The following documents were developed and shared at a poster session at the 8th annual conference of the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education (NCCI), July 26-28, 2007. They use the case study of opportunities for improvement at Ncci’s Snack Bar to provide examples of both an abbreviated and extended approach to continuous quality improvement (CQI). Since many persons are unfamiliar with the concepts and basic application of CQI, the case study walks participants through a “mini”- CQI project to help them work with groups to apply a structured approached to finding solutions.

While the similarities between operating a snack bar and opportunities for improvement in higher education may not be readily apparent, parallels do exist:

  • The cost of education is going up, but an improved product is not apparent to students or families
  • Students cannot get the courses they are looking for when they want them
  • Students and families have to wait for services, often in lines
  • Campus life or a course may not be what a student or family expected
  • Students can find what they want at competitor schools

Quick Snack graphic poster

Quick Snack text handout



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