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Newsletter- November 2008

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About MCC - Accreditation/AQIP -  - Newsletter- November 2008

Action Project Update

The heart of the AQIP process is the learning and continuous improvement that takes place as we identify, execute, and ultimately retire our Actions Projects.  Here is an update.

Retired Projects
We've retired three action projects this year.  Part of that process is a review by AQIP.

  • Rural Needs
  • Communication
  • Assessment

New Action Projects Named
MCC is involved in several new, exciting AQIP projects! If there is one of particular interest to you, let us know, and we’ll find a way for you to get involved. Everyone’s participation is welcome.

Action Project #1: “Integration of AQIP and Strategic Planning through the use of an Action Project Framing Document”  After attending the last AQIP Strategy Forum in May, several team members had a real ‘Aha!’ moment. In looking at how to incorporate AQIP into our MCC infrastructure, the team began to see the fit between AQIP and Strategic Planning and realized that the two could be integrated into one seamless process. Team members concluded that a standard format or “framing document” could help us plan and monitor action projects and would give us concise information about each project. As defined in the actual framing document for this project, the expected results of the project are: “improved clarity of project proposals and better integration of Strategic Planning and AQIP.” By adopting this document, we should eliminate redundancy. The project leader is Susan Clough, Vice President for Administration and Finance.

Action Project #2: “Updating the Systems Portfolio to Align with AQIP 2008 Category Revisions” As project leader Greg Thomas stated in the framing document for this particular project, “In 2008, AQIP revised the structure of the Systems Portfolio by adding, modifying, and eliminating specific category questions.” So, the purpose of the project is to revise the AQIP Systems Portfolio to align with the newly-revised Categories and Items. Since our next Systems Portfolio update is due in 2010-2011, we are being proactive in undertaking the conversion process now and then hope to follow-up with an additional project: revising the Systems Portfolio on an annual basis.

Action Project #3: “Website Enhancement” We are accustomed to immediate access to information via the Internet. Since so much of what we are about must be available on our website, it is essential that we have an accurate, up-to-date, improved website presence. The purpose of the project is to increase the visibility of the institution as well as provide greater access to information about the college. Steps involved in the project are to: hire a full-time webmaster; assess current website and functionality; create an enhancement plan; and implement the plan. The project director is Mary Zorn, Director of Marketing and Communications.

Action Project #4: “Creation of a Formal Program Development Process” New program development is of primary importance for our institution. Based on that priority, the need for a more formal process became evident as we looked closely at how new programs are actually developed—rather informally. The purpose of the project is to create a process for identifying the feasibility of developing a new program, which in turn will help us in making good decisions for viable program offerings. The project leader is Betty McKie, Vice President of Instruction.

A…QuIP of the Month:

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." ~Author Unknown

Further Thoughts

"Really listening and suspending one's own judgment is necessary in order to understand other people on their own terms... This is a process that requires trust and builds trust." ~Mary Field Belenky

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." ~Sir Winston Churchill

"Nothing is complete and thus nothing is exempt from criticism." ~James Luther Adams

The AQIP Quality Checkup Visit: A Message from President Hart

November 5th is fast approaching. On that day and the two days that follow, we will have visitors on campus that will find a positive and creative environment in place for those most important people on our campus – our students. These visitors will assess the accuracy of our positions and statements in the AQIP reports that have been submitted. While the AQIP committees have done an extraordinary job in preparing our college for this visit, the responsibility for maintaining our accreditation – the life blood of our credibility – is the responsibility of each of us. Let me emphasize that there is no employee, whether new or seasoned veteran, whether part-time or full-time, whether faculty, staff, or administration, whether at the Fort Morgan campus or at any of our centers, who is not obligated to stand ready to respond to the questions of the visiting team and meet their requests. Participation (or a willingness to participate if the opportunity for direct interaction doesn’t present itself) in the AQIP visit is a meritorious service that each of us can render in this critical moment in the history of MCC as we approach our 40th anniversary. Please accept my appreciation in advance for the contribution each of you will make to this visit. - Dr. Kerry Hart

Fifteen Reasons Why Institutions Decide Not to Join AQIP

  • Some want nothing to change; they like themselves just the way they are now. Forever.

  • Some never agree among themselves on anything, so why should the discussion about joining AQIP be different.

  • Some decide AQIP sounds like more work, and they are looking to do less.

  • Some find the notion of empowering faculty and staff to take control of their jobs and the processes they operate violates their paradigm of top-down, no-questions-asked decision-making. Such institutions have cultures that are not open to embracing AQIP's "Principles of High-Performing Organizations."

  • Some prefer to build quality by concentrating their energies exclusively on acquiring more and better inputs.

  • Some decide they are already as good as they care to be, and prefer not to take on the pressure of continuous improvement.

  • Some believe they have nothing to learn from institutions unlike themselves, and don't want to interact with AQIP's broader group of "peers."

  • Some recently had a comprehensive site visit, and have concluded they have nearly a decade when they don't have to focus on the quality of their programs and services.

  • Some don't feel pressured by competition, and have decided that if people want educational services from their institution, they have to accept what they offer.

  • Some have not yet heard the call of accountability, and continue to act as if it's nobody's business (neither outsiders nor employees) how effectively their institution performing.

  • Some have some faculty who believe that continuous quality improvement is a plot by the corporate complex to turn higher education into a "another" business enterprise.

  • Some haven't yet achieved a "critical mass" of champions for continuous improvement. There may be a few enthusiastic administrators or faculty, but not enough yet to justify a "movement."

  • Some institutions are overwhelmed by all the things they are already doing, and can't see how they could take on a new initiative.

  • Some institutions have fixed on definitions of authority, autonomy, governance, leadership, and stakeholders, and do not want to reexamine any of these.

  • Some institutions see accreditation as a minimalist "compliance" activity, and want to make their investment in it as small as possible. They prefer less rather than more contact with accreditors.

    (from AQIP News to Use, August 2007)

Learner or Judger:

How do you look at the world?  How do you perceive a Quality Checkup Visit?  What's your frame of reference?  Click here to review the presentation from Professional Development day in October.

AQIP Links

Check out the Official AQIP web page here.
The AQIP Categories(see list on left side)
Principles of High Performance Organizations
AQIP's description of the Quality Checkup Visit