AQIP ACTION PROJECTS
Action Projects strengthen an institution's commitment to continuous improvement; educate and motivate faculty, staff, and administrators; and improve systems and processes that lead to success in achieving the goals of the institution. Each AQIP institution concentrates its energies on three or four Action Projects that will most significantly advance its goals. At least one of these projects must relate directly to AQIP Category 1: Helping Students Learn. All Action Projects are entered into the online Action Project Directory (APD), which contains all current and completed Action Projects undertaken by AQIP institutions.
Each Action Project entails coordination and cooperation among the University Planning Council (UPC), which is charged with assisting the president in achieving the university's strategic goals, the Action Project Coordinator, who oversees the project and provides progress reports to the UPC, and the Assistant to the Provost for University Academic Assessment (AQIP Liaison), who submits annual updates on Action Projects to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for review and feedback.
In addition to Action Projects, numerous other continuous improvement activities on campus are also part of our university's strategic plan, but are not formally registered with the APD. Reports for each of our Action Projects and our Strategic Plan are posted on the S: drive. The outcomes of all these improvement activities are publicly reported in the Systems Portfolio.
Current Action Projects
Developing, Piloting, and Assessing Selected Learning Communities (2011 – present)
AQIP Category: 1 – Helping Students Learn
Project Description: Development of selected learning communities to improve retention, achievement levels, and the overall university experience of target student populations: international students, first generation college students, generation 1.5 students, Scholars, and academically under-prepared students.The learning communities will foster collaboration and interaction among faculty, student life professionals, and academic resource staff in order to improve student learning by integrating curricular and co-curricular experiences.
Project Goals: Increased retention rate for at-risk student populations. Greater success in meeting the new general education goals among those participating in a learning community as compared to those not involved in a learning community. Higher scores on selected items of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) among students participating in a learning community as compared to other students.
Create an Office of Institutional Research (2012 – present)
AQIP Category: 7 – Measuring Effectiveness
Project Description: To create an Office of Institutional Research that will serve as an agent of change by helping to build a culture of evidence that will support all aspects of strategic planning and operational management at the institution.
Project Goals: Create an IR office. Staff the IR office at appropriate levels. Data collection and analysis at the institution is systematic (not episodic) and is being used to inform ongoing improvement activities across campus. The IR office supports the culture of evidence that exists at all levels of all organizational units in the university. The strategic plans of all operational units are informed by the data and reports generated by the IR office.
Improving Student Success and Retention (2012 – present)
AQIP Category: 3 – Understanding Students' and Other Stakeholders' Needs
Project Description: To implement systemic changes across the institution that will improve student progress, retention, success, and completion.
Project Goals: Key processes and activities affecting retention improved in a way that is sustainable. The IPEDS data show improved retention rates for first-time students, overall graduation rates, and time to completion of program. Multiple units/areas across the institution are proactively engaged in the ongoing effort of improving student success and retention.
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