced reviewers —some from outside higher education — knowledgeable about quality </li></ul><ul><li>Separate independent and consensus review stages ensure that appraisers produce feedback that represents the team’s shared views of institutional strengths and opportunities for improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Blind review process, focusing institutional attention on the feedback itself rather than the identify of members of the team providing it </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback provided in summary rubrics for public information, and in confidential, detailed actionable comments and explanations </li></ul>
    39. 39. Quality Checkup
    40. 40. <ul><li>Conducted 1-2 years prior to reaffirmation of accreditation, planned collaboratively with institution; minor preparation required </li></ul><ul><li>Assures that any accreditation issues raised by the last Systems Appraisal have been addressed, spot-checks veracity of the Systems Portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Affirms institution is broadly committed to continuous improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Size and length dependent on agenda - minimum is two peer reviewers for two days </li></ul>
    41. 41. Reaffirmation of Accreditation
    42. 42. <ul><li>When an institution joins, AQIP sets the date of its next re-affirmation of accreditation in 7 years </li></ul><ul><li>Re-affirmation of accreditation every 7 years, based on pattern of participation that provides evidence of dedication to continuous improvement and a pattern of results that indicates the commitment is paying off </li></ul><ul><li>No single visit or event precipitates or causes re-affirmation </li></ul>
    43. 43. Systems Appraisal Strategy Forum Systems Portfolio Annual Updates Action Projects Quality Checkup Reaffirmation of Accreditation
    44. 47. www.AQIP.org 800-621-7440 x. 106 [email_address]

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