Century College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Century College was first accredited in 1974 as Lakewood Community College and has been accredited since July 1, 1996 as a comprehensive community and technical college.

Filing a complaint with the Higher Learning Commission.

Century College was one of the institutions that was allowed to select its accreditation pathway and was accepted in 2005 by the HLC into the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). The AQIP Pathway is one of three options institutions have for maintaining accreditation with HLC. Like the other pathways, it is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement, but with an added emphasis on helping institutions achieve continuous quality improvement. AQIP infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities by providing an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation from the HLC.

Many of the processes are built around the AQIP Pathway Categories, which provide a framework that institutions can use to examine their key processes and analyze, understand, and explore opportunities for improvement. The AQIP Pathway follows an eight-year cycle. Following a Quality Checkup Visit in 2012, Century College received its reaffirmation of accreditation until 2018-19.

In June 2013, Century College submitted its second AQIP Systems Portfolio, which documents the College's commitment to continuous quality improvement. Institutions are required to submit Systems Portfolios to provide evidence around planning, implementing, reporting and utilizing data for the various Pathway Categories. 

1994 Century College first accredited as Lakewood Community College
1996 Century College Re-affirmed accreditation as a Comprehensive Community and Technical College

Accepted as an AQIP Institution

June 2013

Century Submitted AQIP Systems Portfolio

April 2017 NEW Change in HLC—Pathway Category groups launched

Reaffirmation Timeline

April 2017 Category groups launched
July 2, 2018 Portfolio submission
November 2018 - January 2019 (approximate) Portfolio appraisal
March 4 - 6, 2019

HLC Peer Review site visit
Federal Compliance Review
Comprehensive Quality Review

Spring/Summer 2019 HLC Action on Reaffirmation of Accreditation
Fall 2019 Transition to new pathway (AQIP pathway retired by HLC)

By participating in AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that align with ongoing institutional activities that characterize an organization’s process to improve their performance.

2018 AQIP Systems Portfolio Categories & Teams

Category 1: Helping Students Learn


  • Luke Andresen, Faculty
  • Julie Daniels, Faculty 
  • Michael Berndt, Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Beth Hein, Academic Dean
  • Kirsten Fabozzi, Registrar
  • Mike Mendez, Academic Dean
  • Sharon Mason, Customized Training Representative
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness

Category 2: Student & Stakeholder Needs


  • LuAnn Wood, Faculty
  • Michele Jersak, Counselor
  • Joyce Coleman, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Sonja Simpson, Dean, Continuing Education & Customized Training
  • Katie Svoboda, Interim Dean of Student Success
  • Jason Cardinal, Associate Dean, Student Affairs
  • Jennifer Rassett, Director of Student Life & Leadership Development
  • Adoness Turner, Exective Assistant, Student Affairs
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness
  • Donald Long, Director of Resource Development

Category 3: Valuing Employees


  • Amy Rafter, Faculty
  • Mary Nienaber, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Deborah Mayne, Accounting Supervisor
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness
  • Caroline Church, Director of Educational Talent Search

Category 4: Planning & Leading


  • Rick Nelson, Faculty
  • Robin Bowden, Faculty
  • John Anderl, Faculty
  • David Lyons, Faculty
  • Patrick Opatz, Vice President, Finance & Administration 
  • Jesse Mason, Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness
  • Clay Passick, Database Administrator
  • Dak Madson, Lead General Maintenance Worker

Category 5: Knowledge & Resource Stewardship


  • John Rohleder, Chief Information Officer
  • Meg Hatalla, Web Presence Manager
  • Bonnie Meyers, Director of Finance & Administration
  • Mary Nienaber, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Jason Philipp, Director of Public Safety
  • Mike Houfer, Director of Facilities
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness

Category 6: Quality Overview


  • Patricia Smith, Faculty
  • Jennifer Haselberger, Assistant Coordinator, Writing Center
  • Nichole Petersen, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness
  • Jennifer Eccles, Nursing Director

AQIP Action Projects

An institution on the AQIP Pathway completes an ongoing cycle of Action Projects that over time constitute its record for quality improvement activities.

View short descriptions of current and past projects completed below. A full description of these projects, as well as reports and evaluations, is available through the AQIP Action Project Directory.

Current AQIP Action Projects

  • Inclusive Hiring Practices
    • Create tools to support those involved in the search process for the purpose of furthering institutional efforts to diversify our workforce
  • Show What You Know: Assessing Core Outcomes
    • Developing a cyclical plan of assessment that is widespread and integral to the work of the College.
  • We’re All In It Together: Program Review for Continuous Improvement
    • Creating a comprehensive, cohesive, valuable and rewarding program review process which will demonstrate quality, stimulate improvement and ensure compliance with criteria for accreditation.

Completed AQIP Action Projects

View full details for each action project via the AQIP Pathway Action Project Directory Archive.

  • Assessment: Closing the  Loop and Establishing a Structure for Future Inquiry
  • We Are Century
  • Actions and Interventions for Academic Success
  • Design and Implement eServices to Improve Services to Students.
  • Implementation of Assessment Recommendations (AQIP Closing the Loop 2006)
  • Creating Opportunities for Success through Student Interventions
  • Building a Common Vision: Academic Success Support and Tutoring Services
  • Bridge to Success - First Year Student Success Initiative
  • Creating a Culture of Data-based Decision Making
  • Employee Evaluation Process
  • Creating Comprehensive Guidelines and Process for External and Community Partnerships
  • Enhancing the Communication of Decisions to be More Clear, Inclusive, and Engaging

Programmatic Accreditation

Many of Century College's technical programs have specialized accreditation through their industry-specific accrediting bodies. View program specific accrediation.

Century Quality Improvement Program (CQIP)

In 2013, Century College initiated the Century Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) to build capacity to continuously improve processes throughout the college as a way to improve student success and retention. In 2014 and 2015, several process improvement projects were initiated through CQIP. However, several of the employees leading the CQIP efforts were impacted by the leadership transitions at the College, so CQIP was on hiatus for two years.

Century College is now reviving CQIP to continue the review and improvement of College processes. Processes can range from the simple – requiring only one department and few steps – to very large complex processes – involving many departments, campus stakeholders and requiring multiple steps. (Some examples of processes are: students registering to graduate; submitting a facilities project request; and the College budget process.)

A CQIP Steering Work Group has been formed to oversee and coordinate the work of CQIP, including rebuilding the framework and resources necessary to move CQIP forward. The CQIP Steering Work Group is a work group of the Planning Committee.

In addition to the Steering Work Group we are also in the process of identifying a project manager, lead facilitators, and co-facilitators to help lead the work on the specific process improvement projects. These functions will be carried out by existing College employees.


Nichole Petersen
W 3208