Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) is the process through which the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College maintains its accredited status with The Higher Learning Commission. It allows Rio Grande to demonstrate how it meets The Higher Learning Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation and other expectations through processes that align with the ongoing activities that characterize Rio’s effort to improve its performance.
The goal of this site is to provide a continuously updated view of Rio Grande’s journey toward improving the way it operates.
Participation in AQIP involves the following activities and documentation:
- Action Projects: This one-year cycle drives continuous improvement by the institution to tackle three or four Action Projects that it has chosen, committed to completing in a few months or years, and published in AQIP’s on-line Action Project Directory.
- Action Project Progress Reports: Each fall, Rio Grande provides Action Project Updates to AQIP on the progress of current projects, and AQIP provides written feedback on these reports.
- Systems Portfolio: This four-year cycle drives improvement by having every AQIP organization create and maintain an up-to-date Systems Portfolio describing key systems and processes the organization uses to achieve its goals and the performance results it obtains from them.
- Systems Appraisal: A System Appraisal of the Systems Portfolio provides institutions with written, actionable feedback they can use to create strategies and actions that will move them quickly toward achievement of their goals.
- Comprehensive Quality Review (CQR): According to HLC, “the CQR is part of the comprehensive evaluation conducted in year 8 of the AQIP Pathway and determines if an institution meets the Criteria for Accreditation. Institutional advances in continuous quality improvement are also reviewed during the CQR.”
Rio's AQIP Journey
- August 1994 – Re-accreditation Self-Study submitted
- Feb 9-10, 1998 – North Central Association Focused Visit
- September 26, 2003 – Admission to AQIP October 6-7, 2003—Constellation Survey
- November 7, 2003 – Campus Conversation (Vital Focus) with the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College staff, faculty, and administration to determine how best to proceed with the AQIP process
- February 25-26, 2004 – Rio Team attends Higher Learning Commission Strategy Forum to propose and review new Action Projects
- May 28, 2004 – Rio’s Action Projects are submitted to the Higher Learning Commission
- September 14, 2005 – Team submits annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- September 14, 2006 – Team submits annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- June 1, 2007 – Rio submits its Systems Portfolio to the Higher Learning Commission
- September 27, 2007 – The Higher Learning Commission submits the Systems Appraisal Feedback Report to Rio
- September 14, 2007 – Team submits annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- September 14, 2008 – Team submits annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- October 1-3, 2008 – Team (L. Bowman, B. Brown, P. Dovyak, P. Harrison, B. Hatfield, D. Lawrence, B. Patterson, and G. Sojka) attend HLC Strategy Forum in Lisle, IL
- September 14, 2009 – Team submits annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- January 20-22, 2010 – Higher Learning Commission conducts AQIP Quality Check-up Visit to verify Rio’s commitment to the AQIP re-accreditation process
- February 24, 2010 – The Higher Learning Commission’s Quality Check-up Team submits to Rio its report
- April 2010 – David Lawrence named AQIP Liaison and Benjy Davies named Assessment Coordinator
- August 20, 2010 – Rio submits its Quality Highlights report to the Higher Learning Commission
- September 14, 2010 – AQIP Team submits its annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- January 19, 2011 – AQIP Review Panel recommends Reaffirmation of Accreditation
- February 21, 2011 – HLC Reaffirms Accreditation for Rio Grande
- June 1, 2011 – Rio submits its 2nd Systems Portfolio to the Higher Learning Commission
- September 27, 2011 – Rio completes Action Project Quality Assurance Council: Closing the Loop
- September 28, 2011 – Rio completes Action Project TIA: Transparency Information Accountability
- February 29-March 2, 2012 – Rio team (S. Cox, B. Davies, R. Hopkins, D. Lawrence, R. Long, K. Porada, and A. Quinn) attends HLC Strategy Forum at the QCenter, St. Charles, IL
- July 31, 2013 – Rio completes Action Project QDOL: Quality of Distance and Online Learning
- September 30, 2013 – AQIP Team submits its annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC
- December 20, 2013 – Rio completes Action Project Formalizing Satisfaction Data Collection, Analysis, and Results Implementation.
- September, 2014 – AQIP Team submits its annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC.
- June 1, 2015 – Rio submitted its 3rd Systems Portfolio to the Higher Learning Commission.
