The following page is a two column layout. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update and contact information.
Find out more about the characteristics of students who attend UM.
See how many students applied, accepted, and enrolled at UM. Learn more about students’ high school preparation and test scores.
Learn about costs to attend UM and how much financial aid is typically awarded.
Estimate your cost to attend UM in a few simple steps.
Learn more about professors, where students live, and campus safety at UM.
Discover ways to be actively involved in your education at UM – inside and outside the classroom.
See which majors are most popular at UM and what recent graduates plan to do after earning their bachelor's degree.
Discover how many students who start at UM finish their bachelor's degree and how long it takes.
Figure out what learning gains to expect in critical thinking, writing, and other important subjects at UM.
The University of Montana was one of the earliest participants in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) Pilot Project. As stated by Roger Benjamin, President of the Council for Aid to Education, "The CLA presents realistic problems that require students to analyze complex materials varying in reliability and accuracy, and to construct written responses that demonstrate their abilities to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems and communicate clearly and cogently. The institution - not the student - is the primary unit of analysis. The CLA is designed to measure an institution's contribution, or value added, to the development of these competencies". The University of Montana remains committed to assessing learning outcomes to maximize the value we add to each student's educational experience.
The University of Montana conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA in 2011 - 2012. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.
For additional information on UM’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 above.
The CLA focuses on students’ progress in critical thinking and writing using an essay format that more directly assesses those skills. Students are often more motivated to complete the CLA, given its practical problem solving questions.
The CLA is given to entering freshmen in their first fall semester and to graduating seniors in the spring semester. The students represent a wide range of majors.
The CLA is taken online. Students’ essays are transmitted directly to the CLA organization, where they are scored using a rubric.
The CLA organization completes the data analysis. Aggregated data are sent back to The University of Montana, showing value added scores for seniors compared to freshmen, corrected for measures of academic preparedness (e.g., ACT or SAT scores). The University of Montana reviews these results; they are presented to the President’s Cabinet, Academic Officers, University Assessment and Accreditation Committee, and posted online for the entire campus community.
Depending on the results, areas of concern are addressed at various levels—department curriculum committees, student support services, and academic committes charged with curricular development and approval.
Of 2733 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 82 (3%) were included in the tested sample at The University of Montana.
Of 2948 senior students eligible to be tested, 87 (3%) were included in the tested sample at The University of Montana.
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.
|Eligible Students||Tested Students||Eligible Students||Tested Students|
|Other or Unknown||<1%||<1%||<1%||<1%|
|US Underrepresented Minority||12%||9%||12%||11%|
|White / Caucasian||71%||88%||81%||84%|
|Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant)||38%||<1%||47%||<1%|
CLA results are included in the Annual Assessment Report (when new information is obtained). These results are shared with the four committees involved in the Planning-Assessment Continuum for further evaluation and dissemination to faculty, students, administrators, and the public. Prior results have pointed to the effectiveness of the writing program at UM, at the same time that faculty are discussing alternative ways to assess students’ success at several points during that program.
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 analytic writing task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.
|Analytic Reasoning and Evaluation|
|Analytic Reasoning and Evaluation|