KCC is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission's Academic Quality Improvement Program. As an AQIP institution, KCC engages in periodic, systematic goal-setting, carries out continuous quality improvement activities, and reviews performance indicators of effectiveness to inform decision-making and strategic planning.
Reaffirmation of Accreditation occurs every year when a panel of HLC reviewers conducts a Quality Checkup Visit to assess KCC's cumulative record of activity, determine whether it meets HLC's five criteria for accreditation (see below), and to recommend whether the college should be permitted to continue as an AQIP institution. Reviewers focuses on KCC’s strategy cycle activities, as well as its Action Project cycle. KCC is accredited through 2016.
The four-year strategy cycle begins with a 100-page report (Systems Portfolio) for HLC that updates information about KCC’s programs and services, describes process improvements, and highlights performance indicator results. HLC then provides a detailed feedback report (Systems Appraisal) of KCC’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. The final step in the strategy cycle is attendance at a three-day HLC meeting (Strategy Forum) to identify KCC’s priority projects which guide the selection of AQIP Action Projects (focused on student learning outcomes or other priority areas).
Although Action Project timelines can exceed one year, HLC requires an annual review cycle. Each year, KCC submits three project updates. HLC’s review is a critique of KCC’s project updates, and can include process improvement suggestions or requirements. The diagram below illustrates each of the three HLC/AQIP accreditation cycles.