A Measure of Education Is Put to the Test

The current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education examines the Carnegie Corporation funded Collegiate Learning Assessment, the widely used test is designed to measure higher order skills—critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication— deemed essential in the study of all academic disciplines. 

The CLA is also the subject of a recent Carnegie ResultsThe Collegiate Learning Assessment: A Tool for Measuring the Value Added of a Liberal Arts Education.  The paper helps frame the rationale behind the development of the CLA by asking a series of questions including: What are the bottom-line outcomes of a liberal arts education in America today? What do colleges actually contribute to student learning? Do we have the tools to measure this “value added” of a liberal arts education? How can we promote a transparent “culture of evidence” in which colleges can harvest the knowledge gained from their respective successes and failures and use it to strengthen curriculum, teaching, and administrative practices?