Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement

Quality assurance is a process for monitoring and evaluating various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met. In higher education, while quality assurance comprises several areas, it primarily focuses on the assessment of student learning outcomes at the institutional, program, and course levels.

Central Arizona College operates within a highly competitive environment, and our students, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and Pinal County taxpayers have expectations about the College’s performance.  Thus, it is important that the college’s programs, services, and student learning outcomes improve over time, and do so in a cost-effective way.

At CAC, several quality assurance processes ensure both ensure that the institution’s quality standards are met and monitor our quality improvement efforts:

  • President Elliott’s Cabinet and the Governing Board review monthly ENDS reports that track progress toward attaining the institution’s strategic goals.
  • The Assessment Committee monitors student learning outcomes assessment and efforts to improve student learning as measured by these outcomes.
  • Quality Council helps to identify areas in which improvements are needed and can recommend various programming and process changes to foster improvements.
  • Academic Program Review evaluates each academic program’s efficacy on a five-year schedule.

CAC encourages its employees to use Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles to test and implement changes to program and activities. PDSA involves developing a plan to test the change (Plan), carrying out the test (Do), observing and learning from the consequences (Study), and determining what modifications should be made to the test (Act). CAC employees have completed more than 60 PDSA projects since 2015.

For more information, contact the Director of Resource Development and Quality Assurance, hugo.steincamp@centralaz.edu, phone 520-494-5044.