Nonprofit’s performance-based assessments will measure Mays Business School students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, identifying opportunities for growth

The Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a nonprofit developer of performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills, announced that Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School (MBS) will include CAE assessments and instruction for the 2021-2022 academic year curriculum. The partnership aims to strengthen students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, which are vital for success in the classroom and workforce.

“CAE is honored to partner with Mays Business School, one of the nation’s top business schools, to provide innovative, authentic assessments that measure skills essential for every graduate’s success,” said Bob Yayac, president and CEO, CAE. “Research confirms that while content knowledge is important, it is insufficient. These student assessments will help guide MBS educators in determining the appropriate resources for academic support, with a focus on developing the most transferable skills.”

To establish a formative baseline measure, MBS is using CAE’s Success Skills Assessment (SSA+) to assess entering undergraduate students registered in the Freshman Business Initiative course. Additionally, it will administer the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) to exiting undergraduate senior and Master of Business Administration cohorts through the school’s Strategic Management class after both fall and spring semesters. The CLA+ results will be compared to prior senior classes to evaluate the effect of teaching essential skills. CAE will also provide performance-based instructional materials and training to MBS faculty, as well as critical thinking instruction for students in the business initiative and management capstone courses.

“We’re proud that our partnership will advance the essential skills of thousands of Mays Business School students,” said Shannon Deer, Ph.D., interim associate dean for undergraduate programs, Texas A&M University. “Incorporating CAE’s innovative assessments and instruction into this robust curriculum aligns with our mission to develop transformational leaders.”

Leveraging innovative assessment models, SSA+ and CLA+ measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective written communication. By design, CAE’s assessments situate students in real-world scenarios where they must analyze and synthesize data, evaluate options, and recommend and defend a course of action — all critical skills for success in a student’s career.

To learn more about CAE and their SSA+ and CLA+ assessments, visit

About CAE
A nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve student outcomes, CAE develops performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills and identify opportunities for student growth. CAE’s Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) for higher education, College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) for secondary education, and the new Success Skills Assessment (SSA+) for any level, evaluate the skills educational institutions and employers demand most: critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication. Based on CAE’s research, these skills are predictive of positive college and career outcomes. CAE also partners with its clients to design innovative performance assessments that measure the constructs vital to students, educators, and institutions, including subject area and grade specific assessments. Since 2002, more than 800,000 students at over 1,300 secondary and higher education institutions globally have completed CAE’s assessments. To learn more, please visit

About Mays Business School
At Mays Business School, our vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools for its programs and faculty research. Explore more at