HLC Quality Initiative

The Open Pathway requires the institution to undertake a major Quality Initiative (QI) designed to suit its present concerns or aspirations. The Quality Initiative usually takes place between years 5 and 9 of the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle, but because this is the first cycle, our Quality Initiative will take place between years 7 and 9 of this cycle (2013-2016). A Quality Initiative may be designed to begin and be completed during this time or it 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.

CMU submitted its Quality Initiative Proposal in May 2013 with a focus on Academic Challenge.  This topic builds upon many earlier reports such as Raising Academic Performance (2009) and Foundations of Excellence (2007). The campus conversations around the “Academically Adrift” findings of Drs. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa and the critical thinking insights of Dr. Stanley Fish helped to form the initiative.  Preliminary input to the proposal came from the Teaching and Learning Collective, the Academic Senate Executive Board, and leaders of the Student Government Association.  Dr. Debra Poole, psychology, is the project leader.  She and the leadership team will lead the campus community in a dialog beginning this fall that will shape the project direction. We anticipate that the initiative may address issues such as academic rigor, standards across colleges, the role of liberal studies and academic practices that improve retention.  Our goal is to prepare students for success after graduation.