Higher Learning Commission


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AQIP Categories

The nine AQIP Categories provide a framework that institutions can use to examine their key processes to make sure that they are investing energy and resources in ways that will help them achieve their goals. Each category deals with a related group of key processes and allows an institution to analyze, understand, and explore opportunities for improvement. The categories also enable AQIP institutions to learn from one another. The use of the categories against the backdrop of AQIP’s Guiding Principles is fundamental to the development of the institution’s Systems Portfolio.

AQIP Category One: Helping Students Learn

HELPING STUDENTS LEARN focuses on the design, deployment, and effectiveness of teaching-learning processes that underlie the institution’s credit and non-credit programs and courses and on the processes required to support them.

AQIP Category Two: Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives

ACCOMPLISHING OTHER DISTINCTIVE OBJECTIVES addresses the key processes (separate from instructional programs and internal support services) through which the institution serves its external stakeholders in support of its mission.

AQIP Category Three: Understanding Students’ and Other Stakeholders’ Needs

UNDERSTANDING STUDENTS’ AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS’ NEEDS examines how the institution works actively to understand student and other stakeholder needs.

AQIP Category Four: Valuing People

VALUING PEOPLE explores the institution’s commitment to the development of your faculty, staff, and administrators.

AQIP Category Five: Leading and Communicating

LEADING AND COMMUNICATING addresses how leadership and communication processes, structures, and networks guide the institution in setting directions, making decisions, seeking future opportunities, and communicating decisions and actions to internal and external stakeholders.

AQIP Category Six: Supporting Institutional Operations

SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONAL OPERATIONS addresses the organizational support processes that help to provide an environment in which learning can thrive.

AQIP Category Seven: Measuring Effectiveness

MEASURING EFFECTIVENESS examines how the institution collects, analyzes, distributes, and uses data, information, and knowledge to manage itself and to drive performance improvement.

AQIP Category Eight: Planning Continuous Improvement

PLANNING CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT examines the institution’s planning processes and how its strategies and action plans help it achieve its mission and vision.

AQIP Category Nine: Building Collaborative Relationships

BUILDING COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS examines the institution’s relationships, current and potential, to ascertain how they contribute to the organization’s ability to accomplish its mission.


Related Resources to the AQIP Pathway

Updates to AQIP

With the transition to Pathways, all AQIP processes will be reviewed and updated. New information will be available shortly.

Resources on other Commission Pathways

Information about the Standard Pathway

Information about the Open Pathway

Moving Between Pathways