Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

The Career State Inventory (Csi) as Intentional Assessment

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

The Career State Inventory (Csi) as Intentional Assessment

Article excerpt

Intentional Design of the CSI

We sought to create a simple, accurate assessment instrument without cost that could be scored quickly in order to develop insights about a client's career decision state or present state of consciousness regarding career goals and aspirations. The instrument uses specific items that have a history in career assessment described in the Career State Inventory (CSI) Manual by Leierer, Peterson, Reardon, and Osborn (2017) and the article by Leierer, Wilde, Peterson, and Reardon (2016).

In addition, the authors also wanted to establish a link between CSI subscales assessing career certainty, satisfaction, and clarity with respect to career thinking (total score on the Career Thoughts Inventory) (CTI; Sampson Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1998). Thus, the CSI could be useful as a screening device in determining whether a client is ready to explore self-knowledge and option knowledge as a basis for identifying occupational and educational alternatives, or whether further diagnostic assessment regarding negative thinking or mental health status should be pursued.

As a career assessment, the authors wanted the CSI to have reliability (i.e., accuracy of measure), validity, (e.g., predict the CTI total score), and a career theory basis (Sampson, Reardon, Peterson, & Lenz, 2004). These were intentional aspects of the design of the CSI. Finally, we wanted to use items that had a history in career assessment.

Description of the CSI

The CSI's ultimate purpose is to assess an individual's readiness for career problem solving and decision making. Although this brief assessment only uses three questions to measure three career decision state (CDS) dimensions, (a) certainty, (b) satisfaction, and (c) clarity, scores on these dimensions are significantly correlated with the CTI Total score (R2 = p < .01; Leierer et al., 2016). The CSI Research Version (see Leierer et al., 2017) can be described as a measure of career decision-making readiness (Leierer et al., 2016). It can be presented on a single page or it can be included in an intake form in career counseling or as part of a background data form in orientation to a program of study. A scoring key can be attached on the back of the instrument or on a separate page for easy scoring (see Figure 1, CSI Professional Version). The CSI typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete and score. A receptionist, career practitioner, or administrator can introduce the CSI by saying, "The Career State Inventory is a brief questionnaire designed to help you to begin thinking about your career goals and a career choice you may be making."

Four scores are derived from administering the CSI, three component scores and the total score (See Figure 1). The four components of the career state, described more fully in the following sections, include (a) the degree of certainty with respect to a career choice as measured by the Occupational Alternatives Question (OAQ), (b) the extent of satisfaction with the choice as measured by the Satisfaction Item, and (c) vocational clarity, an indicator of one's vocational self-confidence in pursuing a career goal as measured by three items from the My Vocational Situation Vocational Identity Scale. Scores from the three dimensions are summed to provide a total CDS score ranging from 2 - 12 (see Figure 1). The 11-point continuum of the CDS profile ranges from being highly certain, satisfied, clear, and confident in one's choice at one pole (i.e., 2-3), to being completely frozen, dissatisfied, confused, and lacking confidence in making a choice (i.e., 11-12). Mid-range scores (i.e., 6 - 8) may be described as having one or more options but still uncertain about them, having doubts about one's capability to make an appropriate career decision, and tentative in approaching one's career choice.

The Occupational Alternatives Question (OAQ)

The OAQ is a simple, novel career indecision measure. …

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