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Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


The practice of assessment in higher education is often focused on measuring outcomes of student success. However, the potential for a student to obtain a job (i.e., their employability) after graduation is often not directly measured. This reality is unfortunate given the competitive job market and rising cost of an education. One scale, the Employability Skills Inventory (ESI) has been identified as a potential assessment instrument that purports to measure skills necessary for employment in most occupations. Before deciding to use any scale for a particular purpose, one must establish that the scale is both reliable and valid. The focus of this thesis was to gather validity evidence for the ESI, paying a particular emphasis on the Thinking Skills subdomain. Use of a survey to employers, content alignment activities, and structural equation modeling were used to gather construct validity evidence. The results of this thesis suggest that the ESI is not an appropriate instrument for assessing employability among college students. A new model of employability and a process by which an appropriate employability measure can be developed are discussed.

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