campus partner(s)

Council of Independent Colleges






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Richard Ekman

Council of Independent Colleges

Grant Summary

$545,714 over 36 months. With a 2004 Teagle Foundation grant, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) established a consortium of 33 member colleges that would administer the CLA to first-year and senior students, and then meet annually to share experiences and learn from each other. Through this work, the consortium has developed a body of knowledge, including lessons and best practices, on using the CLA to measure student learning outcomes. Building on the successes of the original consortium, the extended project will:

  • Refine current assessment processes at participating campuses through continued CIC support and increased faculty participation, with the overall goal of creating a culture of assessment on member campuses;
  • Help campuses document their successes in student learning by the use of CLA and other assessment data;
  • Expand the number of institutions that benefit from the consortium's work, not only by increasing the number of campuses directly involved, but also by creating benchmarks and establishing a compendium of best practices to assist other campuses that want to pursue assessment activities;
  • Begin to use CLA results to effect curricular change.

CIC will continue to support consortium members by:

  • Convening the annual meeting to share results, to discuss challenges and successes, and to figure out next steps;


  • Working with the developers of the CLA to reach out to campuses throughout the year through a consortium listserv, through distribution of resource materials and reports, and through occasional web conferences.

CIC also plans to release two publications targeting general audiences. The first will make the case for the importance of assessing student learning based on the experience of the original consortium, while the second will document lessons and best practices established by the extended group.