FAYETTE, IOWA (September 11, 2007) – The recently released 2006-07 Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) Institutional Report confirmed that Upper Iowa University (UIU) students learn more during their college years than 90 percent of college students tested in America.
This is the second year Upper Iowa is participating in CLA testing. UIU gave the exam to last year’s freshmen early in the fall term and its exiting seniors just before graduation. It consisted of realistic problems that require analyzing complex materials that vary in reliability and accuracy. The students’ written answers measure their improvement over the four years that they spent at an institution in the areas of critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and the ability to write clearly and concisely.
CLA research shows that typically, students can be expected to improve their test scores a little less than 12 percent between the freshman and senior years; Upper Iowa’s results showed an average improvement of over 19 percent, placing the University among the top 10 percent of colleges nationally for enhancing student learning.
The intent of the testing, however, is to assess the institution--not the student—in order to assist faculty in improving teaching, learning and strengthening higher order skills. In addition, the test serves as a benchmark as to how well one institution is doing compared to another.
“We have always thought that our faculty did an incredible job and that students learned more at Upper Iowa than they would at most other schools,” said Dr. Doug McReynolds, Director of Academic Assessment. “We are really pleased to have direct empirical evidence that that is, in fact, the case.”
At the present time, CLA testing is not mandatory but the government continues to look for evidence that real learning is taking place in the nation’s colleges and universities, and CLA testing has proven to be a successful way to measure it. Upper Iowa was one of 115 schools identified for cross sectional testing a year ago; the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) reports that a total of 300 institutions and 70,000 college students have participated in CLA testing overall.
For more information on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) testing, go to the CAE website at www.cae.org. For more information on Upper Iowa University and its degree programs, go to www.uiu.edu.