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Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University College Portrait

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Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Learning Outcomes

The assessment program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) aims to promote a culture of continuous improvement. It is an initiative that is an integral aspect of the university’s commitment to sustaining and enhancing academic quality and positive student experience. Prior to 2004, assessment activities at FAMU occurred in various forms within the individual instructional programs and administrative units and in the colleges/schools and divisions. However, there was no uniform, institutional wide assessment system which documented assessment and the use of results for improvement.

The assessment activities permeate all levels of the university and target four primary areas: entry-level knowledge and skills, general education outcomes, program/divisional outcomes, and students, graduates and alumni satisfaction. These efforts span multiple institutional levels - from university-wide assessments to assessments conducted by individual academic programs and administrative and educational support service units. The Provost, who formally oversees the assessment program, instituted the Institutional level Assessment Committee (ILAC) to guide and monitor the assessment efforts and use of assessment results for improvement.

Assessment at FAMU serves three major purposes. The first purpose is program and service improvement aimed at making programs/units (academic majors, general education, certification programs, functional units etc.) more effective. The second purpose is for accountability aimed at demonstrating institutional responsiveness to external constituencies by ensuring that students demonstrate basic academic competencies and skills mandated by state and federal legislators. The third purpose is for institutional effectiveness aimed at meeting requirements of accrediting agencies.

Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014.

Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on FAMU’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 ETS is a standardized instrument that is nationally accepted. There are many dimensions to the test and it is a nationally approved test.   The test allows for better measurement than other instruments that the university has used in the past to gauge knowledge and skills that students are expected to gain during their matriculation.

Which Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University students are assessed? When?

Incoming freshmen are assessed in the Fall during the summer and into the first two weeks of classes. The freshmen are contacted via new student orientation and the first year experience courses.

Graduating seniors are tested in the Spring between spring break and commencement. Only students graduating with their first bachelor’s degree are asked to complete the test. they are contacted via email based on the information  obtained from their graduation applications and/or through capstone courses. 

How are assessment data collected?

Testing is primarily conducted online. Students may, however, request to take the paper version.


How are data reported within Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University?

The test runs on a platform called Program Workshop. Each semester a cohort  is set up for the students. Once the testing session is closed, reports are automatically generated in Program Workshop. Additional analysis is completed to provide each college and school on campus with information about their students. This information is shared with faculty and students.

How are assessment data at FAMU used to guide program improvements?

The information obtained from testing results can be used to guide program improvements by helping to identify problem areas for students. This information can be incorporated into courses and may assist in the development of curriculum changes.

Of 1560 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 516 (33%) were included in the tested sample at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Of 888 senior students eligible to be tested, 537 (60%) were included in the tested sample at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

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 66% 69% 62% 65%
Male 34% 31% 38% 35%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
US Underrepresented Minority 97% 99% 93% 91%
White / Caucasian 2% 1% 6% 8%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown <1% <1% 1% 1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% 51% 46%

The Office of University Assessment is currently developing a strategy to ensure greater participation and representativeness in the tested sample. Recent analysis conducted by the Office of University Assessment suggests sample sizes of 350 for each tested cohort.


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 analytic writing task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Critical Thinking Detail

The chart below shows the distribution of student scores on the ETS Proficiency Profile Critical Thinking test. Students are scored as Not Proficient, Marginal, or Proficient.

Written Communication Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the three levels of the ETS Proficiency Profile Writing Test. Students are scored as Not Proficient, Marginal, or Proficient on each level. Writing 3 represents more advanced writing skill than Writing 2, which represents more advanced writing skill than Writing 1.