In Attendance: Co-Chairs Jane Stephens and Dennis Holt, Rick Althaus, Jim Ermatinger, Christina Frazier, Adam Hanna, Dane Huxel, Crystal Kaufman, Carolyn Rainey, Bruce Skinner, Susan Swartwout
Absent: Allen Gathman and David Starrett
Recorder: Christie Renner
Handouts distributed: agenda, AQIP Basics, AQIP Examiner Basics, and Applying to Participate in AQIP
Charge of Steering Committee and Background
D. Holt welcomed the steering committee. The charge of the steering committee is to
coordinate the University’s accreditation process under the AQIP guidelines of the
Higher Learning Commission – NCA.
C. Frazier briefly explained the background of the accreditation process. The University seeks accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, every 10 years. The University wants to move from PEAQ (Program to Evaluate an Advanced Quality) to AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program), an alternative to PEAQ. The AQIP process allows for a more systematic examination allowing universities to continuously improve their processes. Where as the PEAQ process looks at what’s been done, the AQIP process is constantly moving forward. C. Frazier added that the AQIP review is more supportive and helpful. AQIP is a seven year accreditation process and must be initiated three years before the next NCA review. C. Frazier added that the process is very open and information will be posted on the website. The link to the newly formed website is http://cstl.semo.edu/poc/aqip. Once the website is set up, it will be available to the campus and the public.
Applying for AQIP
C. Frazier stated that the University must apply to participate in AQIP and demonstrate its commitment to quality improvement principles. The application deadline is May 15, 2006. Discussion was held on completing the application. The steering committee will meet regularly and brainstorm on questions as a group and a sub-committee (including C. Frazier, D. Starrett, and anyone else interested from the steering committee) will draft responses to the questions for the committee’s review. C. Frazier suggested using a drop box located on the AQIP website to exchange material.
As part of the application process, the University will go through a self-assessment using the NSSE (National Survey on Student Engagement) and the AQIP Examiner. A random sample of Southeast freshmen and seniors will be invited to participate in the NSSE. The NSSE measures how much students are engaged with their school. Institutional Research will be promoting and administering the NSSE this spring. The AQIP Examiner will be administered in February to faculty and staff. This self-assessment tool is used to gauge an institution’s progress in creating a culture of continuous improvement. It is very important to have as much participation as possible. The Examiner will be an on-line survey that will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be strictly confidential. Discussion was held on making arrangements for Facilities Management staff to have the opportunity to complete the survey. Also, it was discussed to use departmental meeting times as an opportunity for faculty to complete the survey to encourage more participation. The steering committee thought it would be nice to have the survey available for at least two weeks. The results from the Examiner will be analyzed by an outside consultant.
Developing Action Projects is one part of the AQIP accreditation process. Three to four Action Projects will need to be identified by the campus, with the help of the AQIP steering committee. These quality improvement projects can vary from months up to three years maximum to accomplish. One project must always focus on student learning. During the next seven months potential Action Projects need to be identified. The Action Projects will be finalized by Winter 2007, after the Strategy Forum. The committee will discuss at a future meeting the criteria for identifying Action Projects.
A Strategy Forum will be held in October of 2006. At this forum, eight campuses, including Southeast, will send a team to participate in a 3-day session in Chicago that provides institutions feedback on proposed Action Projects. The team will consist of 6-12 members and must include the President, Provost, one member of the governing board, a faculty representative and a staff representative.
The second part of the AQIP accreditation process is developing a Systems Portfolio. The Systems Portfolio is an up-to-date portfolio maintained by the institution to describe key systems and processes the organization is using to achieve goals and get performance results. The entire campus is involved in developing the Systems Portfolio. The maximum number of pages is 100. The portfolio is maintained through the entire process, until it is reviewed by AQIP.
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 3, at 2:30 pm. The committee will meet regularly until the application process is complete.