Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Review

QIP Proposal Selection Process

Thank you for the tremendous participation and feedback during our call for Quality Initiative Project (QIP) proposals in fall 2015, which is part of our accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. In total, we had 36 proposals from faculty, staff, and students submitted for review.  The proposals ranged in scope and included a broad range of potential initiatives for UNI.  The topics submitted include: campus mental health, student outcomes assessment, diversity, liberal arts core, community engagement and partnerships, student success and progress, research and scholarship, academic advisement, international education, effective teaching and learning, and post-graduation outcomes.

Once the proposals were reviewed and scored, three of the top rated proposals were chosen for further development:

  • Broad goals for a revision of the Liberal Arts Core (LAC): Four of the 36 proposals suggested major revisions to the LAC and at least another five touched on the LAC in some way. One possible QIP might be developing goals for such a revision and putting in place the process to allow it to happen.

  • A comprehensive diversity initiative involving significant cooperation and coordination between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, loosely modeled after the Foundations of Excellence effort.

  • Diverse/Engaged Campus—combining multiple proposals, this would envision a campus in which our commitments to diversity and community engagement infuse our curriculum and co-curricular activities.

In mid-March 2016, the QIP Subcommittee completed its work developing potential QIP proposals, with incredible participation from faculty, staff and students on campus.

A brief summary of the three proposals (with links to the actual proposals) is found below.

  •  Proposal 1: Broad Goals for a Revision of the Liberal Arts Core (LAC)
    • The intention of this proposal is to create a process that will lead to a complete restructuring of UNI’s general education curriculum.  The first year is highlighted by the development of QIP LAC proposal.  Year two envisions working groups with broad campus outreach to collect and analyze data related to various LAC components.  The final year will include the full development of the process to implement the new LAC model.
  •  Proposal 2: A Cultural Shift at UNI: Toward a Diverse and Inclusive Community
    • The purpose of this proposal is to create a deep cultural change to transform the University of Northern Iowa into a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. This will be achieved by: 1) improving support to students from underrepresented groups; 2)  providing systematic opportunities for on-campus and off-campus interaction among members of diverse communities; 3)  enhancing the treatment of diversity issues within our curriculum; and, 4) recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff.
  •  Proposal 3: Diverse and Civically Engaged Campus
    • This proposal seeks to create the conditions whereby UNI can develop a diverse campus culture of civic engagement.  The end result of this initiative should be structures of institutional support, reward, and accountability that enable and encourage faculty and staff to provide an education that builds professional readiness, offers a chance for personal development, and fosters students’ civic orientation.

These proposals were submitted to the Provost for consideration.  The Provost solicited feedback from various sources on campus (e.g. Dean’s Council, Faculty Senate, Student Affairs leadership) prior to the final selection of the proposal.