Use of the CAPS for Predicting Employee Performance

One of the main reason’s companies use aptitude testing is to make better hiring and promotion decisions. Tests are often much better than interviews in predicting whether a person has the potential to do a job well. When designed properly, aptitude tests can fairly and objectively compare the potential of different candidates. One of the most important aspects of a test is that it is both valid and reliable, so you can be assured of a fair process and that your hiring practices are legally defensible if challenged. The Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) is a comprehensive, multi-dimensional battery designed to measure abilities related to performing a job. Typically, this test is used in conjunction with values and interest assessments in the COPSystem VIA package, but it can also be used by organizations to support hiring decisions. The following presents a case study of an organization that used the CAPS for employee selection and shows that it differentiated between high and low performers.

Job performance is one of the most important outcomes at work and has been defined as the measurable proficiency of work behavior that is under employees’ control and contributes to organizational goals (Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993). Since performance ratings are associated with employees’ salary and promotion, studying their predictors is of high interest for both organizational researchers and practitioners. Schmidt and Hunter (1998) established mental ability as one of the best predictors of overall job performance. In another meta-analysis on the predictive validity of specific cognitive abilities for job performance, Bertua, Anderson, and Salgado (2005) distinguished between seven occupational groups (clerical, engineer, professional, driver, operator, manager, and sales) and their results showed significant validities for predicting job performance within all those groups. As mental ability has been shown to be a predictor of job performance, we expected that it would be a strong predictor of job performance ratings.

Research on the main aspects of mental ability has often consisted of the following characteristics: learning, problem solving, information processing, and reasoning. For example, Gottfredson (1997) described mental ability as “the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience” (p. 13). According to Jensen (1989), learning has occurred when a change in a specific response to a given stimulus, situation, or problem was observed. Problem solving can be defined as successfully transferring a given actual state to a target state by overcoming barriers (Dunbar, 1998). Information processing involves transforming information and creating new information (Oberauer, Süß, Wilhelm, & Wittman, 2003). Finally, reasoning “is a process which may occur at any point in a thought-movement and consists in the appreciation of likeness and differences between old experiences and a new situation” (Skaggs, 1930, p. 439). Each of these mental abilities can be measured individually to consider a person’s aptitude, but the optimal use is for them to be used as part of a comprehensive battery to measure ability level related to work potential.

The Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) helps examinees relate their current levels of ability to career clusters. It is a comprehensive, multidimensional battery designed to measure abilities that are related to performing a job. There are eight ability dimensions keyed to entry level requirements for occupations in each of the 14 COPSystem VIA Career Clusters.  Measures included in the CAPS are mechanical reasoning, spatial relations, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, language usage, word knowledge, perceptual speed and accuracy, and manual speed and dexterity. Scores are combined from each individual test depending on skill requirements for each career cluster to determine level of ability within each career cluster.  The Technology, Professional career cluster is comprised of scores from the mechanical reasoning, spatial relations, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, and word knowledge tests. The CAPS is a valid and reliable battery with test-retest reliability coefficients ranging from .70 to .95. To establish concurrent validity, correlations with the General Aptitude Test Battery were obtained and ranged from .63 to .80 between conceptually similar tests. Correlations were obtained between CAPS tests and grades in specific subject areas. These correlations ranged from .30 to .60 between the CAPS tests and the subject to which it was most closely related. For example, the CAPS numerical ability test had the highest correlations with grades in math. These results are significant and demonstrate the validity of the CAPS.  Predictive validity studies show that ability scores are significantly related to subsequent career choice and may also predict job-performance associated with that career choice (Knapp, L., Knapp, R. & Knapp-Lee, 2009).

Employee data from an organization were analyzed to assess the effectiveness of the CAPS as a selection tool in predicting job performance. A sample of 128 employees were included in the analysis. All employees had completed the CAPS and had supervisor job performance ratings which were based on a scale of 1-5 (1 = highest performers, 5 = lowest performers; scores were then reverse coded so that higher rated employees received higher scores for analysis).  Employees were categorized into one of three groups. In order to distinguish between high and low performers the top two tiers, rated as 1 and 2, were combined (N = 40), and the lowest two tiers, rated as 4 and 5, were combined (N = 29). Average rated employees, rated as 3, (N = 61) were their own category (see Table 1 for means and standard deviations of test scores). Predictive validity of the scores on the CAPS was assessed by comparing categories of employee job ratings based on their CAPS scores.

