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What is AQIP? 

What is the Academic Quality Improvement Project?

Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP) is a new accreditation option that intends to revolutionize how the North Central Association (NCA) accredits and reaccredits its member colleges.

It used to be that every 10 years, a team of six or more NCA consultant evaluators would read our self-study, make an on-site visit, interview staff and write a report recommending that the college be reaccredited for another 10 years – in the case of a good result. AQIP changes all of that.

In 2000, a group of 14 FVTC staff formed an AQIP study group to take a look at whether the new accreditation model would be better or worse for FVTC than the traditional process that the college went through in 1995-1996 (with 2½ years of preparation). The group concluded that pursuing AQIP would be a better option for FVTC, in part due to its rich history with quality principles and tools.

AQIP is a “quality-based” accreditation process, meaning that you can use a different set of evaluative criteria than the traditional five criteria used in the past for all colleges. With AQIP, a college conducts its own self-assessment, sets its own goals and measures itself on how well it is making progress toward achieving the goals. There is still a site visit by an outside team, but it occurs once in a seven-year period, without the intensity that typically accompanies the traditional 10-year visit.

Per NCA, “AQIP will be nonprescriptive and will not encroach on an institution’s right to make its own decisions about its future…[it asks] an institution to examine whether it is doing those things which will help it achieve its goals, and whether it is doing them as effectively as possible.” (NCA AQIP Brochure, page 4)

NCA developed the AQIP model to offer an alternative for accreditation. Some colleges had complained about the traditional NCA model, finding it intrusive and not helpful in improvement efforts. Meanwhile, the business world had gravitated toward Malcolm Baldrige, state award programs like Wisconsin Forward, and quality-based evaluation.

For more information, contact Dr. Patti Frohrib.
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   Beth Malott

   Last Modified:
   12/9/2013 1:38:31 PM