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California State University, Stanislaus College Portrait

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California State University, Stanislaus Learning Outcomes

Developed by the RAND Corporation and the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) and launched in the fall of 2000, the CLA is a standardized testing initiative that allows for a direct measure of student learning by combining two types of testing components, a set of real-world performance tasks and a set of analytic writing prompts. These are used to measure student learning in the areas of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and written communication. Beginning in the 2006-2007 academic year, this assessment has been administered to entering freshmen in the fall and graduating seniors in the spring at Stanislaus State.




California State University, Stanislaus administered the CLA+ in 2006 - 2014.

California State University, Stanislaus conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2006 - 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on Stan State’s process for administering CLA+, please click on the Assessment Process Tab below. For information on the students included in the administration, please click the Students Tested Tab.

Why did you choose the CLA+ for your institutional assessment?

All CSU system campuses currently administer the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The CLA differs largely from other assessments of undergraduates’ learning, in that, instead of a multiple-choice format it poses real-world performance tasks that require students to analyze complex material and provide written responses. Through student–generated written responses the CLA engages students in tasks to assess their cognitive abilities to think critically, reason analytically, problem solve, and communicate clearly and cogently. The CLA does not focus on measuring changes in individual students, but rather to learn more about a college or university’s contribution to student learning, thus the CLA relies on the institution, rather than the individual student, as the primary unit of analysis. The main intent of the CLA is to provide results that will support the improvement of teaching and learning by understanding the strength of higher order skills among freshmen and seniors.


Which California State University, Stanislaus students are assessed? When?

Freshmen and Senior students are assessed in fall and spring, respectively.


How are assessment data collected?

CLA data are collected through fall and spring administrations and are submitted to the Council for Aid to Eduction (CAE) for analysis. CAE prepares reports (both insitutional and individual strudent reports) that are distributed to the campus and students for review and use.


How are data reported within California State University, Stanislaus?

Campus CLA results are posted to the campus Institutional Research website and distributed to campus committees for review and action. The campus Office of Institutional Research also prepares occassional Analysis Briefs that explore topics such as benchmarking CSU Stanislaus CLA results to CSU campuses systemwide.


How are assessment data at Stan State used to guide program improvements?

The CSU Stanislaus General Education Program has identified the CLA as a measure for assessing the campus Critical Thinking and Written Communication General Education Learning Goals. CLA findings are reviewed as part of the General Education Academic Program Review and are used to make recommendations and improvements to the program. CLA findings are also reviewed by campus committees, such as the Student Success Committee. Strengths are highlighted, areas for improvement identified, and topics for further inquiry discussed.


Of 1094 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 67 (6%) were included in the tested sample at California State University, Stanislaus.


Of 864 senior students eligible to be tested, 21 (2%) were included in the tested sample at California State University, Stanislaus.


Probability sampling, where a small randomly selected sample of a larger population can be used to estimate the learning gains in the entire population with statistical confidence, provides the foundation for campus-level student learning outcomes assessment at many institutions. It's important, however, to review the demographics of the tested sample of students to ensure that the proportion of students within a given group in the tested sample is close to the proportion of students in that group in the total population. Differences in proportions don't mean the results aren't valid, but they do mean that institutions need to use caution in interpreting the results for the groups that are under-represented in the tested sample.

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown

  Freshmen Seniors
Eligible Students Tested Students Eligible Students Tested Students
Gender Female 67% 78% 66% 81%
Male 33% 22% 34% 19%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 70% 93% 65% 76%
White / Caucasian 24% 1% 30% 24%
International 4% 4% 1% <1%
Unknown 3% 1% 5% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 62% 72% 59% 71%

The VSA advises institutions to follow assessment publisher guidelines for determining the appropriate number of students to test. In the absence of publisher guidelines, the VSA provides sample size guidelines for institutions based on a 95% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. So long as the tested sample demographics represent the student body, this means we can be 95% certain that the "true" population learning outcomes are with +/- 5% of the reported results. For more information on Sampling, please refer to the Research Methods Knowledge Base

The increase in learning on the performance task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

The increase in learning on the selected-response questions is at or near what would be expected what would be epxected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Seniors Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested seniors who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 513.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 549.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 499.0
Freshmen Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested freshmen who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 446.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 475.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 465.0