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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Abstract

Service-learning grew out of the philosophy that effective education should be experiential in nature (Giles & Eyler, 1994b). Alternative Break programs are steeped in this philosophy. Participation in many Alternative Break programs involves the immersion of students in a week-long service trip during academic breaks. Measurement of student learning outcomes is important in determining the effectiveness of these experiential programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Community Service-learning Assessment Test (CSAT) and to gather construct validity evidence for the CSAT’s five sub-scales: civic action, interpersonal problem-solving, social justice, interpersonal relationships, and personal competency. Two independent samples of sophomores and juniors were administered the CSAT. A five-factor confirmatory factor analysis model was tested using Sample 1 and did not fit the data. These results replicated in Sample 2. Based on the results, scales and items were removed and a modified two-factor confirmatory analysis with civic action and social justice items was performed using Sample 2. This two-factor model did fit the data and external evidence was gathered for both constructs. External validity evidence provided some support for both the civic action and social justice scales. Recommendations and future research for the improvement of all five scales comprising the CSAT are made.

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