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Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)

CLA: Returning to Learning

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The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) offers an authentic approach to the improvement of teaching and learning in higher education through a continuous improvement model, and recognizes faculty as central actors in educational improvement efforts. The CLA assists faculty, department chairs, school administrators and others interested in programmatic change to improve teaching and learning, particularly with respect to strengthening higher order skills.

The CLA helps institutions improve undergraduate education through assessment, professional development, best practices, and collaboration. Similar to the academic writing service sites like CustomWritings where every essay writer is there to help students handle college overload in a professional manner, the CLA assessment services ensure to make the academic routine more productive and less hectic. After all, higher education is the foundation for future success.

There are two programmatic areas that support educational improvement: CLA Assessment Services and CLA Education.

CLA Assessment Services

CLA Assessment Services provide a means for measuring an institution's contribution to the development of key higher order competencies, including the effects of changes to curriculum and pedagogy. To gauge summative performance authentically, the CLA presents realistic problems that require students to analyze complex materials and determine the relevance to the task and credibility. Students' written responses to the tasks are evaluated to assess their abilities to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems and communicate clearly and cogently. Scores are aggregated to the institutional level to provide a signal to the institution about how their students as a whole are performing. CAE senior researchers and board members see the promise of the performance assessment paradigm as a means to improve education.

This signaling quality of the CLA allows institutions to benchmark where they stand and how much progress their students have made relative to the progress of students at other colleges. Yet, the CLA is not about ranking institutions. Rather, it is about highlighting differences between them that can lead to improvements in teaching and learning.

This approach recognizes that faculty are the ultimate stakeholder of the assessment. Unless there is formative value, faculty will not take any assessment seriously. Appropriate summative analyses--for instance, by comparing institutional performance--is necessary in order to give faculty and administrators information they need to help frame a well grounded formative assessment program.

We are now poised to embark on a new phase of the CLA, designed to further assist teaching and learning improvement efforts. In so doing, we are pleased to offer institutions and faculty members with multiple opportunities for ensuring that the process of educational improvement can be seen as a continuous and empowering endeavor. We use all existing methods, including online custom writing services with a great reputation. With all papers written by experts, the process of learning is less challenging. A lot of conversations with students proved that the very moment they buy essay from a trusted online source, they feel more encouraged to keep on with their studies.

CLA Education

CLA Education, which is being fully launched in the 2009-10 academic year, is an innovative enterprise that offers programs explicitly designed to assist and empower faculty. The two primary programs include: (a) Performance Task Academies (where faculty members can learn more about the process of creating and embedding their own performance based tasks within the classroom) and student and institutional diagnostic reporting (which provide feedback to faculty to engage students in diagnostic conversations about their critical thinking skills).

We could not have built the CLA without the participation and encouragement of colleges and universities, nor without the support of foundations and leading educational institutions. To date, over 500 institutions and 250,000 students have participated in the CLA and over 1,000 individual faculty and administrators have attended over 55 Performance Task Academies.

We invite you to learn more about the CLA programmatic offerings by visiting the links to the right.

CAE Pulse | Winter 2013

Meet CAE's Item Writers | Update
on CLA+ & CWRA+ | Voluntary
Support of Education (VSE) survey
results on 2012 college

If you have questions about signing up, we encourage you to visit our enrollment page. You may also contact Chris Jackson at (212) 217-0845 or

For additional information about the CLA, we encourage you to review the following:

Returning to Learning in an Age of Assessment

Dr. Roger Benjamin's monograph about the CLA, collecting numerous thoughts on our efforts and framing them in their appropriate context. A shorter synopsis of the monograph is also available.

CLA Lumina Longitudinal Study Summary Findings

Dr. Stephen Klein, the principal investigator of the Lumina-funded CLA Longitudinal Study (2005-2009), summarizes its procedures and findings. In particular, he examines the relationship between the cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches to measuring freshman-to-senior gains on the CLA.

CAE Statement Regarding OECD AHELO Project

Architecture of the CLA Tasks

Describes the process that goes into creating and scoring CLA and CWRA tasks and provides examples of varying student performance.

CLA Scoring Criteria

CWRA Scoring Criteria

Sample CLA Measures

Sample CLA Institutional Report

Sample CLA Student Data File

Facilitates merging of CLA data with other locally collected variables, analyzing relationships between CLA variables, and disaggregating data into sub-groups (for institutions that choose to in-depth sample).

CLA Technical FAQs

CCLA (Community College Learning Assessment)

CWRA (College and Work Readiness Assessment)

For High Schools

Sample CWRA Institutional Report

Library of Articles, White Papers and News Clippings About the CLA