The CAPS scores are presented in two profiles. One profile the CAPS Ability Profile reports scores in terms of individual scores on each of the eight subtests. The other report, the CAPS Career Profile, compares the CAPS scores to probability of success in terms of ability within a career cluster. When examining the scores on each of the eight CAPS subtests, the highest rated employees had higher average scores on all the eight CAPS tests than the average rated employees and the lowest performers. Additionally, the employee data from the CAPS Career Profile were analyzed to determine how well the CAPS predicted success within a career cluster. All the employees listed job titles were classified within the Technology cluster. Specifically, examining the Technology, Professional cluster, the high achievers were all predicted to succeed in that occupational cluster whereas, the middle and low performers were below the cutoff score for success in that cluster. In addition, when examining the scores for each group across each career cluster the higher rated employees had uniformly higher scores than both the medium and low performers.

A linear regression was calculated to predict employee rating scores based in Technology Professional scores. A significant relationship between employee rating and Technology Professional scores was found, F(1, 127) = 88.302, p < .001 (see Table 2). Technology Professional scores accounted for 41.2% of the employees’ performance rating (see Table 2). Technology Professional scores significantly predicted employee rating, as Technology Professional scores increased so did employee rating scores.  A univariate analysis of variance compared employees rated in performance levels 3-5 as compared to employees rated at levels 1-2 on the Technology Professional cluster. The analysis showed a significant difference between the groups ranked as lower performing as compared to the groups ranked as higher performing F(1, 128) = 67.14, p < .001 (see Table 3). The employees that had performance ratings of 1 and 2 were significantly higher than those rated at 3,4,5 showing that the CAPS is a good predictor of success on the job. A second analysis showed a significant difference between high rated employees (1-2) and average employees (3). High rated employees scored higher on the Technology Professional cluster than average rated employees, F(1, 128) = 26.458, p < .001 (see Table 3).

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the CAPS when used as a selection tool for employee performance.  An organization provided employee performance scores as rated by the employee’s supervisor, and CAPS scores for each employee.  The current study provides evidence that the CAPS can be used to predict job performance, specifically when the individual tests are combined to match a profile that aligns with the ability levels and requirements of job categories.  Analysis of the employee performance data and CAPS scores show additional validity that the CAPS measures job-related abilities that are relevant and applicable to the Technology, Professional career cluster, and can be used in other settings such as different career clusters.

References

Bertua, C., Anderson, N., & Salgado, J. F. (2005). The predictive validity of cognitive ability tests: A UK meta‐analysis. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78(3), 387-409.

Campbell, J. P., McCloy, R. A., Oppler, S. H., & Sager, C. E. (1993). A theory of performance. Personnel selection in organizations, 3570, 35-70.

Dunbar, R. I. (1998). The social brain hypothesis. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews: Issues, News, and Reviews, 6(5), 178-190.

Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life. Intelligence, 24(1), 79-132.

Jensen, A. R. (1989). The relationship between learning and intelligence. Learning and Individual Differences, 1(1), 37-62.

Oberauer, K., Süß, H. M., Wilhelm, O., & Wittman, W. W. (2003). The multiple faces of working memory: Storage, processing, supervision, and coordination. Intelligence, 31(2), 167-193.

Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological bulletin, 124(2), 262.

Skaggs, E. B. (1930). The essential nature and definition of reasoning. The Journal of General Psychology, 3(3), 435-442.

Table 1. Means and standard deviations for the two CAPS cluster scores of Technology and of each CAPS subtest score by employee rating.

Table 2. Regression results of employee performance predicting Technology Professional scores.

Table 3. ANOVA results comparing high vs low rated employees, and high vs average rated employees.

The EAP Has Landed

We are excited to announce that the new version of the EdITS Assessment Platform (EAP) launched on March 14, 2019. We enhanced the user interface and added new features that make it easier to use.

New Features:

Replaced the Manage Button
We replaced the “Manage” button with icons. You can now click the icons to access your group content. You can also click directly on the group name, or products to open the information or available products screens.

Add Examinees from within your administrator dashboard
Now you can add examinees from your group examinee list. From your dashboard, click the Examinee Icon to open the group examinee list. Click on the tab that says, “Add Examinee.” Complete the registration page and they are ready to test. Remember, the examinee must sign in using their username and password to take their test.

Changed Tokens to Passcodes
With our new passcodes, you get the same features of the tokens, with the added benefit of having multiple products within each group. To view your new passcodes, click on the “Products Icon” from your dashboard, or click on the link in the products column. This will open a list of your available products in that group. Each available product has a passcode associated with it. You can use this passcode the same way you used the token, when an examinee signs up, they will be able to enter a passcode and take one of your tests.

Please remember, that your old tokens have been deleted and they will not work. You must use your new passcodes moving forward.

