By Alyssa Rupp —

Attention seniors! The University of Wisconsin–Stout needs your help in strengthening program curriculum and making Stout a stronger institution. If you are going to be graduating this spring, consider taking the Stout ETS Senior Exit Test. You can even get a free meal out of the deal!

What is the ETS Test? Jason Nicholas, Project Manager at the Applied Research Center on campus explains, “It’s a test of student learning that measures four areas: critical thinking, reading, writing and math. The test is 40 minutes long and you can do it online or in person (in which case you’ll receive a free meal at the MSC) in the Great Hall on April 9.”

The ETS test is one of several tests Stout could choose from based on requirements set forth by the Voluntary System of Accountability Program, which tracks general education gains of graduating seniors in the UW System.

“Stout’s been doing a skills test of some sort since 2004.  The most recent administration of the [ETS] test was to 200 freshmen and 200 seniors, and so in 2015 we’re doing a pilot of the voluntary method,” Nicholas says.

Nicholas and other Stout staff strongly encourages seniors to take this test in order to compile valuable learning data that will help better program curriculum and improve education strategy for future students.

“We need it for accreditation but we also use it internally to try and make adjustments in the general education classes. We’d like to be able to use it to give back to the programs and give them a sense of how their students are performing.” This is where student participation plays a huge role in the validity and meaning of the data the ETS collects.  Nicholas explains, “In order to do this we need a lot of participation from students.  We’re doing everything we can to get participation on a voluntary basis, and we are not looking at making it required.”

If you’d like to give back to the university before you graduate, look for the ETS Test sign-up at the upcoming grad fair.  If you’d like to sign up online or want more information on the test, visit

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