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Minnesota State University, Mankato Learning Outcomes

At Minnesota State University, Mankato assessment is the practice of evaluating the manner or degree to which students are learning what they are supposed to be learning. Academic departments and programs at Minnesota State Mankato have or are developing student learning outcomes, which are statements of the key indicators of student learning in specific departments and programs. Assessment is designed to compare actual student performance to these student learning outcomes: We say this is what students are learning--are they? That is what assessment is designed to do.




Minnesota State University, Mankato administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in Fall 2011 - 2015.

Minnesota State University, Mankato conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in Fall 2011 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on MSU, Mankato’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 Proficiency Profile was selected for the institutional assessment due to the tools alignment with institutional student learning outcomes, testing format, and testing method.


Which Minnesota State University, Mankato students are assessed? When?

A sample of first-year students were assessed during the fall term and a sample of senior students were assessed during the spring term.


How are assessment data collected?

A proctored paper and pencil administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile was used for both the first-year and senior student samples.


How are data reported within Minnesota State University, Mankato?

The data collected from the administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile is aggregated and analyzed at the institutional level by the University’s Assessment and Evaluation Sub-Meet and Confer (shared governance committee).


How are assessment data at MSU, Mankato used to guide program improvements?

The assessment results are used as a component of the institution’s assessment of Institutional Student Learning Outcomes.


Of 2430 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 138 (6%) were included in the tested sample at Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Of 5178 senior students eligible to be tested, 134 (3%) were included in the tested sample at Minnesota State University, Mankato.


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 52% 58% 51% 56%
Male 48% 41% 49% 42%
Other or Unknown <1% 1% <1% 2%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 17% 14% 13% 19%
White / Caucasian 77% 81% 80% 87%
International 4% <1% 5% 13%
Unknown 2% 4% 2% 1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 33% <1% 33% <1%

The test samples were fairly representative of the campus population with the following exceptions:

  • Tested senior students included a higher proportion of females (56%) than exists in our student body of senior students (53%).
  • Tested first year students included a lower proportion of males (38%) than exists in our student body of first year students (47%).

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 below 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.