Collegiate Learning Assessment Act

Collegiate Learning Assessment Act

The Collegiate Learning Assessment Act


This model policy requires public colleges and universities to administer the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to all students during their freshman and senior years. The schools would also be required to publish the results, broken down by academic majors.

The act focuses on transparency in student-learning outcomes as the first step toward raising public awareness about areas of academic strength and weakness in certain schools and majors. This would guide prospective students toward schools and majors shown to yield significant increases in learning.

Model Policy

Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as “Collegiate Learning Assessment Act.”

Section 2. Definitions.

(A) In this Act:

(1) “Institution of higher education” means any public technical institute, public junior college, public senior college or university, public state college, or other agency of higher education as defined in this section. “Institution of higher education” does not include medical or dental units.

Section 3. Student Learning Outcomes for Institutions of Higher Education.

(A) All institutions of higher education will administer the Collegiate Learning Assessment or a similar assessment to measure student learning outcomes, foster a transparent student learning environment, and increase accountability of institutions of higher education.

(B) The Collegiate Learning Assessment will be administered to:

(1) all incoming students prior to first enrolled semester;

(2) all students who have completed 48 credit hours at or above the 100 level; and

(3) all graduating students in the last semester of undergraduate enrollment.

(C) Students who meet the eligibility requirements but, due to extenuating circumstances are unable to sit for the examination may petition the Vice President for Academic Affairs for a deferment prior to the test date or no later than the final day of the semester in which the examination should have been taken. Students granted deferments will sit for the examination during the next administration following the end of the deferment.

(D) Failure to sit for the examination as scheduled, whether initially or following a deferment will result in denial of subsequent registration at all institutions of higher education. Students who have been denied registration due to failure to take the proficiency examination may apply for readmission after two academic terms (fall, spring, or summer). If readmitted, they must sit for the examination during the next administration. Failure to do so will result in immediate administrative withdrawal.

(E) Transfer students are subject to and must meet the proficiency examination requirements.

(F) Each university is authorized to charge students fees to cover the cost of retesting.

(G) Participation in the proficiency examination as scheduled constitutes an excused absence. The institutions of higher education will supply each student with a notice to that effect. Students required to participate in the proficiency examination process may not be penalized in either their courses or in official university activities. Students required to participate in the proficiency examination will be allowed to make up any class events, including quizzes and exams, given during their absence. Students must be assured equity by being given make up exams, quizzes/assignments of equivalent content and expectations and within a reasonable time of the excused absence.

(H) All institutions of higher education are required to report the results of the CLA to {insert appropriate state education board} in accordance with established reporting procedures.

(I) All institutions of higher education are required to publish individual student scores on their respective official transcripts.

Section 4. {Severability clause.}

Section 5. {Repealer clause.}

Section 6. {Effective date.}

Approved by the ALEC Legislative Board of Directors September 29, 2013.

Re-Approved By the ALEC Board of Directors: September 3, 2019