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Academic Quality Improvement Program

Blending continuous quality improvement with college and university accreditation.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, a technical college in the Wisconsin Technical College System, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. WITC is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

As part of WITC's innovative journey, AQIP infuses 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.

With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that align with those ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving to improve their performance.

AQIP - Principles & Categories

AQIP's Principles of High Performance Organizations underlie all of AQIP's elements, activities, and procedures. They represent the values that participating colleges, universities, and AQIP itself strive to embody.

  • A mission and vision that focus on serving students' and other stakeholders' needs
  • Broad-based faculty, staff, and administrative involvement
  • Leaders and leadership systems that support a quality culture
  • A learning-centered environment
  • Respect for people and willingness to invest in them
  • Collaboration and shared institutional focus
  • Agility, flexibility, and responsiveness to changing needs and conditions
  • Planning for innovation and improvement
  • Fact-based information-gathering and thinking to support analysis and decision-making
  • Integrity and responsible institutional citizenship

The nine AQIP Categories provide a framework that colleges and universities can use to examine their key processes to make sure they are investing energy and resources in ways that will help achieve their goals.

Each AQIP Category deals with a related group of key processes and allows an institution to analyze, understand, and explore opportunities for improving these processes and the interrelationships among them. Through the analysis of processes, the Categories promote critical reflection that allow colleges and universities to share and learn from other institutions’ experience and insight.


AQIP Category One: Helping Students Learn HELPING STUDENTS LEARN focuses on the design, deployment, and effectiveness of teaching-learning processes that underlie your organization’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 your instructional programs and internal support services) through which you serve your external stakeholders — the processes that contribute to achieving your major objectives, fulfilling your mission, and distinguishing yours from other educational organizations.

AQIP Category Three: Understanding Students’ and Other Stakeholders’ Needs UNDERSTANDING STUDENTS’ AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS’ NEEDS examines how your organization works actively to understand student and other stakeholder needs.

AQIP Category Four: Valuing People VALUING PEOPLE explores your organization’s commitment to the development of your faculty, staff, and administrators.

AQIP Category Five: Leading and Communicating LEADING AND COMMUNICATING addresses how your leadership and communication processes, structures, and networks guide your organization in setting directions, making decisions, seeking future opportunities, and communicating decisions and actions to your 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 your organization 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 your organization’s planning processes and how your strategies and action plans help you achieve your mission and vision.

AQIP Category Nine: Building Collaborative Relationships BUILDING COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS examines your organization’s relationships – current and potential – to analyze how they contribute to the organization’s accomplishing its mission.

For more detail please see:

For additional information, Email Ellen Riely Hauser, Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness.


Academic Quality Improvement Program

Statement of Affiliation Status

WITC Quality Improvement Steering Committee