National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment


Several tests exist that assess student learning outcomes. Listed here are the most common national tests.

Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP)

Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT)

Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)

Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP)



Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)


The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) is a test of reasoning and communication skills at the institutional level to determine how the institution as a whole contributes to student development. It focuses on the value-added of attending the institution through assessing performance tasks and analytic writing tasks covering critical thinking, analytic reasoning, written communication, and problem solving. Additional information on the Council for Aid to Education website includes institutional reports, FAQs, test measures, brochures, and participating institutions. For a list of participating schools, click here.

Community College Learning Assessment (CCLA)

The CCLA is an adaption of the Collegiate Learning Assessment for community colleges developed by the Council for Aid to Education and RAND Corporation.

 Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) 

This is a high school version of the Collegiate Learniing Assessment to measure student performance. It was developed by the Council for Aid to Education and the RAND Corporation.

Related Articles and Resources

Council of Independent Colleges (2008). Evidence of learning: Applying the collegiate

learning assessment to improve teaching and learning in the liberal arts college experience. Washington, D.C.: Council of Independent Colleges.

The Council of Independent Colleges sponsored report presents the experience of a consortium of 33 CIC member colleges and universities with the CLA over a period of three years.

Klein, S., Benjamin, R., & Bolus, R. (2007). The collegiate learning assessment: Facts

and fantasies. Evaluation Review, 31(5), 415-439.  

This white paper presents a model of what the CLA does and does not measure, an overview of the instruments used with examples of tasks, and how information on how to interpret the value-added results.

A shortened version of this white paper is available from the Ford Policy Forum. It also includes explanations of the assigned tasks and addresses what the CLA measures and how it differs from the CAAP and MAPP.

De Leon, A. G. (2007, Fall). The collegiate learning assessment: A tool for measuring

the value added of a liberal arts education. Carnegie Results, 1-12.

This article presents a brief history and an overview of the test along with examples of colleges that have used it. It ends with a look to the future of the CLA.