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Pittsburg State University Learning Outcomes

Choosing Pittsburg State University opens the door to a college experience complete with more than 150 academic  programs and over 150 clubs and organizations for students. Pittsburg State is also a place of intense preparation for the future. Within six months of graduation, 93% of our graduates are either working or continuing their education.

Pittsburg State University encourages students to reach their potential through active participation in learning opportunities in liberal arts courses, their chosen degree programs, and a variety of student activities. To ensure that our students are successful,  Pittsburg State monitors their performance and uses that information to guide its efforts to improve learning in three areas:

1. General education--our students learn how to communicate effectively, think critically, and function responsibly in the world. Information can be found at: http://oie.pittstate.edu/assessment/general-education.dot

2. Degree programs--our students learn the knowledge, skills, and values for their chosen career. Information can be found at: http://oie.pittstate.edu/assessment/program-assessment.dot

3. Co-curricular units--our students learn knowledge, skills, and values while participating in student activities, clubs, organizations, and services. Information can be found at: http://oie.pittstate.edu/assessment/assessment-academy.dot

 




Pittsburg State University administered the CLA+ in 2011 - 2016.

Pittsburg State University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2011 - 2016. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on PSU’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?

Pittsburg State University uses the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) to measure our students’ writing, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking skills. We look at how well our seniors score on the CLA+ as compared to seniors across the US. We also examine gains in our seniors’ scores as compared to our freshmen scores.


Which Pittsburg State University students are assessed? When?

A minimum of 100 Pittsburg State University freshmen are invited to take the CLA+ during their fall semester in the Freshmen Experience course. A minimum of 100 seniors from seminar or capstone courses across the four colleges are invited to take the CLA+ in the semester before their May graduation. Test takers are invited as members of an a freshmen or senior course selected such that the CLA+ testing sessions do not interfere with the students' other courses.


How are assessment data collected?

Pittsburg State University freshmen and senior students take the online version of the CLA+. They complete the CLA+ performance tasks and selected response questions measuring analysis and problem solving, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and evaluation, critiquing an argument, and writing mechanics and effectiveness. 


How are data reported within Pittsburg State University?

Pittsburg State University receives the CLA+ report in late summer. This report has freshmen and senior scores on the CLA+: Total scores as well as sub-scores on writing effectiveness and mechanics and on analytic reasoning and evaluation (critical thinking) and problem solving.


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

Pittsburg State University fosters a campus culture of assessment and accountability that supports strategic planning and the continuous improvement of our student learning in general education, the degree programs, and student activities. The University Assessment Committee monitors all assessment results and supports the work of faculty and administrators in deciding the best ways to improve student learning in courses and programs.


Of 1401 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 112 (8%) were included in the tested sample at Pittsburg State University.


Of 2088 senior students eligible to be tested, 80 (4%) were included in the tested sample at Pittsburg State 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 45% 55% 49% 46%
Male 55% 45% 51% 54%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 18% 13% 15% 11%
White / Caucasian 79% 86% 81% 89%
International 3% <1% 4% <1%
Unknown <1% 1% <1% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 40% 76% 41% 86%

Pittsburg State University uses the results from the CLA+ as one source of information about our students' performance in writing, math and critical thinking. Our CLA+ samples are not random; we strive to achieve freshmen and senior CLA+ samples that are representative of our total freshmen and senior populations. For the 2014-2015 results, our freshmen CLA sample had 10% more female and 7% more Caucasian than our total freshmen population. Our senior CLA sample had 4% more male and 8% more Caucasian than our campus senior population.

 

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) 551.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 533.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 521.0
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) 493.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 486.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 507.0