University-Wide Assessment

The university collects information to better understand the experience of students, their levels of engagement with meaningful learning activities, and their ability to demonstrate specific skills thought to be developed by college-level learning.   UW-L has made use of two national measures, the National Survey of Student Engagement and the Collegiate Learning Assessment, in our efforts to understand and improve student learning.  The results of these measures are then utilized by faculty and staff to make decisions about programming and in review of the general education curriculum.


National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) assesses college students’ involvement in curricular activities that are associated with academic achievement.  The NSSE is based on extensive research that shows that “the time and energy college students devote to educationally purposeful activities is the single best predictor of their learning and personal development.”  The survey includes items “that are known to be related to important college outcomes” and encompasses a broad range of activities from such things as the number of papers student write and participation in class discussions to their involvement in experiential learning and extracurricular activities.  UW-L is able to compare our results with those of the combined scores of the other comprehensive schools in the UW system, schools who hold the same Carnegie classification, and overall scores of all schools completing the survey in a given year.  The university has participated in the NSSE from 1999 to 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 and is on a three-year cycle as part of the entire UW system participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability.

·         2011 NSSE UW-L Benchmark Report   

More information about UW-L's performance on the NSSE can be found by reading the following executive summaries:

·         2011 Summary Report (currently being drafted)   
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2008 Summary Report
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2006 Summary Report
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2004 Summary Report
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2001 Summary Report


Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) analyzes students’ written responses to a complex task that requires analyzing complex materials.  Students' abilities to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and communicate clearly and cogently are assessed.

More information about UW-L’s performance on the CLA can be found by reading the following executive summaries:

·         2010-2011 Summary Report
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2010-2011 Institutional Report
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2007-2008 Summary Report
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2007-2008 Institutional Report


For additional information concerning CLA or NSSE assessment at UW-L, contact University Assessment Coordinator Dr. Patrick Barlow.