The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a regional agency that accredits degree granting institutions of higher education based in the 19-state North Central region of the United States, including Iowa. Institutions are evaluated against the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status. HLC accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution (1) meets threshold standards and (2) is engaged in continuous improvement.
The Quality Initiative Project (QIP) is part the new model of the university reaccreditation process and takes place between years 5 and 9 of the reaccreditation cycle. A QIP can take a variety of shapes, purposefully aligns with present concerns and aspirations, and must have the potential for significant impact on the institution and its academic quality. This is a chance for UNI faculty, staff and students to be creative and to think big about the future of the university.
A QIP may a) be designed to begin and be completed during years 5 to 9 of the cycle, b) continue an initiative already in progress, or c) achieve a key milestone in a longer initiative. The QIP is intended to allow institutions to take risks and aim high. Examples of QIPs include:
- Expanding the first year experience
- Student success
- Faculty engagement/development
- Assessment of student learning
- Organizational planning
- Liberal Arts Core evaluation and potential revision
- Developing a quality culture
- Student engagement
- Transfer student initiative
Faculty, staff and students are all part of creating the UNI story.