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Find out more about the characteristics of students who attend ECU.
See how many students applied, accepted, and enrolled at ECU. Learn more about students’ high school preparation and test scores.
Learn about costs to attend ECU and how much financial aid is typically awarded.
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Learn more about professors, where students live, and campus safety at ECU.
Discover ways to be actively involved in your education at ECU – inside and outside the classroom.
See which majors are most popular at ECU and what recent graduates plan to do after earning their bachelor's degree.
Discover how many students who start at ECU 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 ECU.
In assuring a high quality education for our students, ECU is looking purposefully toward developing a culture of evidence. This integrated process provides an evidence-based framework for improving, revising, and introducing comprehensive systems for the collection, dissemination, and utilization of information on meaningful student learning outcomes. Such information can be used to develop new pedagogies, curricula, and technologies to improve learning. Embracing such a culture of innovation and quality improvement has been specifically called for in the report of the National Commission on Higher Education, otherwise known as the Spellings Commission.
An advisory council has been formed and meets monthly to discuss assessment related issues. The group consists of Associate Deans from colleges and representatives from other types of assessment units across campus.
East Carolina University 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 ECU’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 Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is one of very few recognized measures of critical thinking skills. Given the central importance of critical thinking skills for success in school, work, and daily life, it was deemed important to assess the gains in critical thinking skills which might be expected of the typical student attending ECU from the freshman to senior year.
The goal in CLA testing was to estimate how much a typical student would gain from the freshmen to senior year at ECU. Accordingly, a cross-sectional design was used in which a group of First-year students complete CLA testing in the Fall semester and a group of Seniors complete the CLA testing in the following Spring semester. Plans are to do this testing every three years.
A cross-sectional design was employed in which full-time non-transfer freshmen were recruited from entry-level courses known to attract students with a broad array of interests and eventual majors. Instructors of those classes encourage their students to participate in the testing. Seniors with fewer than 30 transfer hours were selected (a) from high-level capstone courses usually taken close to graduation, and (b) from random samples of seniors. As a result about 120 freshmen and 120 seniors completed the CLA testing online under standardized conditions. CLA recommends 100 as the optimal number to test in each group.
In August, following the Spring testing of seniors, a report of the CLA results was forwarded to ECU from the Council for Aid to Education which administers the CLA testing online. The report compares freshman and senior results to estimate how much the typical ECU student may gain in critical thinking skills from the freshman to senior year. Comparative results of the samples in terms of demographics and types of skills are also provided. Results can also be broken by down by gender, race, major, and other measures for more detailed analyses. Academic administrators can then assess the relevance of these results to their programs.
The CLA is just one of several sources of information used across campus to help maintain and improve academic programs. Since the CLA assesses critical thinking through students’ written responses, the CLA results are especially relevant to ECU’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Write Where You Belong, which expands writing instruction among ECU undergraduates.
Of 3891 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 120 (3%) were included in the tested sample at East Carolina University.
Of 3987 senior students eligible to be tested, 121 (3%) were included in the tested sample at East Carolina University.
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||3%||2%||1%||3%|
|White / Caucasian||73%||69%||73%||64%|
|Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant)||34%||21%||35%||5%|
The tested samples of students who took the CLA were generally representative of students who were new first-time freshmen and all seniors with less than 30 transfer hours. Results of this cross-sectional design suggest that these results can be used to estimate how much the typical student may gain in critical thinking skills from the freshman to senior year.
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|