College-Wide Accreditation through AQIP

Normandale Community College has selected The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) as its pathway to reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.  AQIP was selected because it is centered on principles of continuous quality improvement.  By selecting AQIP, we seek to build a culture of quality while reaffirming our accredited status with the Commission.

Learn More About the Accreditation Process

Higher Learning Commission

Normandale Community College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  The HLC is one of six regional accreditors in the United States recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).  As a regional accrediting body, the Commission sets evaluation criteria to determine quality educational institutions and facilitates peer evaluations to determine if these criteria are met.  Accreditation through HLC meets Department of Education requirements for quality institutions of higher learning at both the state and federal level.

AQIP Pathway

Since 2007, Normandale has maintained its accreditation through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), one of three pathways to accreditation currently offered by the Higher Learning Commission.  Specific to the AQIP pathway is a focus on continuous quality improvement (CQI).  Participation in AQIP is sponsored by college leadership and managed by the AQIP steering committee which includes faculty and staff from across the college.

6 AQIP Categories

Normandale Community College utilizes the six AQIP Pathway Categories to analyze, understand and explore opportunities for improvement.  These are also the categories on which we are assessed as an institution of higher learning.  These categories include:

  1. Helping Students Learn: focuses on the design, deployment and effectiveness of teaching-learning processes
  2. Meeting Student and Other Key Stakeholder Needs: addresses processes that serve our external partners
  3. Valuing Employees: examines our commitment to current and future employees
  4. Planning and Leading: focuses on how we achieve our mission and live up to our vision
  5. Knowledge Management and Resource Stewardship: addresses management of the infrastructures designed to provide a thriving learning environment
  6. Quality Overview -Continuous Quality Improvement: gives us a chance to reflect on all our quality improvement initiatives

As an AQIP institution, the college participates in three key activities to assist in and assess our quality journey: a Systems Portfolio, a Quality Checkup Visit, and Action Projects.

AQIP Accreditation Cycle

Following this cycle gives us the opportunity to submit project updates to the Higher Learning Commission and document progress made.

In accordance with AQIP requirements, Normandale Community College has 3 active AQIP Action Projects occurring at all times. Students, staff, faculty, and community members can view all of our current and past action projects by looking up Normandale Community College in the AQIP Action Project Directory.

Quality Checkup Visit

As part of its accreditation, Normandale participates in a quality checkup every seven years.  During a quality checkup, HLC trained peer reviewers visit campus and meet with key Normandale stakeholders to talk about the processes, results, and improvements described in the systems portfolio.  The visit usually takes three days and is focused on providing assurance to the Commission that our portfolio represents what is happening on campus, that our processes and results are indicative of a high performing educational institution, and that we are systematically promoting a culture of continuous quality improvement.  

A feedback report is produced by the visitors. Click here to learn more about AQIP Pathway.