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General Education Assessment Results
Illinois College administers the College-BASE examination to its juniors as a measure of general education attainment, and results of the examination attest to the comparative academic strengths of Illinois College students.  College-BASE is a nationally standardized test that addresses Mathematics, English, Science, and Social Studies.  The most recent junior percentile rankings that are available are from 2006, during which about 70 institutions administered to juniors.  About 80% of these institutions were masters or baccalaureate level institutions and about 80% were from the North Central Association’s region of the United States.
The percentiles for Illinois College students’ average subject area scores for 2007 are all above the 50th percentile, and Illinois College's average Science score is at the 82nd percentile.  English and Social Studies scores at Illinois College are better than the averages of about two-thirds of the other administering institutions.  The performance of Illinois College students was highest in the following subareas of the four primary subjects that were tested:
  • Scientific Observation & Experimental Design;
  • Fundamental Concepts of Physical Sciences;
  • Interpreting Lab & Field Work Results;
  • Understanding Literature;
  • Fundamental Concepts of Life Sciences, and;
  • Using Statistics.
All of these areas were also strengths at Illinois College in 2004, and Using Statistics, Fundamental Concepts of Life Sciences, and Fundamental Concepts of Physical Sciences were strengths for all years of test administration at Illinois College.
 
Illinois College administers the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to its first-year students and seniors to measure the improvement that its students demonstrate in critical thinking, analytic writing and problem solving. The 2012 CLA report revealed that Illinois College’s analytic value-added scores ranked very well among the hundreds of colleges who administered the CLA across the nation:
  • Analytic Writing: 73rd percentile;
  • Make-an-argument: 58th percentile;
  • Critique-an-argument: 84th percentile.
Student Engagement

Student engagement clearly is a critical factor in student academic development and it has been measured at Illinois College through the administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. In 2011, Illinois College students’ responses were compared to a national sample of Carnegie liberal arts colleges. The areas where Illinois College’s average ratings for first-year or senior students were most substantially higher than its peer institutions are as follows:

  • Making a class presentation;
  • Positively rating their relationships with faculty members;
  • Talking with a faculty member or advisor about career plans;
  • Participating in community service or volunteer work;
  • Completing a practicum, internship, field experience, or clinical assignment;
  • Saying that the institution substantially encourages contacts among diverse peers; and
  • Spending more than five hours per week participating in co-curricular activities.

    
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