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University of Missouri Learning Outcomes

Core Learning Objectives

In order to meet the needs of the people of the state of Missouri, the nation and the global society, the University of Missouri-Columbia shall provide its baccalaureate graduates with a sound intellectual foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and in the student's chosen major field of study. Toward that end, in addition to having every Bachelor's degree recipient fulfill appropriate coursework requirements for general education and for degree programs, MU strives to have all students achieve the following goals:

Goal 1. Graduates of MU will be able to perform systematic inquiry and identify and evaluate new information in light of previous knowledge.

Goal 2.  Graduates of MU will possess the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to communicate effectively.

Goal 3.  Graduates of MU will possess the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to serve society responsibly.

Goal 4.  Graduates of MU will know how to observe and critically analyze the diverse human experience.

General Education Assessment Goals and Objectives

Since 1995, MU has administered a standardized exam to senior students. This standardized exam provides data on MU students' knowledge in a range of content areas. However, it has limited value for achieving MU's assessment goals: to assess how well students learn at MU and to gain information for improving teaching and learning. MU continues to administer a standardized exam to a sample of senior students but our focus is on other assessment strategies.

In May of 2005, the Committee on Undergraduate Education endorsed "Core Learning Objectives" for all students as a complement to the General Education course requirements (see above). In 2007, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council endorsed them as well. The objectives focus on the performance skills that all students should develop as they fulfill their general education requirements. Of course, not every objective will be addressed in each course, but the goal is for all of them to be addressed within each student's general education experience. By aligning courses and curricula to agreed-upon performance objectives, MU provides coherence to students' general education experience. This also makes it feasible to conduct effective assessment of general education by embedding the assessment in students' specific programs, assessment that can lead to quality improvement.




University of Missouri administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014.

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

For additional information on MU’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?

Price and convenience


Which University of Missouri students are assessed? When?

We assess a sampling of Seniors during the Spring semester. 


How are assessment data collected?

The ETS Proviciency Profile is administered by MU Testing Services to seniors as a proctored exam during regular class sessions in the Spring semester.  Data are then collected and submitted to ETS.


How are data reported within University of Missouri?

The Director of Assessment reviews the final reports from ETS and shares the information as appropriate.


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

At MU, student learning outcomes are assessed at the program level.  These data may be included with multiple sources of information for program improvement.  Please see more information regarding assessment efforts at the University of Missouri here:  http://provost.missouri.edu/assessments-and-accreditation/core-learning-objectives-and-general-education.php


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 MU, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Critical Thinking test (n=402) scored higher than 53% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring 2014.

At MU, senior students who completed the ETS Proficiency Profile Written Communication test (n=402) scored higher than 91% of seniors at all other ETS Proficiency Profile-participating institutions in Spring 2014.

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