An Analysis of Learning Outcomes of Underrepresented Students at Urban Institutions

Learning Outcomes report cover

​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has long been concerned about the educational success of students, particularly underrepresented groups of students. As part of its Creating Pathways to Educational and Economic Opportunity in Urban Colleges and Universities project (the Pathways Project), CIC organized 19 institutions, nine in urban and ten in non-urban areas, to explore students’ performance on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). In addition to collecting data from a representative sample of students, participating institutions agreed to draw an in-depth sample of first-generation students (defined based on parental education) and low-income students (defined based on Pell-grant eligibility). The in-depth sample increased the sample size of underrepresented groups and thus allowed for more accurate estimates of their CLA performance. The data included in this report are cross-sectional, with institutions collecting information from samples of first-year students in fall 2010 and seniors in spring 2011.

The first portion of this report focuses on CLA performance of underrepresented groups of students. Though descriptive results reveal gaps in CLA performance between underrepresented groups and their more advantaged peers, those differences can be accounted for by student characteristics. Thus, after adjusting for student characteristics, particularly academic preparation, no notable gaps in CLA performance appear among different groups of students.

​Council of Independent Colleges
By Josipa Roksa
May 2012

Student Outcomes