Higher Learning Commission


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Systems Appraisal

The AQIP Systems Appraisal is a consistent, cost-effective process designed to provide an AQIP institution with professional feedback representing the consensus view of a team of educators and others experienced in continuous quality improvement and systems thinking. The process begins when an institution submits its Systems Portfolio for review, and ends twelve weeks later with the delivery of a Systems Appraisal Feedback Report, which shows the institution how the team understood its distinctive mission, context, and goals, and provides feedback on each of the nine AQIP Categories, identifying what the team sees as the institution’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. The report also includes a Strategic and Accreditation Issues Analysis, in which the team identifies what it views as the highest strategic priorities for the institution’s future, and an Appraisal Summary that captures the institution’s developmental maturity on each of the nine AQIP Categories.

Appraisals consist of two stages: independent review and consensus review. By including two distinct stages, the Commission ensures consistent Systems Appraisals, making sure judgments represent the shared consensus of all Systems Appraisers. AQIP designates a Team Chair for each Systems Appraisal who makes assignments based on each reviewer's expertise.

Appraisers may look at the institution’s website, but institutions are not expected to prepare additional materials (e.g., appendices) beyond the Systems Portfolio. If the Appraisers have serious questions that require clarification or verification, they communicate these to AQIP staff, who may contact the institution to obtain clarification.


Resources on other Commission Pathways

Information about the Standard Pathway

Information about the Open Pathway

Moving Between Pathways


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