FAYETTE, Iowa (September 13, 2012) – Upper Iowa University has been notified by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association that accreditation of the University has been reaffirmed through 2019.
UIU maintains HLC accreditation through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), which infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into colleges and universities. AQIP recently conducted a Quality Checkup Visit at the University, issuing a positive report. The continuing accreditation of UIU was announced by the HLC as a follow-up to that report and the Quality Highlights document submitted by UIU .
"We are very gratified to have received the official notification of our continued accreditation by the HLC," said UIU President Alan G. Walker. "Our faculty and staff are committed to the AQIP process as a way to ensure that our academic programs and student services are constantly improving and enriching what we offer as a University. This continued accreditation affirms that UIU is on the right path as an ascending institution of higher education."
Chief Academic Officer David Chown added that AQIP is embedded in a common quality improvement culture at the University. "The AQIP process is not something that we visit every six years; rather, it is a process that we live and breathe every day," Chown said. "The AQIP Steering Committee is engaged in several action projects across the University at any given time, with each project focused on an aspect of strengthening the University, enhancing its academic offerings, and ensuring a student-centered environment."
AQIP action projects at UIU affect every layer of the University. Some of the projects that have been completed include improving human resources services for employees and creating a web-based site to foster intra-communications across the University. Other projects have focused on strengthening student services, such as creating a career development office, enhancing academic support systems for students, and measuring the effectiveness of tutoring services. Another AQIP project focused on the desired outcomes of the General Education component of all UIU degree plans, developing a core of learning objectives for all students. Other AQIP projects have been as simple as creating a sash for all graduates to wear at commencement or as complex as developing the tool to follow students across their educational career at Upper Iowa and measure their retention and persistence.
Currently, the University AQIP actions projects include developing a mechanism for students to create e-portfolios of their work, identifying a list of other universities that could serve as aspirant schools for UIU, and reviewing and assessing all majors and academic programs to ensure they align with the University's strategic plan and that there is consistency and quality across-the-board to enable UIU students to move seamlessly among the University's learning environments.
"AQIP is a University-wide collaborative process, guided by a systems portfolio that helps us examine our plans, our process, our benchmarks, and our outcomes. We believe AQIP helps to keep us on track with continually improving our educational environment for students, faculty and staff," Walker said.
UIU will be due for another accreditation check-up in 2018-19. These visits are conducted by trained, experienced AQIP reviewers to determine whether the institution continues to meet the HLC Criteria for Accreditation, and whether the University is using quality management principles and continuous improvement as required for participation in AQIP.
Information about Upper Iowa's AQIP initiatives is available on the website (www.uiu.edu/aboutuiu/aqip.html).
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to about 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study.
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