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Notes about the nine AQIP Categories

Page history last edited by John Runion 12 years, 7 months ago

Notes from AQIP about the nine AQIP Categories


AQIP has reviewed the Notes presented here to make sure they conform to AQIP and HLC policies, and to ensure they present sensible strategies and useful practices for Systems Portfolios. Every organization preparing a Systems Portfolio is not obligated to follow the advice presented here, but organizations can be confident that heeding this advice will not mislead them. Notes pages are locked, and only AQIP can change them.

View or contribute to Support about the nine AQIP Categories


Respond in depth to at least one-third of the items in each AQIP Category


Our AQIP rule has been that institutions must address in depth at least 1/3 of the TOTAL P, R, and I items in each Category; the 1/3 is not applied separately to P, to R, and to I items. This means that an institution could address more of the P items in a particular category, and in doing so NOT respond in depth to any of the R or I items in that Category. If a category contains nine P, four R, and two I items, the total is 15, so an institution must address at least five of these 15 in depth. Those five might all be P items, or the six might come from a combination of P & R, R & I, P & I, or P & R & I items.


For the 2000 version of the Categories, the only caveat to this general principle holds that an institution that addresses NO results items in depth in a particular category MUST respond in depth to the last of the process items, the one that asks "what measures will you use to evaluate the effectiveness of the processes in this category." In the 2008 version of the Categories, this P item has been moved and has become an R item, so the caveat to the rule for the 2008 version is “Every institution must answer at least one P, R, and I item in depth in every category.”


The reason for allowing all this choice is straightforward and practical: if an institution is still focused in a particular category on the development and deployment of well-design, robust processes, that institution may not have yet developed much in the way of results data, and may not yet have anything that could be called an improvement cycle. Therefore, AQIP didn't want to REQUIRE a discussion of results and improvement from institutions that had no results or improvement yet; it seemed more reasonable to say "if process design is where you're focused now, tell us all about how you're designing processes. But remember that in the future -- in your next Systems Portfolio -- we expect you to have developed past this current point, and by then you should be ready to talk about results, in some areas at a minimum."


How Appraisal Teams can provide feedback on items not addressed "in depth"


AQIP asks each institution to put every P, R, and I number into its Systems Portfolio, and to indicate with “Not yet operative” or “No activity in this area yet” (or the like) those items where it cannot comment in depth on its accomplishments. But even if an institution has nothing of substance to say on a particular item (or group of items, like "results"), it is often reasonable for an Appraisal Team to give it feedback on those unaddressed items, saying (at the least) "This is an opportunity for future improvement." It would be even more helpful for the team to give more specific feedback on "items not addressed in depth" when the team believes that stimulating the institution into action would be highly beneficial, e.g.. "We see an Outstanding Opportunity (OO) here to measure and track the effectiveness of your faculty recruiting [or “developmental education” or “staff development” or “renovation and maintenance” or any other] system. Not doing so leaves you vulnerable to expending major scarce resources -- people, space, money, equipment -- on a process that may or may not be effectively delivering the outcomes you want. The difficulty and stress of quickly agreeing on a simple set of effectiveness measures will be more than compensated for by the management information that a useful indicator of this process' performance will give you. To be sincere about continuous improvement requires that you plan, do, CHECK, and act -- at present, your unwillingness or inability to CHECK performance critically handicaps your ability to take quality and improvement seriously."


A Systems Appraisal team can also make an institution’s failure to deal with the measurement of performance results a strategic issue, and (if it's widespread enough) an accreditation issue (Criterion 2, Core Component D) as well. Moreover, the team can include in its Category Summary comment for each Category a statement like “You now need to turn your focus to measuring the performance of your key processes in this Category If a team uses all three methods (OO's for specific items not addressed in depth, Category Summary statements, and a discussion of measurement as a Strategic issue), AQIP is confident that the institution will get the team’s message.


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