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Missouri State University Learning Outcomes

Evaluation of student performance began with the origin of the University through a variety of traditional measures and was formalized with the establishment of the Center for Assessment and Instructional Support in 1987 and public reporting of performance measures in 1994. The comprehensive program of assessment at Missouri State University now includes placement in English and mathematics courses based on ACT performance, assessment of student achievement in the major through ETS Major Field Tests and ACAT exams, testing of general academic skills and knowledge through the ETS Proficiency Profile, licensure/certification pass rates, graduation and retention rates, professional accreditation, and surveys of student, faculty, and employer perceptions.  As part of our systematic review process, all academic programs are evaluated through annual reports and periodic self-studies which involve external reviewers.




Missouri State University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015.

Missouri State University conducted a Senior-only benchmarked administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on MSU’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 purpose of the University Exit Examination at Missouri State University is to evaluate the general academic knowledge and skills of the students receiving a baccalaureate degree, to assess the outcomes of our academic programs, and to improve the quality of instruction and learning at this institution.  Since 1992, the university has used an assessment tool developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to address this purpose.  Though the name of the assessment has changed from the Academic Profile to the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) and currently to the ETS ® Proficiency Profile, the content of the assessment has not changed, and therefore, student scores from 1992 to the present can be compared.


Which Missouri State University students are assessed? When?

The ETS® Proficiency Profile is taken by all Missouri State University seniors (those with 90 or more credit hours) prior to graduation.

Periodically, students categorized as "first-year new in college" are also invited to take this exam in order to provide comparative data for the ETS Learning Gains Report.

Several sections of a course titled GEN 499 - University Exit Exam are offered every semester.  Senior students enroll in a section, and they take an abbreviated version of the ETS Proficiency Profile during the one-time course meeting.  During semesters when first-year students are invited to take the exam (always in the fall), all students enrolled in GEP 101 - First-Year Foundations are sent an email informing them about the opportunity.  Students who wish to participate are sent a link to the online version of the exam, which they must complete by a specified date.


How are assessment data collected?

Results from the exam are provided to Missouri State University by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  New reports with individual data are available through ETS, and the university has subscribed to these reports to allow for a more in-depth analysis of the results.


How are data reported within Missouri State University?

Data are aggregated into various groups for each fiscal year.  Public reports of the overall university average scores and password protected reports of college and departmental average scores are provided on the University website for review.


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

Many departments review their annual results and discuss the results in departmental meetings.  Individual departments use the information differently, and program improvements are left up to the faculty.


All seniors are required to take this exam prior to graduation, so our sample is extremely representative of the population.  Only 54.7% of the seniors eligible actually tested because seniors will typically test after they attain 120+ credit hours.

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 MSU, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Critical Thinking test (n=1709) scored higher than 49% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring 2014.

At MSU, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Written Communication test (n=1709) scored higher than 48% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring 2014.

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


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.