New AQIP Action Projects Submitted
Northern has submitted a new trio of “action projects” it will pursue this year as part of its continuing commitment to the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).
One is to revise the mission statements of every campus unit so they align with the university’s new mission statement approved earlier this month by the NMU Board of Trustees. It reads: “Northern Michigan University challenges its students and employees to think independently and critically, develop lifelong learning habits, acquire career skills, embrace diversity and become productive citizens in the regional and global community.”
Another project involves setting goals and benchmarks for the “Road Map to 2015,” the university’s strategic plan unveiled by NMU President Les Wong in March.
“The Road Map is a wonderful strategic document about the university’s priorities and future direction, but it doesn’t include specific goals or benchmarks,” said Cindy Prosen (Academic Affairs). “For example, what does it mean to be more internationalized? Setting benchmarks will allow us to make a lot of progress toward the direction set by the Road Map.”
The third action project is enhancing the student learning assessment process.
“For a long time we focused on the teaching part of the equation,” Prosen added. “This project focuses on the students and how we can determine that they are in fact learning what we’re teaching them.”
Prosen said AQIP requires that the university have at least three ongoing improvement projects. “It gives us places to turn our energies to and helps us to accomplish things that are important to us,” she said. “Previous feedback from AQIP identified 17 areas in need of attention. We took that to mean, ‘Here are potential action projects.’ So we obtained feedback from the campus community and moved forward with those identified as most pressing.”
The action projects submitted last year were to create a more sustainable university, enhance the campus climate for scholarship and improve/expand online learning. While they are now “retired,” in AQIP terms, Prosen said Northern will continue to address and fine-tune them.