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Press Release



May 31, 2011

Cowley College�s AQIP Steering Committee attends Strategy Forum


AQIP Steering committeeAttending the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Strategy Forum May 18-20 in Lisle, IL, members of Cowley College’s AQIP Steering Committee teamed with other colleges to give and receive feedback about the best ways to address challenges shared by its higher education peers.

Facilitators from The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools that were trained in quality principles, were on hand to guide individuals through various workshops at the Strategy Forum, which was titled “Creating the Climate for Continuous Learning”.
This was a distinct Strategy Forum intended specifically for institutions already experienced with AQIP. The Strategy Forum required an institution to have submitted a Systems Portfolio to AQIP, undergone a Systems Appraisal, and received and analyzed its Systems Appraisal Feedback Report.

“Before we left for the Strategy Forum we had to identify things that we wanted to improve at the college,” Michelle Schoon, Chairman of Cowley College’s AQIP Steering Committee said. “We worked in a group with two other colleges, looked at our current action projects, and discussed how to improve and implement those processes.”

Members of Cowley College’s AQIP Steering Committee were paired with individuals from Baker College in Flint, MI, and Lake Forest Graduate School for Management in Lake Forest, IL. There were a total of 10 schools at the Strategy Forum.

The primary goal of the AQIP Steering Committee is to facilitate a variety of AQIP processes to maintain the College's accreditation and to facilitate related institutional improvements. Steering Committee members are, Michelle Schoon (Chair), Heather Allen, Donna Avery (Board representative), Tony Crouch, Slade Griffiths, Kelly Johnson, Shannon Massey, Rhoda MacLaughlin, Dr. Patrick J. McAtee, Amy McWhirt, and Sue Saia.

This is the third Strategy Forum the college has attended since admission into AQIP in October, 2001.

“The Strategy Forum was very beneficial to our group as a whole and it helped the new members of our group to understand more about the AQIP program,” Schoon said. “This will motivate the team and help us focus on where we want to go as an institution.”

Those pictured are, from left, Dr. Steve Spangehl (NCA Vice President for Accreditation Relations), Renae Fry (facilitator, Dean of Business Career Programs at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota), Kim Schopmeyer (facilitator, Associate Dean of the Social Science Division at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan), Amy McWhirt (Cowley College’s Director of Academic Preparation), Dr. Patrick J. McAtee (Cowley College President), Michelle Schoon (Cowley College Natural Science Department/Steering Committee Chair), Slade Griffiths (Vice President of Academic Affairs), Kelly Johnson (Director of Institutional Research), Ron Godsey (Board of Trustees member), Sue Saia (Vice President of Student Affairs), Tony Crouch (Executive Vice President of Business Services), and Eric Martin (NCA Vice President for Accreditation Relations).