Starting with August 2018 graduates, all Auburn students will need to take the SCORE assessment in order to receive their diploma. The assessment is not required to graduate but it is required to receive a diploma.
SCORE, or student core outcomes and readiness evaluation, is a one-hour test students will take when they are registered for the University graduation course, UNIV 4AA0, said Dr. Megan Good, director of Academic Assessment.
Students will be tested on one of the nine student learning outcomes that students fulfill through University core classes such as English composition and public speaking.
“Because we have nine student learning outcomes,” Good said. “Basically, we’re gathering a random sample of data associated with each of our student learning outcomes.”
Auburn purchased five tests from vendors. Auburn faculty are developing the other four tests. Three of the remaining four tests have already been developed.
Student will be assigned one of the nine tests at random based on the last digit of their student ID number.
Three of the nine tests will be in circulation during each semester. This means that for Summer 2018 graduates, each student will be assigned one of three assessments. Then for Fall 2018 graduates, there will be three different tests and students will be assigned one of those three.
“They have clustered three tests at a time,” Good said. “For example this summer and fall, we’re implementing critical thinking, written communication and information literacy. Based on the last digit of your ID you’ll take one of those three.”
Students are not required to take the SCORE assessment to graduate, but are highly encouraged to take it. A diploma hold will be placed on each students’ account until they take the SCORE assessment, Good said.
This is the first time a campus-wide graduation assessment has been put in place. Some colleges and schools throughout campus have piloted a graduation assessment.
“We most recently piloted with the College of Science and Math in January with this particular system,” Good said.
Auburn’s regional accreditors, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, requires all institutions to assess their general education outcomes. Auburn previously used in-class assessments and is now switching to a graduation assessment.
The goal of the SCORE assessment is not to give students more tests to worry about. It’s to obtain data on the University core classes and student learning outcomes to improve them.
“Often there is not data available to showcase how strong the educational quality is at any institution,” Good said. “By collecting this information we will be able to tell a compelling story about the educational experience at Auburn. And proactively use it to improve that experience for all future generations.”
Students will be required to take the SCORE assessment as a proctored one-hour exam in the Biggio Center.
“We appreciate students doing their best on the test when they are there for the SCORE,” Good said.
Students that decide not to take the SCORE assessment will not be able to take the SCORE assessment once they have graduated. So students that elect to not take it can contact the Office of Registrar about receiving their diploma, Good said.
Students that are not on campus for their final semester, which is when they would take the SCORE assessment, can email email@example.com to submit a request to have the diploma hold removed without taking the SCORE assessment.
Students are encouraged to take the one-hour SCORE assessment and just do their best. There is no minimum score students need to achieve in order to receive their diploma, they just need to take the assessment, Good said.