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Colorado Mesa University Learning Outcomes

Colorado Mesa University conducts assessment in three areas: a.) program student learning, b.) Essential Learning, and c.) co-curricular learning.


a.)     Assessment of student learning at the program level takes place in courses taught throughout the year.  Faculty from each program have created student learning outcomes that align to the institutional learning outcomes.  Assessment plans were created based on curriculum maps that demonstrate what courses would be best to assess certain outcomes.  Once the plans were established, assessment was conducted on a yearly basis.  The faculty then analyze the results of the assessment and take action if the results are not at the level of quality expected or continue to assess to determine if students are consistently learning at the same expected level.  Assessment reports are submitted to the Assessment Committee for review on a three-year basis.  Assessment of student learning is also reported out in the six-year program review process.


b.)    Assessment of Essential Learning (General Education) takes place at the course level.  Student learning outcomes have been written that align to the institutional outcomes.  Artifacts from the various groups of courses (English, Social Behavioral Sciences, Math, etc.) are collected and reviewed by faculty using the AAC&U VALUE rubrics.  The results are analyzed and reported out to the faculty on a yearly basis.  Discussion is held on campus to determine if changes are needed to enhance student learning in the various outcomes.


c.)     Co-curricular assessment takes place in areas such as Student and Academic Services.  The Student Services area has created an assessment plan based on the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education student outcomes.  Academic Services are assessing student learning in areas such as tutoring, advising and the registrar’s office.   

Colorado Mesa University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in Spring 2016.

Colorado Mesa University conducted a Senior-only benchmarked administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in Spring 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on Colorado Mesa’s process for administering ETS Proficiency Profile, 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 ETS Proficiency Profile for your institutional assessment?

The University's assessment program is based on four student learning outcomes in the areas of communication, quantitative fluency, critical thinking and specialized knowledge.  The decision to use the ETS PP was based on what it tested: writing, reading, math, and critical thinking.  The use of an external assessment test in those skills would add to the overall assessment of student learning.

Which Colorado Mesa University students are assessed? When?

Students assessed are those who are within the last 30 credit hours of study, preferably enrolled in the last semester prior to graduation. Currently, only baccalaureate students are asked to complete the profile.  Assessment takes place in the spring and fall semesters.

How are assessment data collected?

Students assessed are identified by their enrollment in capstone or senior seminar.  An email is sent to instructors of the courses asking them to encourage the students to complete the profile as taking the test is not mandatory.  Emails are then sent to all identified students within the first 2 weeks of the semester.  Students are given 3 months to take the test.  Email reminders are sent at 6 and 10 weeks into the semester to both students and instructors.  The data is collected by ETS and the university receives the scores after the assessment period is closed.

How are data reported within Colorado Mesa University?

ETS sends reports of the results for CMU students to the Director of Assessment of Student Learning.  ETS also provides comparative data from other institutions using the unproctored exam; comparisons are made of CMU students to students with 90 or more credit hours completed at all participating 4-year colleges and universities.  The scores from CMU, as well as the comparisons, are shared with the faculty Assessment Committee, the Academic Council, and the Provost.   The summary of scores is posted on the assessment web page.

How are assessment data at Colorado Mesa used to guide program improvements?

As participation numbers increase, programs will be able to compare the results in skill areas of the ETS Proficiency Profile to the program student learning outcomes in the same area.  These results will be evaluated by faculty in the programs to determine if changes need to be made in courses or the curriculum for improved student learning.  

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

At Colorado Mesa, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Critical Thinking test (n=259) scored higher than 47% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring Spring 2016.

At Colorado Mesa, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Written Communication test (n=259) scored higher than 28% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring Spring 2016.

As Colorado Mesa did not participate in a value-added administration, scores are not adjusted to account for the incoming ability of Colorado Mesa students.