The development and validation of an instrument to measure conditions for social engagement of students in higher education

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The present article analyzes social engagement as an outcome of higher education. It can be conceived as an attitude that by definition only manifests itself over time, and should therefore not be assessed or measured during the years of study or at graduation. The argument is being made that social engagement should be understood in terms of conditions for social engagement. Based on a conceptual framework three such conditions are being proposed: an interest in social and political issues, self-efficacy, and a positive disposition towards applied skills and knowledge. The present study consists of the design and validation of a tool for measuring these conditions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, performed on two consecutive samples of freshmen college students, resulted in the conditions for social engagement questionnaire, which measures conditions for social engagement along four scales: political interest, social analysis, valuing application and self-efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-720
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date23 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2015

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