A Participating Organization is one that elects to maintain its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission by regularly providing the AQIP with evidence of the vitality of its academic quality improvement initiative and the results that initiative has achieved - instead of going through the standard Higher Learning Commission re-accreditation process involving self-study and a comprehensive on-site evaluation visit. Participation is subject to approval by AQIP and the Commission. AQIP's goal is to create a culture and a set of shared understandings with its participating organizations that will:
- enhance communication, ongoing learning, and public understanding of systematic academic quality improvement;
- encourage systems-thinking and provide resources that will stimulate continuous improvement and accountability;
- promote within and among organizations, a culture of involvement and shared responsibility for academic quality, and
- develop the critical judgment, skills, and capabilities required for systematic quality improvement.
These understandings and expectations relate formal points of agreement between AQIP and the organization that establish the conditions for this accreditation process.
To support AQIP operations and activities, the organization will:
- identify an official organizational liaison with AQIP and the Commission, notifying AQIP promptly of temporary or permanent changes affecting this liaison role;
- participate in all scheduled AQIP activities (e.g., Strategy Forum, Systems Appraisal, Annual Updates), which are essential to the operation of this accreditation process and required by AQIP for its accrediting determinations;
- inform AQIP promptly of major organizational conditions, events, or changes that could negatively affect the organization's viability, operations, or quality improvement efforts;
- pay fees charged for participation in AQIP Workshops, Appraisals, and other activities promptly; and
- continue to meet the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation (which are embedded in the AQIP Criteria, and attested to through AQIP's processes), responding promptly to any inquiries the Commission receives regarding possible violations of these fundamental Commission membership expectations, and observing other Commission policies and obligations of membership (e.g., concerning organizational change and dynamics, annual report, complaints, public information, etc.).