Higher Learning Commission (HLC)Accreditation Options AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) Standard Pathway Open Pathway
What is Accreditation? • Accreditation provides assurance that the institution meets standards and/or criteria set by an independent agency. • Voluntary • Evaluative • Accreditation evaluates governance, administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, relationship with external constituencies • Examines overall quality of the institution
Why Maintain Accreditation? Quality Assurance Aids in student transfer of credit between institutions Provides access to federal financial aid Certifies a graduate’s credentials to employers
Previous Accreditation Process PEAQ – Program to Evaluate and Enhance Quality • All previous reviews were PEAQ • One visit and one report every 10 years • Self evaluation based on commission criteria • This option has been eliminated and replace this 3 new options
New Accreditation Processes • Three Options : • AQIP (7-year cycle) • Standard Pathway (10-year cycle) • Open Pathway (10-year cycle)
AQIP • Who participates? • Eligible institutions that submit an application, which includes a preliminary self-assessment, are evaluated by a review panel for admittance into AQIP. • AQIP Accreditation Cycle (7-year cycle) • Action Cycle: Projects each year • Strategic Cycle: Systems Portfolio & Appraisal every 4 years • Reaffirmation Cycle: Quality Checkup Visit & Panel Reaffirmation every 7 years
AQIP – Action Cycle ACTION CYCLE Strategy Forum – Peer review process to aid in selecting, examining and committing to a set of strategies and Action Projects Action Projects – Three to four projects that will significantly advance the institutions goals Annual Update – Report progress on Action Projects
AQIP – Strategic Cycle STRATEGIC CYCLE • Systems Portfolio • Completed in Years 1-4 with broad faculty and staff involvement • Organizational Overview detailing each of the systems employed to accomplish the mission and goals • Answers specific questions for each of the nine AQIP categories • Systems Appraisal • Institution reviews systems for maintaining quality • Evaluated following standardized procedures and results in an Appraisal Feedback Report
AQIP – Reaffirmation Cycle REAFFIRMATION CYCLE • Quality Checkup – Site visit by two or more evaluators for two or more days during the two-year period prior to reaffirmation • Reaffirmation of Accreditation – Summative review at the end of the seven-year AQIP cycle • Reaffirmation panel examines Systems Portfolio, six years of Action Projects, Systems Appraisal and Quality Checkup report. Panel documents where it finds evidence the institution meets the Criteria for Accreditation.
Standard Pathway • Who participates? • Open to all institutions • The accreditation option for institutions not eligible for Open Pathway or AQIP • Ineligibility results from: • Accredited for fewer than 10 years by HLC • Under commission sanction within the last 5 years • History of commission monitoring • Present circumstances that raise commission concerns
Standard Pathway Components • 10-year Accreditation Cycle • Annual Institutional Updates • Two Comprehensive Visits • Assurance Reviews • Year 4 and Year 10
Standard Pathway – Method for Evaluating Institutions • Two comprehensive evaluations and site visits • Assurance Reviews (40,000 words) • Reviews of Federal Compliance • Follow-up Reports (as needed) • Focused Visits (possible in Years 1-3 & 5-9)
Assurance Review ASSURANCE ARGUMENT • Highly structured format • 40,000 word limit • For each Criterion, the institution offers: • Criterion introduction • Description of how each Core Component is met • How/why met, improvement, constraints, threats to maintain, opportunities, future plans • Links to materials in the institution’s Evidence File
Open Pathway • Who Participates? • Institutions approved by the Commission for this option • Eligibility based on length of accreditation, history of Commission monitoring and current standing with Commission
Open Pathway Components • 10-year Accreditation Cycle • Annual Institutional Updates • One Comprehensive Visit • Assurance Reviews • Year 4 and Year 10
Open Pathway – Method for Evaluating Institutions • Assurance Review without visit (Year 4) • Quality Initiative (Years 5-9) • Institution elects a project that suits its own purposes with a flexible timeframe (“opens the pathway”) • Design and propose own initiative, select from a menu of topics or join a Commission-facilitated program • One comprehensive evaluation and site visit (Year 10) • Assurance Review (through online system) • Review of Federal Compliance • No focused visits
Assurance Review ASSURANCE ARGUMENT • Highly structured format • 35,000 word limit • For each Criterion, the institution offers: • Criterion introduction • Description of how each Core Component is met • How/why met, improvement, constraints, threats to maintain, opportunities, future plans • Links to materials in the institution’s Evidence File
Accreditation Options AQIP Standard Pathway Open Pathway Questions???
Feedback Options Paper Survey Portal Survey Survey Closes on October 31 at noon!