The AQIP process consists of two components - Action Projects and the Systems Portfolio. "Action Projects" are targeted projects aimed at developing and improving particular aspects of the college. At any one time, three or more Action Projects are in operation at the college. These projects both inform and are informed by the second part of the process, the Systems Portfolio. The “Systems Portfolio” is a continuously updated inventory of activities and processes at the college. The Systems Portfolio is concise (limited to 125 pages), comprehensive in coverage, and structured by two sets of overlapping dimensions (essentially categories of questions which must be answered). Two categories of questions exist because the Portfolio fulfills two vital requirements for the college:
1) The Systems Portfolio is a record of the how the college is continuously seeking to improve - demonstrated through addressing questions posed in the 6 Core Categories of AQIP.
2) The Systems Portfolio is the documentation (evidence base) for reaccreditation – demonstrated through addressing the Commission's 5 Criteria for Accreditation.
Thus the AQIP process and the System Portfolio in particular is now LLCC’s route to reaffirmation of our accreditation.
The Systems Portfolio is a living document and, in this sense, will never be “finished”. The portfolio will be constantly updated as challenges are identified and improvements are made at the college. Some of these improvements will be the result of Action Projects; others will result from the normal operation of the college. Having said that the portfolio is never finished, there are times when a completed version (addressing all 6 AQIP Core Categories and the Commission's 5 Criteria) will be subject to external review by teams with the Higher Learning Commission. While the two roles of the Systems Portfolio overlap in many areas and are therefore intimately related, they also differ in some respects and this dual focus must always inform the process of creating and updating the Systems Portfolio. Both continuously improving and demonstrating and documenting these efforts and achievements are vital to the college.