Ã‚“One advantage of the AQIP model is that it allows us to get input from a broader cross section of the campus. Ã‚ Its focus is not on a small committee documenting what weÃ‚’ve done the past 10 years but rather on a broad-based consensus on what we plan to do in the future,Ã‚” said Leonard Heldreth, associate provost for academic affairs and NMUÃ‚’s AQIP coordinator.
Ã‚“The other advantage is that you work on projects in a three-year cycle, not 10 years, which makes more sense for todayÃ‚’s constantly changing society,Ã‚” he added.Ã‚ Ã‚“ItÃ‚’s hard to plan what skills graduates will need 10 years from now Ã‚– look at all the workplace changes of the past 10 years.Ã‚”
Northern has already completed two phases of the AQIP accreditation process, having done a campus-wide online survey of faculty and staff in September which was followed by a Ã‚“campus conversation dayÃ‚” attended by more than 500 NMU faculty and staff members.Ã‚ A third required element, attendance at a Strategy Session with five other post-secondary institutions, will occur near Chicago in late February.Ã‚ Then, an online university systems portfolio will be created and posted on the Web over the next three years.
Of the 79 Ã‚“provocative proposalsÃ‚” created at the campus conversation, five to eight will be selected by NMU and presented to AQIP and other schools for criticism and response in February. From these, three will be selected as NMUÃ‚’s Ã‚“quality improvement projectsÃ‚” to be worked on over the next three years.