CLA Exam at RSC


  • The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is an open-ended assessment that provides a measure of an institution’s contribution to the development of critical thinking and writing skills of its students.
  • Unlike many of the exams you may be familiar with, the CLA reports the results at the school level, rather than at the student level.
  • The principal goal of the CLA is to assist faculty and administrators in improving teaching and learning.


Schools participate in the CLA to estimate how, and by how much, they contribute to your development of higher-order skills. Collecting this information is one step in the process of improving teaching and learning.

More information about the CLA can be found at:


The Sage Colleges began administering the CLA exam in Fall 2012 to 100 entering first year students.  In April 2013, we will test our first group of seniors-- those with 87 or more credits who entered RSC as first year students.  Ultimately, we aim to see improvement in the overall scores when we compare the first year students with the seniors as a means of demonstrating the analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills that students develop during their time at Sage.  In addition, we plan to employ the data gained through these assessments to improve overall teaching and learning at Sage.

Testing Date:  Wednesday, April 10th

Session I:  9:30-11:30AM       or        Session II:  1:00-3:00PM

* Students were assigned a session time and notified via email.

Testing Location:  
Computer Labs in the Basement of the Education Bldg

Student should confirm their attendance by emailing [email protected].

  Selected students have been emailed the following message from Dean Sharon Robinson notifying then of their selection and need to participate.


Dear Seniors,

You have been selected to represent Russell Sage College on Wednesday, April 10th in a very important part of our efforts to improve the educational experience we provide to students—The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA).

The principal goal of the CLA is to assist faculty and administrators in improving teaching and learning.  It measures your analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills.  The overall results will help RSC gauge our performance in helping you develop these skills, and, in the future, focus our resources on what works best.

This assessment will take about 90 minutes to complete, and you have been assigned a time slot when you have no classes, so we will expect you to be present.  If you have a compelling obligation that prevents you from attending, please call 244-2466 to schedule a meeting with me right away.  It is critical that we have the required number of seniors take the exam; otherwise, our results will be invalid. (First-Year students took the same exam in September, and we had 100% attendance!) 

I know that this isn’t a particularly thrilling “invitation,” but I hope that you’ll do this as a service to the College.  Some schools make taking the exam a graduation requirement, but we didn’t want to do that.  We’re offering a carrot instead of a stick: in addition to doughnuts or chocolate, we’ll be giving away the price of graduation regalia ($75) to five randomly selected students (and if you’re not yet graduating or participating in Commencement, you’ll get a Visa card in that amount).

Thanks so much for your help!


Sharon Robinson

Dean of Russell Sage College

  Cara Baummer