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University of Missouri-St. Louis College Portrait

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University of Missouri-St. Louis Learning Outcomes

The University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) values student learning and effective teaching. Every department has designed learning outcomes for each major, so students know what they are expected to know and be able to do to have a successful career. Outcomes for the general education curriculum during the first two years include skills in communicating, managing information, and valuing and knowledge of social and behavioral sciences, humanities and fine arts, and mathematics and life or natural sciences. Every major also builds on the skills developed in general education. That means that students hone their communication, critical thinking, and research skills in classes in their major.

UMSL uses several assessment methods to determine our effectiveness in general education and the majors. Mastery of general education learning goals is measured in classes and through the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) when freshmen enter UMSL and again during their last semester as seniors. UMSL students have traditionally done very well on the CLA+. Assessment in the majors is accomplished through tests as well as capstone courses, projects, internships, and other culminating experiences. The programs themselves undergo reviews every five years, in addition to assessments by professional accreditation teams that look for licensure exam pass rates and retention and graduation rates.




University of Missouri-St. Louis administered the CLA+ in 2015.

University of Missouri-St. Louis conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on UMSL’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?

Undergraduate students' overall learning is evaluated by the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+). This instrument was selected based on the general education learning objectives.


Which University of Missouri-St. Louis students are assessed? When?

First-time degree-seeking freshmen are assessed in the fall semester.  Graduating seniors are tested in the spring and includes students entering as freshmen or transfers.  In both cases an ACT or SAT score is required.


How are assessment data collected?

All students at the appropriate class level with a valid ACT or SAT score are identified.  Invitations and follow-ups are sent via email.  The first 100 students responding in each class are  tested.


How are data reported within University of Missouri-St. Louis?

Results are aggregated by college and school.  These results are shared with the appropriate academic administrators and faculty.


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

The Center for Teaching and Learning uses the results in a variety of workshops and other forums designed to improve student learning.


Of 485 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 100 (21%) were included in the tested sample at University of Missouri-St. Louis.


Of 825 senior students eligible to be tested, 99 (12%) were included in the tested sample at University of Missouri-St. Louis.


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 62% 67% 60% 70%
Male 38% 33% 40% 30%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 32% 35% 26% 39%
White / Caucasian 63% 59% 68% 57%
International 1% 1% 1% 2%
Unknown 3% 5% 5% 2%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 46% 41% 56% 62%
Area of Study Arts & Sciences 47% 56% 42% 34%
Fine Arts & Communication 7% 5% 9% 12%
Business Administration 12% 15% 21% 31%
Education 4% 3% 13% 12%
Engineering 10% 7% 4% 1%
Nursing 20% 14% 10% 8%

All eligible students are invited to participate on a first-come, first-served basis.  The first 100 students from each group of invitees take the assessment.

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) 563.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 560.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 560.0
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) 561.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 556.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 558.0