K and the CLA

Recently much has been made of research relating scores on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to success after graduation. Articles highlighting the relation between low CLA scores and difficulty navigating post-graduate pursuits have indicated that graduates who scored in the bottom 20 percent on the CLA fared far more poorly on measures of employment and lifestyle than those who scored in the top 20 percent:

Do Americans Expect Too Much From a College Degree?,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2, 2014.

‘Aspiring Adults Adrift’,” in Inside Higher Education, September 2, 2014. 

Alumni Adrift,” in Inside Higher Education, January 25, 2012.

Adrift in Adulthood,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2012.

K students, whose aggregate CLA scores are consistently in the highest quintile, demonstrate large gains in critical thinking ability and academic engagement. Our students’ CLA performance makes clear the significant learning benefits of our K-Plan. Seniors had a mean performance at the 99th percentile (at the upper end of the “above expected” range) of the CLA, whereas their mean SAT scores were at the 92nd percentile compared with other seniors who took the CLA. The “value-added” (mean senior CLA score minus mean first-year CLA score) of a Kalamazoo College education was “well above expected.”

Our students’ outstanding academic preparation and integrated experiential learning opportunities make them especially strong candidates for a wide spectrum of demanding work environments. See interpretation of the CLA results of K students at our website: