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State University of New York College at Oneonta Learning Outcomes

SUNY Oneonta conducts systematic assessments of its academic programs on an ongoing basis, and is in full compliance with Middle States’ and SUNY’s assessment requirements. All academic majors undergo evaluation every seven years, including a site visit by two external reviewers. For general education, every three years SUNY Oneonta assesses all ten Knowledge and Skills areas and two Competencies making up the SUNY General Education Requirement. The following academic programs are subject to rigorous accreditation/certification requirements by external agencies: Education (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education); Human Ecology (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics); Dietetics (Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education); Chemistry (American Chemical Society); Economics and Business (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International); and Music (the National Association of Schools of Music).




State University of New York College at Oneonta administered the CLA in 2012.

State University of New York College at Oneonta conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA in 2012. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on Oneonta’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?

During the 2010-11 academic year, the College's General Education Assessment Committee (GEAC) recommended to the College Senate that SUNY Oneonta administer the CLA during 2011-12, for several reasons. First, the CLA had been administered at Oneonta in 2008-09, and a second administration would provide important comparative data. In addition, GEAC reviewed a number of other methods for assessing critical thinking, and selected the CLA as the most appropriate instrument. The College Senate subsequently endorsed GEAC's recommendation.


Which State University of New York College at Oneonta students are assessed? When?

During the fall semester, first-year full-time students are assessed as early as possible, preferably by mid-October at the latest. During the spring semester, graduating seniors are assessed, usually beginning in March with the process ideally concluded by the end of April.


How are assessment data collected?

The CLA was administered to first-time, first-year students at SUNY Oneonta early in Fall 2011.  For the most part, students were obtained from the College’s first-year seminar course, supplemented by other courses with a high proportion of new full-time students in order to assure an adequate sample size.  The final sample included 105 freshmen students.

The CLA was administered to senior students in Spring 2012.  Students were obtained from senior capstone courses and were also solicited by chairpersons from programs that were randomly selected for inclusion.  The final sample included 118 senior students.


How are data reported within State University of New York College at Oneonta?

The CLA institutional report received from the Council for Aid to Education provides a comprehensive, aggregated data set for the various competencies assessed by the CLA. This report also provides results for first-year and senior students. This report is immediately distributed by the Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness (OIAE) to the college president, provost, and deans. In addition, for the senior data OIAE sends out individual student results to academic programs whose graduating seniors participated in the CLA.


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

Closing the loop on CLA data has been very challenging for the institution, since a limited number of students participate and the results cannot be tracked back to specific curriculum. This issue is currently being considered by the College's General Education Assessment Committee as it determines whether or not the College will continue to administer the CLA as a measure of Critical Thinking.


Of 973 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 105 (11%) were included in the tested sample at State University of New York College at Oneonta.


Of 1820 senior students eligible to be tested, 118 (6%) were included in the tested sample at State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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 60% 60% 56% 61%
Male 40% 40% 44% 39%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 13% 13% 13% 7%
White / Caucasian 87% 82% 84% 88%
International 2% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 1% 5% 3% 4%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 22% 14% 31% 14%

Students participating in the CLA are generally representative of Oneonta's student body in terms of GPA and SAT/ACT scores. Similarly, we did not observe any anomalies with respect to gender or ethnic/racial representation.

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 above 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.

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 Make-an-Argument Critique-an-Argument
Analytic Reasoning and Evaluation
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics
Problem Solving

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 Make-an-Argument Critique-an-Argument
Analytic Reasoning and Evaluation
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics
Problem Solving