- September 2015 – AQIP Team submits its annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC.
- October 2015 – HLC completed appraisal of Rio’s System Portfolio.
- April 4-6, 2016 – Rio Team (M Johnston, R Sax, D Lawrence, R Long, B Davies, J Bessette, and R Hopkins) attends AQIP Strategy Forum at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, Oak Brook, IL.
- September 2016 – AQIP Team submits its annual progress reports on Action Projects to HLC.
- 2017-2018 – Federal Compliance Filing and year of Reaffirmation of Accreditation
- February 26-28, 2018 – Comprehensive Quality Review (CQR) Site visit.
Current Action Projects
According to the Higher Learning Commission, Action Projects “focus and highlight an institution’s efforts in undertaking specific improvement initiatives, and they provide the Higher Learning Commission with evidence that AQIP institutions are seriously committed to a regimen of continuous improvement.” Each institution must have three Action Projects underway at all times.
Website Improvement Project (WIP)
Team leader and contact person:
Jamie Bessette, VP of Enrollment Mgmt and Marketing
Seamless Advising: Closing the Gaps in Academic Advising
Team leader and contact person:
Susan Haft, Director of New Student Advising, Testing, and Career Services
Culture of D3M (Data-Driven Decision Making)
Team leader and contact person:
David Lawrence, Associate Provost, Dean, Arts and Sciences, AQIP Liaison
Course Evaluation Revision
Team leader and contact person:
David Lawrence, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness
Completed Action Projects
HLC, in its Systems Portfolio Guide (2010) writes, “The Systems Portfolio serves a number of purposes simultaneously. It is:
- a means by which you can get high-quality, actionable feedback on your organizational strengths and opportunities from a team of quality improvement experts and educators;
- a body of evidence to show The Higher Learning Commission that your institution is meeting its Criteria for Accreditation;
- a common reference point that lets everyone in your institution share an understanding of how you are organized, what your key processes are, what kind of performance those processes produce, and how you improve;
- a planning tool that helps you shape the institution’s future agenda and concentrate everyone’s attention on those areas that should be the focus of scrutiny for improvement;
- evidence, over time, that AQIP is working to your institution’s advantage, and that your continued participation in the program makes sense; and
- a public information and relations tool that lets all of your stakeholders understand clearly and persuasively what you are accomplishing with your resources.”
Rio’s Systems Portfolios:
AQIP Steering Team
The University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College charges the AQIP Steering Team to coordinate /oversee all issues related to AQIP Accreditation on an ongoing basis and to provide overall guidance for Rio’s Continuous Quality Improvement.
Specific responsibilities include (but are not limited to) coordinating/overseeing:
- all Action Projects
- the Systems Portfolio
- the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation visits and related materials
- Rio’s AQIP website
- all other initiatives/activities related to AQIP and HLC accreditation.
To ensure continuing opportunities for broad-based involvement and leadership development in AQIP accreditation activities the Steering Team will include permanent members and non-permanent members.
Dr. Richard Sax, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs
Dr. David Lawrence, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, AQIP Liaison
Ms. Rebecca Long, Vice President for Administrative and Student Services
Ms. Amy Wilson, Director, Davis Library
Non-Permanent Members (2 year terms):
Dr. Stephanie Alexander, Director, Student Success
Dr. Robert Hopkins, Associate Professor of Biology
Prof. Benjy Davies, Professor of Art
Ms. Meghann Fraley, Director, Financial Aid
Dr. William Rogers, Associate Professor of Psychology
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy
Under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity operated by the University of Rio Grande or Rio Grande Community College ("Rio Grand"). Title IX ensures equal access to those programs and activities for our students and employees of all gender identities. Rio Grande is dedicated to providing a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff.
It is the policy of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College not to discriminate on the basis of gender in the educational programs, activities, or
employment policies as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX may be directed to the Affirmative Action Office of the University and the Community College, (740) 245-7228, or to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College affirm that policies and practices relating to housing, academic and social life, and employment are applied without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, genetic information, gender identity, genetic information, religion, disability, age, marital status, national or ethnic origin, socioeconomic status, veteran status, political affiliation. or other characteristics protected by federal, state, or local law. Inquires in this regard should be directed to the President of the University of Rio Grande or Rio Grande Community College.