Compatibility of the CAPS Abilities with Other Assessments

One of the benefits of using the complete COPSystem VIA is that you have full access to all of your scores to use in comprehensive career exploration. The results page of the COPSystem allows students to review their top three career matches to pursue based on their highest rated values, interests, and abilities. Additionally, students are shown the abilities where their strengths would be useful in a career if they wanted to explore that path, even if it was not one of their highest interest scores based on the completed survey. This can be especially beneficial for students exploring career paths as it gives them more options to research. It can be the case that students don’t realize their interest in an area until they discover that they are good at it. The CAPS results help students discover how high school classes can help them reach their career goals. While it is certainly helpful to identify the top two or three areas of interests and strengths for a student, it is not ideal to limit them to those career paths when there are more areas that can be pursued.

Furthermore, measuring values provides students with a more complete picture of the type of career that they think will be the best fit for them. The COPSystem is the optimal tool for career exploration as it provides students with a comprehensive and clear picture of career exploration possibilities all within the same easy to use and interpret online platform.

In a recent study, data were collected from 611 high school students in the Midwest who were participants in the college and careers program. Scores from another company’s interest assessment (similar to the Interest assessment offered in the COPsystem VIA) and the CAPS ability battery were compared to evaluate the effectiveness of matching abilities and interests using the two tests as a tool for career guidance. Only the top two scores from the other inventory were available, whereas the CAPS reports ability scores for all 14 career clusters. The CAPS provides probability of success cut-off scores for each career cluster. Any score above the cut-off score results in a plus, or ability match for a student, which indicates that the student would be able to complete job related tasks adequately based on their current ability level. The advantage of the CAPS is that students look at both their strengths and weaknesses in terms of ability and decide whether they would like more training to improve some of their lower scores or if they would like to pursue a career aligned with their strengths. It is of great help in planning for high school courses and future career pathways.

Interest clusters from the other inventory were compared to the COPS interest clusters so that scores could be matched on like scales (See Appendix for a comparison of U.S.O.E. and COPS interest clusters). Once similar clusters were identified from each assessment, CAPS ability scores were used to evaluate whether the students’ abilities and interests were considered a match. A “Professional” match is for students who would be encouraged to pursue a college degree, and “Skilled” match is for students who would be encouraged to enter the workforce or pursue trade schools.

Data from the 611 students were analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the CAPS battery in matching interests and abilities. In the current sample, 100% of students had a match between their first ranked career interest, and their CAPS ability score. Of the 611 students, 135 had matches falling within the Service Skilled, Outdoor, or Technology skilled clusters which all contain job tasks that can be performed at relatively low ability levels, so the cutoff for these clusters is generous. For further analysis the 135 students from these matches were not included. Of the remaining sample of 476 students, 262 (55%) had a match between their first highest rated interest and abilities associated with a “Professional” career cluster; meaning they would be encouraged to pursue a college degree or post high school education.

The remaining 214 students (45%) had a match on their first highest rated interest with a “Skilled” level cluster; meaning they would be encouraged to pursue careers in career and technical education (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. Pie chart depicting percentage of students who would be encouraged to pursue college vs. enter the workforce based on CAPS Career Cluster match.

For the second highest interest match, 258 students were excluded because either the interest scores were missing, or they were part of the group previously discussed. Of the remaining sample of 353 students, 251 (71%) had a “Professional” match on their second highest interest score, and 102 (29%) had a “Skilled” match (See Figure 2).

Figure 2. Pie chart depicting percentage of students who would be encouraged to pursue college vs. enter the workforce based on CAPS Career Cluster match.

It should also be noted that there is some overlap between the 1st and 2nd highest interest match and students encouraged to pursue college, such that the highest performing students in the ability battery scored on average higher across all career clusters in ability levels. There were 184 students that had “Professional” matches on their 1st and 2nd career clusters, but they were not singled out in this analysis because we were interested in the assessing the CAPS at an aggregate level instead of on an individual level.

The CAPS ability battery when used in conjunction with an interest inventory from another company does provide students with career guidance that can be used to determine a path forward. Research shows that career satisfaction is related not only interests and abilities, but values as well (Knapp-Lee, 1996), which is included in the COPSystem VIA. This creates a more comprehensive and clearer picture of where students can focus their career exploration.

Combined with the Career Briefs, the COPSystem VIA is a comprehensive career exploration package that allows students and counselors to explore more career options and find the best fit for them. This easy to use platform gives students access to their full data including values, interests, and abilities and allows them a complete and more wide-ranging career exploration which leads to greater success in finding the ideal person-job fit.

Reference
Knapp-Lee, L. (1996). Use of the COPES, A Measure of Work Values, in Career Assessment. Journal of Career Assessment, 4, 429-443.

