Pathway of Continual Quality Improvement

Interim Provost Tarryl Clark talks about AQIP and upcoming CQR visit

Inver Hills Community College is committed to continual quality improvement in providing a superb educational experience to our students. That commitment is sustained and validated by the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), an accreditation pathway of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). AQIP focuses on quality assurance and institutional improvement with the added emphasis of helping institutions achieve ongoing advancements in their programs and mission. The AQIP pathway follows an eight-year cycle. Inver Hills was admitted to AQIP on Nov. 22, 2002.
Tarryl Clark, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills, understands the importance of ongoing quality improvement in the realm of the higher education. Clark noted that Inver Hills has reached the end of the AQIP eight-year cycle and is undergoing a Comprehensive Quality Review (CQR).
“The review is part of a broader comprehensive evaluation to ensure Inver Hills is meeting the Criteria for Accreditation as the college pursues institutional improvement and complies with specific requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education,” Clark said. “The CQR leads to an action regarding the reaffirmation of the college’s accreditation. An HLC Peer Review Team will be visiting our campus March 20–22, 2017.”
Clark served as dean of sciences, technology and math at St. Cloud Technical and Community College during an HLC CQR Peer Review Team visit to the SCTCC campus in spring 2016. She remembers the CQR visit as informative, inspiring and rewarding.
Clark and her HLC CQR Visit Planning Team at Inver Hills, which includes Carrie Schneider, associate vice president of strategic initiatives, Sue Dion, associate dean of academic affairs, and Wendy Marson, director of institutional research, are looking forward to the upcoming visit as a way to showcase the outstanding work faculty and staff have accomplished and continue to accomplish to serve the best interests of Inver Hills students.

Tarryl Clark Q & A

How has the college prepared for the CQR visit?
Preparing for the visit has involved the in-depth, intensive work of many people across our campus. Preparations have been augmented by a commitment to asking questions and listening to the answers. Some critical preparations include the efforts of our Institutional Effectiveness Committee as well as filing documents related to compliance with federal mandates, creating a Quality Highlights Document with updates on college activities from 2014 to 2016, and assembling a Portfolio Addendum with detailed information describing how Inver Hills meets the five Criteria for Accreditation.
We also consulted with other colleges that have welcomed a recent CQR visit, including St. Cloud Technical and Community College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. We see the visit as the perfect opportunity to spotlight the significant advances the college has made in a number of areas, including assessment, Program Review and Program Prioritization.
What are HLC Action Projects?
HLC considers Action Projects vital to an institution’s success in AQIP. Action Projects give Inver Hills the opportunity to organize and oversee quality initiatives in a structured manner. The process encourages broad-based engagement of faculty and staff in collaborative, goal-oriented undertakings. Action Projects emphasize the effectiveness of completed initiatives over an entrenched focus on strategic planning without timely and measurable results.

Action Projects at Inver Hills
  • Student Complaint Process
  • Integrated Planning
  • Program Prioritization Annual Integrated Process (Phase 2 of Program Prioritization)
  • Advisory Committees (launched January 2017)

What will happen during the CQR visit?
President Tim Wynes and I will meet with HLC Peer Review Team members early Sunday evening on March 19. The four-member team has a full schedule of sessions and meetings on our campus the following Monday, March 20, starting at 8 a.m. and ending that night at 7 o’clock. Tuesday also features a full schedule. All members of the campus community are invited to attend open forums and drop-in sessions on both days.
My experience during the CQR visit at St. Cloud Technical and Community College was exceptionally positive. An essential step in the reaffirmation of accreditation process, our upcoming CQR visit will provide insights and recommendations that will enhance our ability to ensure student success through continual quality improvement.

Updated DRAFT (as of March 13, 2017) of the HLC CQR Visit schedule

HLC CQR Visit Schedule
HLC CQR Visit Schedule

More about Tarryl Clark…

Tarryl ClarkTarryl Clark took on her role as interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills in December 2016. Tarryl has an enduring history of working collaboratively to create opportunities for people across Minnesota, including comprehensive efforts to provide access to high-quality, affordable higher education.
Tarryl represented District 15 in the Minnesota Senate from 2006 to 2011. She served in a leadership role at the Minnesota Community Action Partnership and was national co-chair of Jobs21!, a BlueGreen Alliance initiative.
Before arriving at Inver, Tarryl served as dean of sciences, technology and math at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. She also taught political science at SCTCC.
Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Tarryl is a licensed attorney with a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, an M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Drake University. She and her husband, Doug Clark, have two sons, Colin and Nathan.

For more information about the Reaffirmation of HLC Regional Accreditation at Inver Hills Community College, contact:

Carrie Schneider
Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

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