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DMACC Academic Quality Improvement Program

Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) is an alternative process through which an organization can maintain its accredited status with The Higher Learning Commission. AQIP's goal is to infuse the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities in order to assure and advance the quality of higher education. AQIP allows an organization to demonstrate that it meets The Higher Learning Commission's Criteria for Accreditation and other expectations through processes that align with the ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving continuously to improve their performance. By sharing both its improvement activities and their results through AQIP, an organization develops the structure and systems essential to achieving the distinctive higher education mission it has set for itself — and the evidence to enable the Commission to reaffirm accreditation.
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AQIP Timeline

Year of Next Reaffirmation of Accreditation: 2009-2010
Year of Next System Appraisal: 2010-2011
Due Date of Next System Portfolio: 11/1/10


Institutional Planning is central to the continuous improvement efforts at DMACC. Planning has been an evolutionary process, and throughout DMACC's existence, has been driven by the culture established by the President. For 20 years (1981-2001) DMACC's President, Joe Borgen consolidated the planning functions at the Cabinet level; enrollment was growing quickly, and building facilities and hiring staff were top priorities. Although traditional strategic planning processes and documents were not central to decision making at DMACC, planning efforts shaped the addition of three new campuses, exceptional enrollment growth, and new partnerships with business and industry, allocation of resources for assessment of student learning, and a reputation for quality in service that continues today. When a new President was appointed in 2001, a new culture for planning began. President England embraced College-wide involvement in planning, and developed, with significant input, up-to-date mission, vision, and values statements, and strategic goals and objectives. England moved the College to the AQIP process for accreditation, and hired the first Director of Institutional Planning & Research to increase data collection and analysis processes. When President Denson was appointed in 2003, he expanded Dr. England's planning process, and developed, over a 2 year period, a ten-year vision for success. That strategic plan, and the Action Plans that support it, provide the College's framework for decision making and continuous improvement efforts. The plan includes 3 goals for the next 10 years:

  1. FIRST in Quality-A true cornerstone of our past, present and future success is the quality of the education and services we provide for our students and our district.
  2. FIRST in Service-Every person in our service area has the right to a DMACC education.
  3. FIRST in Affordability-We are committed to making a quality DMACC education as affordable as possible.

For each goal, indicators of effectiveness have been identified, and 9 Action Plans support the advancement of the goals at the operational level. Developed using a participatory process, the strategic plan and goals is embraced by staff and stakeholders.

DMACC has made significant gains in formalizing its planning processes since 2001; the AQIP framework has provided structure and focus to our institution-wide efforts.