AQIP defines the following six “Categories for Improving Academic Quality”:
1. “Helping Students Learn” focuses on the design, deployment, and effectiveness of teaching-learning processes (and on the processes required to support them) that underlie the institution's credit and non-credit programs and courses.
2. “Meeting Student and Other Stakeholder Needs” addresses determining, understanding, and meeting needs of current and prospective students' and other key stakeholders such as alumni and community partners .
3. “Valuing Employees” explores the institution's commitment to the hiring, development, and evaluation of faculty, staff, and administrators.
4. “Planning and Leading” focuses on how the institution achieves its mission and lives its vision through direction setting, goal development, strategic actions, threat mitigation, and capitalizing on opportunities.
5. “Knowledge Management and Resource Stewardship” addresses management of the fiscal, physical, technological, and information infrastructures designed to provide an environment in which learning can thrive.
6. “Quality Overview” gives the institution a chance to reflect on all its quality improvement initiatives, how they are integrated, and how well they contribute to the improvement of the institution..