Higher Learning Commission

Quality Initiative Proposal Samples

Institutions on the Open Pathway are required to undertake a major Quality Initiative designed to suit their present concerns or aspirations. The Quality Initiative takes place between Years 5 and 9 of the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle. A Quality Initiative may be designed to begin and be completed during this time, or an institution may continue an initiative already in progress or achieve a key milestone in the work of a longer initiative. The Quality Initiative is intended to allow institutions to take risks, aim high, and if so be it, learn from only partial success or even failure.

The Higher Learning Commission has selected the following Quality Initiative Proposals as samples for institutions that are currently planning or working on their own proposals. The samples illustrate the wide range of projects that can be used as Quality Initiatives, and demonstrate the information and level of detail that HLC's peer reviewers need when evaluating submitted proposals. HLC recommends them for study, but they do not represent official HLC directions, rules, or practices.

2016 Quality Initiative Proposals

A Curriculum Innovation for Interprofessional Education
Rush University

CIA Pathway to Collegiality
Cleveland Institute of Art

Collaboration With Chicago Area Community Colleges
Elmhurst College

Facilitating Continuous Improvement: The Implementation of UALR’s Decision Support System
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Grand Challenge Learning: A New Approach to General Education
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Guided Pathways and Strategic Scheduling Project
South Mountain Community College

Improving Students' Persistence and Completion at Coe College
Coe College

Increasing Student Success by Building Institutional Capacity for Continuous Improvement
Oakton Community College

The UA Learning Initiative
University of Arizona

2015 Quality Initiative Proposals

A Comprehensive Review and Revision of Lake Forest College’s General Education and Graduation Requirements
Lake Forest College (Illinois)

African-American Male Student Persistence Initiative: Leadership Development
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Creating a United Vision of Performance Learning at Millikin University
Millikin University (Illinois)

Doctoral Dissertation Process: Streamlining for Quality, Consistency and Clarity
Michigan School of Professional Psychology

Enhancing Academic Advising at The Ohio State University
Ohio State University

Establishing a First Year Experience Program
Prairie State College (Illinois)

Promoting Undergraduate Student College Success by Enhancing the First Year Experience
University of Illinois at Chicago

Sophomore Year Experience: Developing Strategies for Student Success in the Second Year of College at St. Ambrose University
St. Ambrose University (Iowa)

Strategic Balance Through Systemic Planning and Program Prioritization
University of Minnesota Duluth

Strategic Plan Development and Implementation to Enhance Graduate Culture by Building Supporting Infrastructure at West Liberty University
West Liberty University (West Virginia)

Strategic Plan for Comprehensive Internationalization
University of Tulsa (Oklahoma)

The First Year in High Gear
University of New Mexico

2014 Quality Initiative Proposals

Academic Advising: Elevating Our Practice
Augustana College (Illinois)

Academic Quality: Improvement through Assessment
Mayville State University (North Dakota)

Advancing Student Success through the Development and Implementation of Quality Metrics in the University’s Advising Systems
Eastern Michigan University

BOLD Faculty Engagement
Marygrove College (Michigan)

Building a Data-driven Case Management Model for Student Success
Otero Junior College (Colorado)

Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning
Washburn University (Kansas)

Continuous Academic Program Improvement through Comprehensive and Systematic Analysis of Graduates’ Initial Success
Iowa State University

Eastern New Mexico University Faculty Investment Plan: Building the Next Generation of First-Class Faculty
Eastern New Mexico University

First Year Experience
Rend Lake College (Illinois)

Foundations of Excellence First Year Focus Implementation
Marietta College (Ohio)

Foundations of Learning Project
Southwestern Community College (Iowa)

Neighborhoods: Contextualizing Student Success
Michigan State University

Online Instruction Initiative
Lake Area Technical Institute (South Dakota)

Professional Development Odyssey
Graceland University (Iowa)

Program Development Model (PDM)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Strategic Diversity for Drake University: A Three-Pronged Plan
Drake University (Iowa)

end faq


Special Focus on Civic Engagement Through Quality Initiatives

In support of its Guiding Values that states “every educational institution serves a public purpose,” HLC will feature Quality Initiatives that promote civic learning on campuses. Institutions that select projects for their Quality Initiative that promote civic learning and civic engagement will be recognized for their commitment by HLC publishing their Quality Initiative Proposal on this website.  

These Initiatives might take the form of reporting on successful campus action projects, sharing new civic engagement efforts and methods, or describing new partnerships designed to promote civic awareness, community change or service learning.

Institutions looking for resources related to civic engagement activities may want to reach out to the following organizations whose work include publications and conferences that are designed to build awareness, share best practices, and promote broad understanding: 

  • AAC&U, the Association of American Colleges & Universities  
  • APSA, the American Political Science Association 
  • Campus Compact, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting civic learning and social responsibility across America’s colleges and universities   

Questions? Contact Jeff Rosen, Vice President of Accreditation Relations and Director of the Open Pathway, at jrosen@hlcommission.org

Copyright © 2019 - Higher Learning Commission

NOTE: The papers included in this collection offer the viewpoints of their authors. HLC highly recommends them for study and for the advice they contain, but none represent official HLC directions, rules or policies.

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