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SUNY BUFFALO STATE College Portrait

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SUNY BUFFALO STATE Learning Outcomes

 

Buffalo State has a robust and transparent system of student learning assessment.  All academic programs have an assessment plan that clearly states programmatic student learning outcomes, the methods used to conduct the assessment and the measurements used in reporting results.  In addition, all academic majors have a curriculum map indicating where programmatic learning outcomes are introduced, reinforced and mastered as a student progresses through the major. The assessment of all major programs is conducted on a five year cycle and provides the basis for the complete Five year program review.  These reviews include a self-study as well as a review and report from external reviewers.

 

All areas of general education are assessed on a five year rotation cycle.  These include:  Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Western Civilization, Non-western Civilization, Math, Basic Communication (writing and oral communication), foreign language, critical thinking, information management and diversity.  Multiple measures are used and the results are compiled in a General Education Dashboard.  The general education program is also reviewed every five years by the campus and also by external reviewers.

 

The multiple measures used to assess student learning outcomes include course based exams and written work, nationally benchmarked assessments, i.e. CLA, NSSE, ACT SUNY Student Opinion Survey, among others.

 

Assessment results are available to the campus community through the assessment website and the Assessment Matters Newsletter which is published twice a year.

 




SUNY BUFFALO STATE administered the CLA in 2012 - 2013.

SUNY BUFFALO STATE conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA in 2012 - 2013. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on SUNY Buffalo State’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?

The CLA uses constructed-response tasks and value-added methodology to evaluate students' performance reflecting the following higher-order skills: Analytic Reasoning and Evaluation, Writing Effectiveness, Writing Mechanics, and Problem Solving.


Which SUNY BUFFALO STATE students are assessed? When?

The school test a sample of entering students (freshmen) in the fall and exiting students (seniors) in the spring.


How are assessment data collected?

Generally, a random sample of students (20%) is assessed using standardized benchmarked instruments like the CLA.


How are data reported within SUNY BUFFALO STATE?

Data are aggregated by disciplines and programs and results are posted on the assessment website and in the Assessment Matters newsletter.


How are assessment data at SUNY Buffalo State used to guide program improvements?

They are used by faculty to analyze strengths and weaknesses. Assessment data are used as a basis for change in courses and programs throughout the college.


Of 2099 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 92 (4%) were included in the tested sample at SUNY BUFFALO STATE.


Of 2889 senior students eligible to be tested, 100 (3%) were included in the tested sample at SUNY BUFFALO STATE.


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 55% 52% 59% 72%
Male 45% 48% 41% 28%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 37% 32% 22% 35%
White / Caucasian 55% 57% 76% 57%
International 2% <1% 1% <1%
Unknown 7% 12% 2% 8%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 48% <1% 40% <1%
Area of Study Sciences and Engineering 15% 9% 9% 11%
Humanities and Languages 9% 15% 14% 23%
Helping/Services 20% 20% 39% 35%
Social Sciences 11% 28% 11% 17%
Business and Marketing 12% 10% 12% 4%

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 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.

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