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ERIC Number: ED526423
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Catalyst for Change: The CIC/CLA Consortium
Paris, David C.
Council of Independent Colleges
From the fall of 2008 through the spring of 2011, 47 colleges and universities, organized and supported by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), administered the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to their students. The CLA is a test of critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication developed by the Council for Aid to Education. The purpose of the CIC/CLA Consortium, underwritten by grants from the Teagle Foundation, was to embed a "culture of assessment" on participating campuses, refine the methods used to assess student learning, and identify "best practices" for the improvement of student learning and teaching that could be confidently shared with other small and mid-sized independent colleges and universities and made known to the public. Each institution was free to develop its own way of administering and using the CLA. In this last phase of the Consortium, summer meetings were held in 2007 through 2011 during which institutions compared notes, tactics, and results as well as discussed strategies to improve student learning on their campuses. This monograph provides a summary of the experiences of Consortium members. Participating in the Consortium led to a wide variety of effects. These ranged from fairly immediate changes in program and pedagogy to indirect, but no less important, shifts in conversations among faculty members and with administrators and in the campus culture. The initiative also led to increased interest in teaching critical thinking through the presentation of ill-structured problems, particularly CLA's "performance tasks." With each annual iteration, institutions steadily developed better ways of administering and using the CLA and conducting other assessment exercises. Overall, participation in the Consortium had a significant, positive impact on the vast majority of the institutions. The initiative produced a steady expansion of efforts, changes, experimentation, and conversation. (Contains 16 resources.)
Council of Independent Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 320, Washington DC 20036-1142. Tel: 202-466-7230; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Teagle Foundation
Authoring Institution: Council of Independent Colleges
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A