Taking Exit Exams in order to graduate college is a new trend in college accountability. Previously, a student’s grade-point-average would stand in for this accountability, except, it has been well known for some time that grade inflation is rampant at colleges and universities. By one measure employed by Teachers College, 43% of students receive and “A.” What is also interesting is the groups of people who are invested in this accountability—parents, lawmakers and others:
The advent of the college exit test is being driven largely by parents, lawmakers and others intent on making sure they’re getting their money’s worth from colleges and universities—and by employers who complain that graduates arrive surprisingly ill-prepared.
“There is a groundswell from the public about whether a college degree is worth what people are paying for it,” said Stephanie Davidson, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University System of Ohio. “People are asking for tangible demonstrations of what students know.”
Ohio this year started testing candidates for education degrees before they graduate. The Wisconsin Technical College System requires its graduating students to take tests, or to submit portfolios, research papers or other proof of what they know. And all undergraduates at the University of Central Missouri have to pass a test before they are allowed to graduate. Such activity is up “significantly,” according to a new report from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.