Institutions and other participants use CLA+ to:
- Estimate institutional and individual growth in critical-thinking and related skills
- Research the efficacy of general education programs and curriculum changes
- Demonstrate individual, class and institutional proficiency
Institutions can participate in the annual CLA+ Institutional Growth Comparison study, sampling freshmen and seniors to estimate growth in critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication. Schools also receive a proficiency score.
Participants can use CLA+ for efficacy studies. CAE provides advice on how to design and implement a study. Start by looking at our Guide for Using CLA+/CWRA+ for Efficacy Studies.
Colleges also can use CLA+ in their quality improvement plans for accreditation and to augment in-house evaluations of student work.
Here are a few examples of how participants use CLA+:
- A large public university is administering CLA+ to all incoming freshmen and again when students complete the core curriculum, gaining significant data about the effectiveness of the general education program for their students. The institution also uses freshmen scores to guide instruction of individual students.
- A new, admissions test-optional institution is using CLA+ as a measure of the entering academic ability for their students and compares against the national average. They also compare the student scores across departments to see if certain programs contribute more to CLA+ outcomes.
- A university is using CLA+ as part of a certification program to help students to communicate their skills to graduate schools and employers.
- The US Army is administering CLA+ to all ROTC summer cadets and using the scores to inform assignment decisions for job placement.