UNM students participating in nationally benchmarked "Collegiate Learning Assessment" exams have scored significantly higher than similar students across the country, according to Vice Provost Wynn Goering. Nearly 400 UNM students participated in the study, which was administered to students in some 150 colleges and universities in 2009-2010.

"It is one thing to simply assert that our students are getting an ‘excellent' education at UNM," Goering noted. "It is quite another to have objective evidence for that claim. That is certainly what this analysis is telling us."

As a cohort, UNM freshmen scored higher than 75 percent of similar students in the nationwide study. UNM seniors ranked at the 90th percentile.

The results, Goering said, provide valuable information about both the students and the quality of education they are receiving at UNM. "The freshman scores belie the notion that our students are largely ‘unprepared' for college-level work when they arrive on campus. On the other hand, the exceptional performance of the seniors is a very strong indicator of the quality of education they receive at UNM."

The Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA, is an exam given to freshmen and seniors who volunteer for the experience. The test measures analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and written communication skills, and benchmarks the results against statistical expectations based on academic preparation.

The complete CLA report, including UNM's results, is available online at CLA Report 2009-2010.

Media contact: Susan McKinsey, 277-1807; e-mail: mckinsey@unm.edu