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The Council for Aid to Education (CAE)

Experts in performance-based assessments

The Council for Aid to Education (CAE) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve student outcomes. CAE develops performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills and identify opportunities for student growth.

CAE’s Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) for higher education and College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) for secondary education evaluate the skills educational institutions and employers demand most: critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication. Based on CAE’s research, these skills are predictive of positive college and career outcomes.

CAE also partners with its clients to design innovative performance assessments that measure the constructs vital to students, educators, and institutions, including subject area and grade specific assessments.

Over 800,000 students at 1,300+ institutions have completed one of our performance-based assessments. Our research has been supported by leading foundations.

Assessing College and Career Readiness Since 2002

Content knowledge is no longer sufficient for college and career success.

CAE’s performance-based assessments authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills, providing valid and reliable insights into students’ preparedness for their next step.

Assessing College and Career Readiness - Critical Thinking and Written Communications

Authentic Assessments Through Performance Tasks

Our performance-based assessments diagnose student strengths and opportunities for improvement, providing reliable insights to students, educators, and institutions to increase future success.

CAE’s assessments:

  • Situate students in scenarios that mimic real-world, complex decision environments
  • Require students to analyze and synthesize data and information, address important issues, propose solutions, and recommend courses of action to resolve conflicts
  • Instruct students to support their responses by utilizing information provided within the assessment, such as technical reports, data tables, newspaper articles, office memoranda, and emails
  • Allow for more than one single “correct” answer with scores that reflect a range of plausible and effective response strategies
  • Evaluate students against CAE’s norm and criterion-referenced standards

Essential Skills Can Help Improve Student Outcomes

Are Your Students Ready for Their Next Step?

CAE’s assessment help students, educators, and institutions answer critical questions such as:

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How ready are our students for their next step and where do they need support?

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How well is our institution developing essential skills in our students?

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How much are our students growing from year to year?

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How much has our new curriculum improved our students’ essential skills?

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How can I incorporate custom performance-based assessment in my institution?

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