"Launched in July 1999 with a generous grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Academic Quality Improvement Program attempts to infuse 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 of the North Central Associate of Colleges and Schools. With AQIP, an institution has the opportunity to demonstrate it meets the Higher Learning Commission's accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that naturally align with those ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving to improve their performance. By sharing both its advancement activities and the results of these actions with AQIP, and institution provides the Higher Learning Commission with the evidence it needs both to make a public quality assurance judgment and to support and to assist the institution in its efforts to excel at achieving the distinctive higher education mission it has set for itself.
"To achieve these goals, AQIP uses direct, cost-effective, processes that themselves are continuously improved. Full details about AQIP's Strategy Forums, Systems Appraisals, and various other services are available from the AQIP Web site. The Web site also provides links that individuals and institutions can use to learn more about involvement, about quality and systematic improvement, or about the other initiatives that AQIP is undertaking to support its network of participants." (Academic Quality Improvement Program; The Higher Learning Commission (2005). Principles and Categories for Improving Academic Quality.)
Upper Iowa University was accepted into the AQIP program on 4/27/05.