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 WCU.
See how many students applied, accepted, and enrolled at WCU. Learn more about students’ high school preparation and test scores.
Learn about costs to attend WCU and how much financial aid is typically awarded.
Estimate your cost to attend WCU in a few simple steps.
Learn more about professors, where students live, and campus safety at WCU.
Discover ways to be actively involved in your education at WCU – inside and outside the classroom.
See which majors are most popular at WCU and what recent graduates plan to do after earning their bachelor's degree.
Discover how many students who start at WCU 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 WCU.
Western Carolina University is committed to creating engaged learning opportunities that incorporate teaching, research, and service through residential, distance education and international experiences. The University is proud of its nationally and regionally recognized educational programs with particular strengths in teacher education, health sciences, and experiential learning. At WCU, quality of academic and co-curricular programs and services is a core value and measurement of institutional quality is ensured through a continuous program of assessment that provides meaningful information for planning and decision-making. The link below will direct you to the WCU Office of Assessment website where you can browse assessment information related to a range of academic programs and student services.
Western Carolina University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA in 2012. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.
For additional information on WCU’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 part of a comprehensive assessment of university level student learning outcomes which was used in part for WCU's Fifth-year Interim Report to its accreditor, the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges - Commission on Colleges. The CLA was used along with other surveys such as the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) and internal assessment reports to determine the impact of its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) (see QEP website at http://qep.wcu.edu) on student learning. WCU's QEP Impact Report can be found online at the above website.
We assess first-time full-time freshmen and seniors who will likely graduate by the summer of the year the assessment is offered. We do this assessment every three years with the intent of reassessing the freshmen as seniors three years later.
The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is a proctored assessment conducted online in a computer lab. The assessment instruments were developed and are maintained by the Council for Aid to Education. You can find more information about the CLA at http://collegiatelearningassessment.org/.
The data collected by the Council for Aid to Education is scored and aggregated at the institutional level and used by administrators, faculty, and staff at WCU to determine the overall effectiveness of the Quality Enhancement Plan (http://qep.wcu.edu) and our educational programs.
The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is part of a comprehensive assessment of university level student learning outcomes and is used along with other surveys such as the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) and internal assessment reports to determine the impact of its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) (see QEP website at http://qep.wcu.edu) on student learning.
Of 1508 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 181 (12%) were included in the tested sample at Western Carolina University.
Of 715 senior students eligible to be tested, 47 (7%) were included in the tested sample at Western 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||17%||18%||9%||15%|
|White / Caucasian||82%||77%||88%||83%|
|Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant)||39%||46%||37%||47%|
The sample of students participating in the Collegiate Learning Assessment for WCU included a higher porportion of females than exist in the student body. As data is analyzed, this difference must be accounted for. Also, the number of seniors participating was significantly lower than expected. The differences in calculated scores may not be as significant as it seems and further analysis is necessary. Finally, we had few responses in business and humanities, limiting the usefulness of data at the college level for those programs.
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|