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Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)

College of Saint Mary maintains its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).  The HLC can be reached at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413 Phone: 800.621.7440 Accreditation is a voluntary process that benefits CSM in several ways. It provides external validation of quality, increases stakeholder confidence, enhances faculty recruitment, improves values of credits transferred out, and is needed for programmatic accreditation such as nursing and occupational therapy.
AQIP Process
Being an AQIP organization means that we use strategies and processes to examine and improve our current methods. The CSM community believes that infusing quality improvement into our culture is a critical step to better serve our students, employees, and community.  
The AQIP processes and their relationships to each other are best illustrated by a pyramid. The foundation of the pyramid is formed by the ongoing processes of AQIP action projects and systems portfolio.

Additional information about CSMís AQIP action projects can be found at the link on the left side of this page and the
Frequently Asked Questions. .pdf

The AQIP systems portfolio documents CSMís key processes, the results measuring the effectiveness of the processes, and descriptions of improvements some resulting from AQIP action projects. It also shows evidence that the institution continues to meet the Higher Learning Commission's five criteria for accreditation. It is submitted to the HLC every four years for review and feedback. Peer reviewers provide actionable, objective feedback to CSM in the form of a systems appraisal. This feedback is used to build our future improvement.  The Systems Portfolio is a valuable resource, both internally and for the university's external audiences.

View CSM's Institutional Overview.

View CSMís Systems Portfolio. .pdf

Following receipt and thorough review of the systems appraisal, a team of CSM leaders attends a strategy forum where they spent time shaping new strategies, aligning systems, and creating specific action projects.

At the top of the pyramid resting on all the other processes is reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Reaffirmation of accreditation is based on confirmation of evidence of continuous quality improvement and meeting the HLC accreditation criteria. The evidence is confirmed through a check-up visit by a team of peer reviewers. Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every seven years.

CSMís AQIP Timeline 

November 2004

CSM is officially accepted into AQIP.

2005- present

Three action projects are on-going. Information on all projects can be found at the AQIP Action Project Directory

November 2008

CSMís first systems portfolio submitted to Higher Learning Commission

March 2009

CSM receives feedback on systems portfolio

November 2010

Peer reviewers visit CSM for Quality Check-up

2011 - 2012

Higher Learning Commission reaffirm CSM's accreditation

November 2012       CSM's second systems portfolio submitted to Higher Learning Commission





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