Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, AQIP worked closely with the Alliance for Performance Excellence, the association of state quality award programs modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige Award, to offer AQIP institutions a means for better aligning their work for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) with their other quality efforts.
As a result of that collaboration, a pilot program permitting experienced AQIP institutions to use a state or national Baldrige-type award application and review to replace portions of a traditional AQIP Systems Portfolio Appraisal was launched. College of DuPage was one on seven Midwestern community colleges authorized to participate in the pilot.
As a part of the pilot, in May 2012, COD submitted a Baldrige-based state quality award application to Illinois Performance Excellence (ILPEx). The application allowed COD to provide detailed information on quality management of products, programs, and services and on results of continuous improvement processes. Within the body of the application COD described organization an integrated approach to seven key management areas:
- Strategic planning
- Customer (student) focus
- Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management
- Workforce focus
- Operations focus
Following an extensive four-day site visit, COD received a comprehensive feedback report. The feedback report is a detailed, individualized, written assessment of COD's strengths and opportunities for improvement based on the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. The report was compiled by a team of experts with sector/industry knowledge and training in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
Components of the report include:
- Key themes: These are the "executive summary," a synthesis of the most significant, cross-cutting strengths and opportunities for improvement in your organization's processes and results,
- Comments: These are detailed, actionable strengths and opportunities for improvement related to each of the 17 Baldrige
- Criteria Items, and Item scoring range: A percentage scoring range for each Item