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University of Kentucky Learning Outcomes

The Planning, Assessment, and Budgeting Cycle is the ongoing and institution-wide planning and evaluation process through which the University monitors the effectiveness of its units, programs, and services to inform decision making in the areas of resource allocation and budgeting to support the University’s mission. The assessment component of the Cycle is the ongoing process through which units plan, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs, operations, resources, and services in meeting the University’s mission and strategic initiatives. The University and its units identify expected outcomes, assess whether or not the outcomes are achieved, and provide action plans for continuous improvement based on the analysis of the results (SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1, The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, 2012). The Student Learning Outcomes Report is produced annually to document the continuous improvement of student learning and are required by all educational programs. This report shall focus on student learning outcomes; however, units may also include assessments of program curricula and teaching effectiveness.




University of Kentucky administered the CLA+ in Fall 2014 - Spring 2015.

University of Kentucky conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in Fall 2014 - Spring 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UK’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?

The CLA is a nationally–normed authentic assessment to measure institutional achievements in student learning by looking at key outcomes such as written communication, critical thinking, problem solving and analytic reasoning. 


Which University of Kentucky students are assessed? When?

Every four years we conduct a cross-sectional study of incoming freshman and graduating seniors. 


How are assessment data collected?

The assessment data is collected by CAE, the agency that developed the assessment. 


How are data reported within University of Kentucky?

The assessment data is aggregated and analyzed initially by CAE, the agency that developed the assessment. The Office of University Assessment then reviews the raw data file for further analyses allowing the institution to look at actual value-added data on the same students.  


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

The assessment data is shared across multiple departments and used to make improvements in our curriculum.  Sharing data with the campus constituencies provides opportunities for open communication and transparency that is needed in the decision making process.  


Of 5143 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 238 (5%) were included in the tested sample at University of Kentucky.


Of 317 senior students eligible to be tested, 94 (30%) were included in the tested sample at University of Kentucky.


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 56% 66% 61% 72%
Male 50% 32% 39% 27%
Other or Unknown <1% 2% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 20% 19% 15% 12%
White / Caucasian 75% 76% 80% 83%
International 3% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 2% 5% 5% 5%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 26% 26% 34% 30%

Our tested students included a higher proportion of females than exist in our student body, for both Freshman and Seniors.  We will review the the results by gender to be sure there aren't different patterns. 

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) 574.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 571.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 575.0
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) 576.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 566.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 574.0