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Slippery Rock University Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes at Slippery Rock University

Faculty-driven and administration-supported assessment of student learning outcomes is an integral part of a Rock Solid education at Slippery Rock University. Using a variety of direct and indirect assessment tools, the quality of student learning both within degree programs and across Liberal Studies areas is measured.  The results are used to provide faculty, students and administration with information and insight to improve student learning, increase student success, continuously examine and improve curricula, well as inform strategic planning and resource allocation. 


Slippery Rock University administered the CLA in 2010 - 2011.

Slippery Rock University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA in 2010 - 2011. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on SRU’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?

Slippery Rock University (SRU) chose the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) as a method of measuring the institution’s contribution to the development of the students’ ability to think critically, reason analytically, communicate clearly and solve problems.  In addition, the selection of the CLA represents SRU’s commitment to transparent assessment and voluntary reporting.


Which Slippery Rock University students are assessed? When?

Students are assessed in cycles.  Freshman are assessed during the fall semester and Seniors are assessed in the spring.  Approximately 115 students are selected per semester by faculty teaching courses consisting of the relevant cohorts across all four colleges of the institution to provide a representative sample of our majors.


How are assessment data collected?

Across campus, assessment data are identified and collected by the Assessment Core Committee on an annual schedule.  Data collection and analysis take place during the fall and spring semesters.


How are data reported within Slippery Rock University?

The collected data are submitted at the end of May and the Assessment Core Committee Chairperson prepares a report based on this data that is reported to the Provost’s Office at the start of the fall semester.  This report is shared with the institution’s four colleges through the Dean’s Offices.


How have data led to program changes and improvements at SRU?

The data are used as the basis for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) 5th year program review.  This information is then used to influence resource allocations and improve programs to enhance student success.


Of 1575 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 98 (6%) were included in the tested sample at Slippery Rock University.


Of 2010 senior students eligible to be tested, 81 (4%) were included in the tested sample at Slippery Rock 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 62% 65% 58% 67%
Male 38% 35% 42% 32%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 9% 8% 7% 12%
White / Caucasian 88% 88% 86% 84%
International <1% <1% <1% <1%
Unknown 3% 4% 6% 4%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) 34% 18% 34% 26%

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