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Illinois Valley Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Illinois Valley Community College was accepted into the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) through the HLC in November, 2002. As an AQIP institution, IVCC structures its accreditation around quality improvement processes and systems.

You can find more information on the accreditation process, AQIP, or The Higher Learning Commission by visiting their websites or by contacting the Higher Learning Commission.

Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
(800) 621-7440

Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)




The 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.

AQIP Cycles

AQIP is a quality improvement program and a quality assurance program for higher education organizations. It operates by involving participating institutions in three distinct cycles that occur simultaneously. Each cycle has a different duration and sequence of distinctive processes.

Action Cycle: A one-year cycle drives continuous improvement through three to four active AQIP Action Projects.
Strategy Cycle: A four-year cycle that requires the creation and updating of the AQIP Systems Portfolio and participating in the AQIP Strategy Forum process.
Accreditation Cycle: A seven-year cycle of quality assurance that reviews the Action Cycles and Strategy Cycles. The Accreditation Cycle includes an AQIP Quality Checkup Visit a year before Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

Systems Portfolio

2015 AQIP Systems Portfolio (PDF)

2011 AQIP Systems Portfolio (PDF)

2007 AQIP Systems Portfolio

The Systems Portfolio consists of an Institutional Overview and sections on each of the nine AQIP Categories. The Institutional Overview presents a picture that helps readers understand the institution's key strengths, ambiitons, distinctions, and advantages, and explains the challenges, competitors, contests, and conflicts. It provides a context for appreciating the institution's choices and decisions as readers learn more about the systems, processes, and performance. The sections on the nine AQIP Categories answer sprecific questions dealing with processes, results, and improvement. IVCC has submitted two Systems Portfolio's since joining AQIP. They can be viewed in their entirety by clicking the links above.

For further information on IVCC's Systems Portfolio or to find out how to become involved in the next Systems Portfolio contact:

Deborah Anderson
Vice-President for Academic Affairs

Action Projects

Action Projects strengthen an organization’s commitment to continuous improvement; educate and motivate faculty, staff, and administrators; and improve systems and processes that lead to success in achieving organizational goals.  Each organization concentrates its energies on three or four Action Projects that will most significantly advance its goals. At least one relates directly to Helping Students Learn.

Active Action Projects

Developing Transparency through Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination of Data
IVCC will develop tools and processes that allow access to institutional data in a timely manner.  In addition to the creation of a data dashboard that will allow stakeholders access to information as they need it, the college will review and revise its processes for data requests and data dissemination, and create a menu of standard reports.  This project will impact IT and IR insofar as the management of our data processes falls to them.  The project will also impact those who rely on data to make decisions, create reports, and develop improvements based on data.  Additionally, as data becomes more accessible and transparent, morale will improve and trust will be generated for those who make decisions.

Prior Learning Assessment
Prior Learning Assessment is a means to award credit for demonstrated college level learning.  Several means exist to do this including formal placement testing such as CLEP or DANTES, internal proficiency exams, and portfolio assessment based on specific learning outcomes.  Recently, IVCC has joined with a consortium of Illinois community colleges to work with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to provide portfolio opportunities to students seeking credit for experiential learning.  In preparing for this work, the college has determined its existing processes in this area are in need of review and strengthening.  This project aims to develop and implement comprehensive procedures for awarding credit for experiential learning.  Academic and Student Services administrators will be involved in developing policies for the awarding of experiential learning credit.  Faculty will be involved in developing and standardizing internal assessment mechanisms; Records and Admissions will also be involved in developing processes and procedures for awarding credit; finally, Counseling will be involved in advising students about the opportunities to receive credit for experiential learning

Implementation of Learning Outcomes Assessment: Assessment Committee
This action project builds upon the work of the Assessment of General Education Goals Action Project Team (concluded Summer 2010), as well as the progress made through the IVCC Annual Program Outcomes Review developed and implemented in 2008-2009. While these teams each sought to establish a process for assessment, the Assessment Committee Action Project Team seeks to build upon their work and develop a system of general education, program and course assessment that produces results that can be used to improve student learning.

Completed Action Projects

Systems Appraisal

The Systems Appraisal complements the intensive work embodied in the Action Projects by asking the organization to take stock of its overall systems for maintaining quality. It also provides stimulus for future Action Projects.  Following standardized evaluation procedures, the Systems Appraisal produces a consensus Appraisal Feedback Report for the institution. This report assesses the maturity of each of the nine systems to which the AQIP Categories refer, identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement within each. In addition, the Systems Appraisal provides an executive summary that may serve as a concise report of the organization’s progress in its quality journey.

For further information on IVCC's Systems Appraisal contact:

Deborah Anderson
Vice-President for Academic Affairs