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Academic Quality Improvement Program

Quality improvement for excellent education


The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) is an alternative process through which a college or university can maintain accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Cincinnati State was designated as an AQIP Vanguard College in April 2008, one of the original 39 institutions to be accepted into the program.

To participate in AQIP, institutions must demonstrate they meet accreditation standards by completing a sequence of events that follow a continuous quality improvement framework:

  • Implementing Action Projects
  • Participating in Strategy Forums
  • Submitting System Portfolios
  • Receiving Systems Appraisals
  • Hosting a Quality Check-up Visit

Benefits to participating in AQIP include:

  • Focused quality efforts on Actions Projects
  • Documentation and external evaluation of our processes
  • Increased collaboration
  • Use of data and quality tools

AQIP defines nine categories in which performance is evaluated. The nine AQIP categories are:

  • Helping Students Learn
  • Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives
  • Understanding Students’ and other Stakeholders’ Needs
  • Valuing People
  • Leading and Communicating
  • Supporting Institutional Operations
  • Measuring Effectiveness
  • Planning Continuous Improvement
  • Building Collaborative Relationships

What is a systems portfolio and appraisal?

AQIP requires institutions submit a Systems Portfolio every four years. The one hundred page Portfolio contains an overview of the institution and describes key systems and processes the organization uses to achieve its goals and the performance results. The Systems Appraisal provides expert, objective, third-party feedback on strengths and opportunities identified in the Systems Portfolio.

What are AQIP action projects?

To participate in AQIP, an institution must maintain three to four ongoing Action Projects (originally called Vital Few) which demonstrate its commitment to continuous quality improvement. The status of Action Projects must be report to AQIP each September and a team of reviewers provides objective feedback on the College’s progress. The AQIP website provides a searchable database of all current and retired Action Projects to promote cross-institutional learning and collaboration.

Current action projects

Retired Action Projects

  • IT Infrastructure
  • General Education Competencies
  • Answer Bank
  • Advising
  • Engaging Faculty and Staff in Student Retention

Related links

For further information, contact Anne Foster, Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at (513) 569-1898, or via email.

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