CQIN (Continuous Quality Improvement Network)




CQIN Description



The purpose of the Network is to have an honest and open sharing of information - the "pluses and minuses" among community college presidents who have committed to implementation of Total Quality Management principles, practices, and tools as a way of continuously improving their institutions. 

Membership in the Network is restricted to presidents of two-year, associate degree granting, technical and community colleges who have personally committed to the use of TQM principles, practices and tools as a means of continuously improving their institutions. Membership applications are reviewed and decided upon by the full Network membership. New Network members are considered affiliates during initial start-up of TQM activities before full board membership was granted. 


A parallel group composed of senior TQM practitioners - called advisors - from each member institution would be formed to meet separately on a regular basis. The purpose of the Quality Advisors Network is to allow those individuals responsible for implementation strategies to share ideas, approaches, and tools with each other. The Quality Advisors meet at the same time as the presidents. Each member president would designate someone to participate in the Quality Advisors Network. 

San Juan College joined the Network in 2002 and the first CQIN team attended the 2003 meeting in St. Paul.  President Dr. Carol Spencer, members of the ELT (executive leadership team) and faculty members of the School of Science learned about the Network, quality initiatives in other institutions, and selected the first San Juan College CQIN project.  This project adapted the Mayo Medical School model of student course evaluation for use as an on-line student evaluation pilot implemented in fall of 2003.

CQIN History

The initiative for the CQIN group came out of the TQM (Total Quality Management) movement of the early 1990s.  The Network moved to the broader issues of transformation in an educational setting and formally became a CEO-focused organization, with a think tank to help move the learning agenda for summer institutes.  The Network has taken on its own benchmarking component with Institutional Effectiveness and Featured Practices, a Pacesetter Award and examination program, and Organizational Learning during the Summer Institutes.

Follow-up to the CQIN Summer Institute 2003

The CQIN team who attended the CQIN Summer Institute 2003 in St. Paul, Minnesota found the sessions and tours beneficial to understanding both the Quality concepts and classroom application. The benchmarking partners for this institute, 3M Corporation, The Mayo Clinic, Sunny Fresh Foods and Time/Warner Cable- Minnesota, made the event one of the best summer institutes ever and substantially contributed to our learning as a continually improving institution.

The next CQIN Summer Institute 2004 will be in Tucson, AZ and will include a variety of opportunities to get to know about a world-class student-centered learning system through the eyes of one of the 2001 Malcolm-Baldrige Award Winners – the Chugach School District. As the smallest organization ever to win this award, with a staff of 30 full-time employees, 214 students, and a service area of 22,000 square miles – the stories of their success are sure to be important to our continued quest for the perfect model of student-centered learning.

Some key questions that will be included in the institute learning are:

  • How is/are our learning system(s) organized to meet the needs of students? (Roles and Responsibilities)
  • How is/are our learning system(s) preparing to meet the expectations of future students? (New Roles, New Responsibilities, New Thinking, Planning and Development)
  • How do we insure the success of our learning system(s)? (Resources, People and Empowerment)
  • How is/are previous learning system(s’) successes valued and utilized in the future model? (Legacy)
  • How do we measure the success of our learning system(s)? (Data Analysis)

Some of the outcomes we would expect for those attending the Institute include opportunities to:

  • Identify institutional roles within the learning system.
  • Identify the challenges to delivering learning to future students.
  • Understand the importance of collaboration in future learning systems.
  • Understand the impact of student needs on faculty roles.
  • Gain insight into new strategies for improving learning systems.
  • Understand the critical leadership behaviors at all levels within the learning system.

The school of Humanities will be sending a project team with the ELT (Executive Leadership Team) to this institute.  Members of the project team will be responsible for learning Quality principles in an educational setting and developing a new project for San Juan College.