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Overview (O)


Provide an Overview of your organization by briefly introducing vital characteristics such as mission, values, strategic vision, history, location, control (public or private) and status (for-profit or not-for-profit), and then answering the following nine items in a total of fewer than 5000 words (approximately 10 double-spaced printed pages). Devote no more than 1000 words to your introduction, no more than 1000 words to item O1 and no more than 500 words each to items O2 to O9. In your Overview, describe the context and constraints within which your organization structures and operates its systems and processes, but use the appropriate AQIP Category P, R, and I items to explain and evaluate the processes themselves.


O1. What are your goals for student learning and shaping an academic climate? What are your key credit and non-credit instructional programs, and educational systems, services, and technologies that directly support them?


O2. What key organizational services, other than instructional programs, do you provide for your students and other external stakeholders? What programs do you operate to achieve them?


O3. What are the short- and long-term requirements and expectations of the current student and other key stakeholder groups you serve? Who are your primary competitors in serving these groups?


O4. What are your administrative, faculty, and staff human resources? What key factors determine how you organize and use them?


O5. What strategies align your leadership, decision-making, and communication processes with your mission and values, the policies and requirements of your oversight entities, and your legal, ethical, and social responsibilities?


O6. What strategies align your key administrative support goals with your mission and values? What services, facilities, and equipment do you provide to achieve them?


O7. What determines the data and information you collect and distribute? What information resources and technologies govern how you manage and use data?


O8. What are the key commitments, constraints, challenges, and opportunities with which you must align your organization’s short- and long-term plans and strategies?


O9. What key partnerships and collaborations, external and internal, contribute to your organization’s effectiveness?


The Overview is a brief description that summarizes what is most important to your college or university and the key factors that are influencing your overall direction. It presents a concise account of what your organization is, why it exists, and where it wants to go. This summary should help internal and external audiences understand what is relevant and important to your organization – the larger context for your strategic directions and Action Projects as well as your Processes (P), Results (R), and Improvement (I) questions found throughout the nine AQIP Categories. Your Overview will  ensure that the AQIP Systems Appraisers understand the distinctive features that make your college or university unique. Include within it a simple organizational chart that will help readers understand your organization's units and reporting lines. You might also include a one-page glossary of acronyms and organizationally unique names to help readers of your Systems Portfolio follow your presentation.


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