AQIP Overview

In 2003, RRCC voted to join the Academic Quality Improvement Program, a new reaccreditation and quality improvement process sponsored by the Higher Learning Commission. In taking this vote, RRCC committed itself to continuous and recurring quality improvement based on valid performance measures, reliable assessment data, and employment of those data in improving our college.

Launched by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 1999, the program offers an alternative reaccreditation pathway emphasizing continuous quality improvement. The HLC's Handbook for Accreditation summarizes the program as follows: "The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities by providing an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. For more information, please visit the AQIP website. For frequently asked questions about AQIP accreditation at RRCC, see the Accreditation FAQs page.

How does AQIP work?

AQIP works on an eight-year cycle which has the following activities, documents, and reviews.

  • An annual institutional report along with Substantive Change processes for new sites and programs.
  • An annual action project that Red Rocks believes will have the most impact on quality improvement. 
  • Strategy Forums that help the college focus on strategic quality improvement priorities.  
  • System Portfolios that document how Red Rocks meets the HLC Criteria for accreditation. 
  • Finally, Red Rocks undergoes a comprehensive evaluation visit.  Our next visit is scheduled in November 2018. We will be evaluated in several areas.  These include:
    • How we go about accomplishing our Mission, Values, and Vision
    • How we make sure we act with integrity
    • Teaching and Learning
    • Planning and management, and
    • The way we assess how well we are doing in all these areas
  • At the end of the eight years, the cycle begins again so that continuous quality improvement continues.

Building a Culture of Quality at Red Rocks Community College

To build a quality culture, we need all of us to function as one big team to improve student success while making the college a great place to work. We do this through the Executive Team, the Constituency groups, the college divisions, and the Collaboration Council, which has representation from all of the above.  Based on college-wide planning and assessment results, these groups develop annual budget priorities.  These priorities may be ongoing strategic directions or new initiatives. In either case, quality improvement for accreditation has the greatest importance.  Coming from events and teams across the college, the following documents show what we need to do to improve quality.

Handouts from the August 2017 All-College Meeting

Areas for Improvement from the 2016 Portfolio Appraisal and the 2017 RRCC Criteria Review Teams

Summary of Themes by AQIP Category from the October 2015 All College Development day