CoBE vs. The Nation

How do CoBE seniors stack up against national norms?

Very well, it turns out.

Each semester since 2005, CoBE seniors enrolled in Administrative Policy have been taking quizzes on each of the business core courses they completed in their sophomore and junior years. They complete quizzes on everything from accounting and statistics to marketing and finance, five different quizzes each semester.

How do the CoBE quizzes work?

Faculty within each department wrote the quiz questions for their subjects and revised them over time. The faculty knew what they wanted CoBE students to learn and remember, and the quizzes reflected what they felt were the most important concepts in their subject areas. Results, based on percent of answers correct, are shown here.

Results of the CoBE exams showed students were performing less strongly on the more quantitative courses, as might be expected. Students took most of these courses in their sophomore years, leaving more time to forget the quantitative material.

Earlier this semester, 214 students in Administrative Policy classes did something different from the usual exams: they took the Educational Testing Service Major Field Test Exam in business. The reason for using this exam rather than the usual in-house exams was that we could compare CoBE students’ performance with scores from students across the nation.

So how did CoBE students perform on a national basis?

Well, 65% of business schools’ average scores across the nation were below CoBE students’ scores! Not bad. But even more impressive was how CoBE students performed on accounting, information systems and quantitative business analysis. For accounting, 84% of business schools’ mean scores were below those of Whitewater students. And 76% of the means fell below UW-W students on information systems. For quantitative analysis, 75% of business schools fell below UW-W. While the percent correct scores for these exams were not as exciting (52% for accounting, 44% correct for quantitative analysis), because students across the US have challenges with these more quantitative courses too, UW-W students were able to outshine others across the nation.

CoBE students and faculty should be proud of their performance. Of course, there’s always more to do, but these exams gave us the opportunity to see the quality of our education and our student body here at UW-Whitewater.


Written By:  Dr. Lois Smith, Associate Dean, College of Business and Economics

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