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Abstract:In 2006 the Spellings Commission report, the cumulative work of high-level college and industry leaders, identified significant quality issues facing higher education in the U.S. today. Among the recommendations the commission felt were needed to remedy the situation was a call for colleges and universities to embrace a culture of continuous innovation and improvement. Additionally, the commission recommended that accreditation bodies play a pivotal role in redesigning higher education. Even before the Spellings report, the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Accreditation offered its members an accreditation alternative called the Academic Quality Improvement Process (AQIP) that includes elements from Baldrige criteria, total quality management, and other quality improvement principles. The AQIP approach to reaccreditation addresses many of the recommendations made by the Spellings report and can be a systematic approach to help ensure innovation and continuous improvement in higher …

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