September 9, 2013
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The New Test for Grads That Could Get Them a Job.
More than 200 schools, including some in the Texas and California state systems, have signed on to offer students the new voluntary Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+) test, designed to give employers an objective way to measure entry-level candidates.
Proponents of the CLA+ say the test scores are a better way of measuring student performance and career readiness than Grade Point Averages (GPAs), which have become so inflated they’re no longer as useful to employers as they once were. The average college GPA has risen over the past few decades from 2.3 to 3.2, according to Gallup.
The compromised value of a high GPA has little impact on students from highly selective, well known colleges who are likely to land a job regardless of their GPA. But it has hurt hard-working students at schools without a marquis name, says Robert Benjamin, executive director of the nonprofit Council for Aid to Education, which administers the CLA+.
“This gives able students at those schools an opportunity to show that their skills are the same or better than [those of] their counterparts,” Benjamin says. “It also allows those schools to objectively demonstrate they have quality students.”
This is a good idea, though a truly independent test would be better still.