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Dickinson State University Learning Outcomes

The Assessment system at Dickinson State University cohesively integrates both direct and indirect assessment measures to evaluate (1) progress toward institutional goals; (2) effectiveness of the general education program; (3) attainment of student learning outcomes among the university’s programs; and (4) the impact of co-curricular programming. As is the nature of purposeful evaluation, the university’s assessment system is cyclical and ongoing—drawing on data from internal and external sources, including nationally-normed instruments and assessments generated by faculty. The DSU assessment system is designed to provide information regarding students’ attainment of identified learning outcomes, as well as evaluate program quality and the university’s effectiveness—thus providing guidance for continuous improvement.




Dickinson State University administered the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015.

Dickinson State University conducted a Value-added administration of the ETS Proficiency Profile in 2014 - 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on DSU ’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?

1. ETS Proficiency Profile Test for DSU freshmen, juniors and seniors has been mandatory. The purpose of the test is designed to demonstrate DSU program effectiveness for accreditation and funding purposes.


Which Dickinson State University students are assessed? When?

2. Freshmen (as part of Fresh Year Seminar Course), Juniors (Accumulative credits from 75-90), and Seniors (majoring in University Studies only)


How are assessment data collected?

3. Each semester, freshmen have been taking the Freshmen Proficiency Profile Test as part of the Fresh Year Seminar Course (One of the required courses). Juniors (only those whose accumulative credits are 75-90) and seniors have been contacted through email and letter.


How are data reported within Dickinson State University?

The University Assessment Committee reviews the ETS proficiency profile data in conjunction with institutional data collected on general education outcomes. The data is collected from students in freshman seminar and helps establish a baseline competency for basic skills among entering freshmen.


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

Dickinson State University only uses ETS proficiency profile at the exit level for students who are completing a “university studies” degree.


Of 466 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 162 (35%) were included in the tested sample at Dickinson State University.


Of 38 senior students eligible to be tested, 25 (66%) were included in the tested sample at Dickinson State 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.

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown

  Freshmen Seniors
Eligible Students Tested Students Eligible Students Tested Students
Gender Female 43% 43% 61% 52%
Male 36% 49% 39% 44%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 19% 20% 26% 4%
White / Caucasian 79% 76% 1903 88%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 2% 4% 5% 8%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%
The freshman student populations tested at DSU are representative of the DSU population. The senior student population tested at DSU are representative of students obtaining a university studies degree.

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 below 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.


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.