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Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+)



What is the Collegiate Learning Assessment+?

  • This assessment is used by hundreds of universities to review the effectiveness of their curricular and co-curricular programs and to continuously improve them for you, our student.
  • The CLA+ measures critical thinking, problem solving, analytic reasoning, and writing skills using a performance-based assessment.   For more information see the Student Guide (pdf) or the Practice Assessment (pdf).
  • The principal goal of the CLA+ is to provide an objective assessment about the critical-thinking and written communication skills students possess as they enter college as freshmen and exit as seniors.
  • Cal Poly is among hundreds of institutions that use the CLA+ to measure the university's contributions to student learning, and our students have scored among the highest of all those participating. Previously administered every year, Cal Poly now administers the CLA+ on a three-year cycle. 

How Cal Poly Uses the Results

  • Data are aggregated for analysis, but your results are confidential as no individual student identifications are used.
  • The results of the CLA+ help Cal Poly to get a more complete picture of student achievement.  We combine the information provided with other measures to help us improve the overall learning experience for our students, with the goal of continuously improving your career readiness and ability to pursue advanced degrees.

Awards for Top Scores

We look for 100 seniors to volunteer for the assessment and each participant will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card and free food during the assessment. 

In addition, top-scoring seniors will receive monetary awards!

  • $400 for top scorer
  • $200 for second-place
  • $100 each for third- through fifth-place scorers

Past top-scorers have been from a wide range of majors and held GPAs from 2.5 to 3.9.  All Cal Poly students typically do well on the CLA+.

Want to take part?  Click here to register

What to Expect

The CLA+ is open to all expected Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 graduates and blended program post-bacs who started Cal Poly as freshmen.  It is administered on-line and takes no more than ninety minutes. 

Sessions will be conducted in the Kennedy Library computer labs from January 27th through February 21st.  A variety of pastries will be provided for your enjoyment during the morning sessions and pizza in the afternoons.

Your individual score report will show how you compare to other students here at Cal Poly and at other institutions nationwide.  You can add this to your resume' and Linkedin profile to distinguish yourself from your peers.

Most Recent Results

As illustrated by the chart below, 1281 was Cal Poly's senior mean total score on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) for the most recent administration. This score put Cal Poly within the top 1% of all CLA+ schools, with students demonstrating Accomplished mastery of the writing, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning skills measured by the CLA+.

See the Details:

Cal Poly's 2016-17 Institutional Report (pdf)

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Office Contact

Academic Programs and Planning 
1 Grand Avenue
Kennedy Library
  (Bldg. 35), Suite 319  
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 

Main Number 
(805) 756-2246

General Email