Assessment and Undergraduate Studies

Office of Assessment and Undergraduate Studies


General Education

  • General Education - information from most recent catalog
  • General Education Policy
  • General Education Assessment Committee (2003-2006)
  • Student Learning Outcomes for Areas I - VIII (2003)
  • General Education Area Outcomes Assessment Reporting Form (2004)
  • General Education Assessment Committee Final Report (2005)
  • General Education Review Task Force Report (2006)

  • Committee to Oversee General Education (COGE)
  • COGE reviews and approves courses for general education credit received from college curriculum committees and deans and forwards its recommendations to the administration; reviews all general education courses at least once within a seven-year cycle as determined by the Committee; and recommends revisions in the University’s General Education Policy to the USC.

  • COGE Review schedule (Excel, 2009)

  • Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) Exam
  • Western Michigan University made the decision in 2007 to become a member of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA). The VSA is an attempt to make critical information about participating institutions transparent to prospective students and their parents. One requirement of participation in the VSA is that each institution evaluate student learning by using the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) exam, the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) exam, or the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) exam (now CLA+). A WMU faculty committee decided in 2008 to use the CLA exam.

    The CLA+ exam is a product of the Council for Aid to Education and is designed to measure the value added to a student’s education by an institution. The exam is given online and consists of written responses to various performance tasks. The tasks are designed to measure the student’s critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving and written communication skills.  There are no multiple choice questions associated with the exam. The value added is determined by comparing the scores of incoming freshmen with those of graduating seniors.

    The first pilot study of the CLA exam was done at WMU in the 2008 – 2009 academic year. The initial license purchased by WMU allowed the testing of 100 freshmen and 100 seniors. The freshmen were tested during the week of Fall Welcome while the seniors were given the exam during the spring 2009 semester.

Resources for General Education Assessment

The link below is a web page created by New Jersey City University that contains articles relating to General Education program design and assessment. Also included are links to all 50 states general education guidelines (mandates or transfer agreements), or in the case of states without such mandates/transfer agreements, links to the major public universities in the state.

General Education Assessment Results

Baccalaureate Writing Assessment: Spring 2010 and Fall 2010

During the spring and fall semesters of 2010, WMU asked for volunteers from the instructors who taught baccalaureate-level writing courses to participate in an assessment project. The instructors used a slightly modified version of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC & U) Written Communication Value Rubric to evaluate one assignment near the completion of the course. Below are the results of this assessment and the rubric.

WMU General Education Assessment, Distribution Areas I-VIII: Fall 2011 and Spring 2012

During the fall semester in 2011 and the spring semester in 2012, WMU asked for volunteers from the instructors who taught in the eight general education distribution areas to participate in an assessment project. The rubrics used to evaluate the students are listed below**. These rubrics were created by a group of faculty at WMU to determine a baseline score to measure student's learning in each of the general education outcomes for the eight distribution areas based on one or more assignments chosen by the instructor, preferably near the end of the course. The results can be accessed below.

**NOTE: The rubrics were updated in the spring of 2013 to change the scoring criteria to make 5 the highest score and 1 the lowest score. When the assessments were done in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2012, the highest score was 1 and lowest score 5.


WMU General Education Assessment Rubrics: Distribution Areas I-VIII


Office of Assessment and Undergraduate Studies
B-124 Henry Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5253 USA
(269) 387-4564 | (269) 387-4377 Fax
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