AQIP & Activities

These web pages both educate and celebrate some of our successful continuous improvement activities.

Academic Quality Improvement Program

Benedictine University maintains its accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) through Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). This alternative process is only available to universities in good standing with the HLC. Using AQIP, we examine and improve our processes and related outcomes in nine categories:

  1. Helping students learn
  2. Accomplishing other distinctive objectives
  3. Understanding students and other stakeholders needs
  4. Valuing people
  5. Leading and communicating
  6. Supporting institutional operations
  7. Measuring effectiveness
  8. Planning continuous improvement
  9. Building collaborative relationships

For more information about AQIP, please read the following documents from the HLC:


Systems Portfolio

Every four years an AQIP university submits an updated Systems Portfolio to AQIP for review.  Benedictine University submitted a Systems Portfolio in June 2006 and again in November 2010.  These documents and our Systems Appraisal Feedback Reports (from the AQIP reviewers) are posted on our S: Drive.  Our next Systems Portfolio is due November 1, 2014.


Strategy Forum

Following receipt of feedback from the Systems Portfolio, an AQIP university sends a team to attend a Strategy Forum (approximately every four years).  The Strategy Forum is designed to help institutions use the feedback from the AQIP reviewers to shape new strategies and create specific action projects by meeting with other AQIP institutions and  discussing strategies for improvement.  Eight members of our Benedictine community attended the Strategy Forum from February 29 - March 2, 2012:  Bill Carroll (President), Claudia Colalillo (Chair, Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees), Kathy Donofrio (Chair, Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees),  Will Gillett (Chair, Board of Trustees), Charlie Gregory (Executive Vice President), Eileen Kolich (Chair, University Planning Council), Don Taylor (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs), and Tom Wangler (AQIP Accreditation Liaison Officer).

The overall theme of the forum was "Creating a Climate for Continuous Improvement" and the team for Benedictine University was grouped with other institutions that had expressed an interest in developing a "student progress, persistence, success, and completion" campaign.  During the Strategy Forum, the team participated in various activities and exercises culminating in the following plans:

  1. Create an AQIP Action Project on "improving student success and retention."
  2. Create an Office of Institutional Research.
  3. Change the campus culture to be more "continuous improvement minded" at all levels.
  4. The University Planning Council (UPC) will more proactively use the AQIP process to support the president in achieving our strategic goals.

These plans are related to the three AQIP categories listed below:

  • Category 3:  Understanding Students' and Other Stakeholders' Needs
  • Category 7:  Measuring Effectiveness
  • Category 8:  Planning Continuous Improvements

Since returning to the university, several members of the Strategy Forum team have been actively involved in creating an Office of Institutional Research and launching a retention campaign.


Action Projects

Every year Benedictine University submits new or updated Action Projects to the AQIP Action Project Directory (APD). In addition to these Action Projects, numerous other continuous improvement activities around campus are part of our university's strategic plan, but are not registered with the APD. The outcomes of all these improvement activities and Action Projects are reported to the HLC in the Systems Portfolio every four years.


Quality Checkup Visit

Following the Strategy Forum and preceding the year of the Reaffirmation of Accreditation by HLC, a team of AQIP reviewers conducts a campus Quality Checkup Visit. Two reviewers visited our campus February 18-20, 2009. Our next Quality Checkup will be in the 2014 - 2015 academic year.  Please read the announcement and the checkup report below: