campus partner(s)

Council of Independent Colleges






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Richard Ekman

Council of Independent Colleges

Grant Summary

$250,000 over 36 months. The Teagle Foundation has awarded the Council of Independent Colleges a $250,000 grant for use over three years to foster a new way for institutions to measure what students have learned. The grant supports work with a consortium of 32 small and mid-sized private colleges and universities administering the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), developed by the RAND Corporation's Council for Aid to Education. These institutions are among the earliest adopters of the CLA and have chosen it as their main approach to assessment of student learning. The CLA assesses the "value-added" by a college education in three areas-critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and written communication.

The grant to CIC will enable participating institutions, through meetings and technical assistance, to share strategies for effectively administering the CLA as well as to compare educational practices that lead to significant learning gains. The consortium will administer the CLA to freshmen and seniors. Representatives of the institutions will meet annually in a summer workshop, together with CIC and CAE staff, and other experts, to learn from one another.

In addition, the grant supports consultation by CIC and CAE staff with other colleges and universities that the Foundation is funding in "informal consortia" for assessment projects. Those projects include some based on use of the CLA as well as some taking other approaches to the important matter of value-added learning.