Appendix

Updating the EdITS Assessment Platform (EAP)

We are excited to announce an updated version of the EdITS Assessment Platform (EAP) launching on March 14, 2019.

EAP users can expect:

  • A more user-friendly interface
  • The ability to add examinees directly from the Administrator Interface
  • Screen reader accessibility for people who are blind
  • Replacement of the group token method with product passcodes

As part of this deployment, the EAP will be offline between 3pm – 9pm PST Wednesday, March 13th, 2019, so please adjust your testing accordingly. Usernames, passwords, results, and all other data will remain unaffected. However, group tokens will be replaced with a new product passcode.

Don’t forget to check out our new website and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know and receive the latest updates.

Please contact our support team with any questions or concerns.

Why Choose the COPSystem

The COPSystem is Unique
It is one of the few assessment packages that includes the measurement of three components that are critical to career exploration, selection, and satisfaction. The COPSystem measures:

  • Values – what is important to you?
  • Interests – what do you like to do?
  • Abilities – what are you good at?

Valid and Reliable
The COPSystem has been in wide use for over 50 years with a proven history of research that supports its accuracy and usefulness in career exploration and choice. Over 65% of the time the COPSystem results match a future college major or occupational choice. A summary of the reliability and validity is available here.

Easy to Use
The COPSystem is easy to administer and easy to explain to clients so they can understand the results. The results are organized into logical career clusters that link to an occupational database of over 1,300 job descriptions that include training, salary, expected outlook, and links to both O*Net and live job postings powered by Indeed.com.

Has a Wide Variety of Options to Meet your Client Needs
The COPSystem is a completely accessible package that is available as a web-based application or also available in paper/pencil in those situations where there is limited internet access. It is also available in Spanish translations for both paper and online formats. It is completely accessible to screen reader applications for people that are sight impaired. The inventories are written at a sixth grade reading level.

Works for all Educational Levels
Norms are available for educational levels of grade 7-12, college and adult. Other forms are available for school children and non reading adults.

Results That Work
The COPSystem is the optimal tool for use in the career exploration. When clients review their results they have the “oh wow this is me” experience that makes the entire process useful, worthwhile and enjoyable. It is educational and allows test takers to learn something about themselves and their options for many career paths in the process.

Helping the Blind Community

The internet is an essential feature of modern life used to check the news, sports, weather, engage in social media, and find employment, but for people that are blind, navigating the internet can be very difficult. It is essential that the internet be accessible to people that are blind so they have the same access to materials and resources that are crucial to daily living, and for them be more actively engaged in society. EdITS has adapted the COPSystem career guidance program to be accessible to individuals using a screen reader.

The National Federation of the Blind estimates that as many as 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired, and in 2015 they estimated that only 42% of working age adults with significant vision loss were employed. Adapting the COPSystem to be accessible for using a screen reader is important to enable this population to seek a career path that fits their career profile. At EdITS, we are assisting in providing more employment insights, thus lowering the unemployment rate among people that are blind.

The challenge in making the COPSystem accessible for screen readers was in adapting the CAPS ability battery. There are eight timed tests in the CAPS, and all but two of them were able to be directly adapted for a screen reader. In an effort to accommodate low vision and sight impaired people a study was conducted to determine if a person who is blind could answer Spatial Relations test questions. It was found that this was not a task that could be done by the sample that were blind, so an alternative scoring option is incorporated in the screen reader adaptation. This is the most reasonable option for a person who is blind and will lead them to considering jobs that match their interests and abilities. In addition, the Manual Speed and Dexterity test has a series of self-report questions and a way to estimate the MSD score that enables a person that is sight impaired to complete the COPSystem.

As a part of this process we have made the CAPS available with increased time increments to make accommodations for special needs populations. The CAPS can now be purchased with the option of either time and a half (7.5 minutes per test) or double time (10 minutes per test). If you are interested in using either of these options our administrative team can assist you with choosing the option that best suits the needs of your clients. The results pages are all completely accessible as well, that enables people with a wide range of disabilities to access our career guidance program.

It is our hope that having these tools available will increase the quality of life for people who are blind, in the satisfaction that can be gained with a fulfilling job that fits each individual’s career needs. We are extremely proud to be helping the blind community by making our platform fully accessible to them.

 

Norms for the COPSystem Assessments

The 2015 norms for the COPSystem assessments are available. These data were gathered from 2012 through 2015, and are based on a sample of 17,128 individuals with educational levels of grades 6-12. The National sample was aggregated based on a weighted population of individuals from four geographic regions of the U.S. identified by the 2010 U.S. Census Report.

Table 1 presents a summary of the sample sizes from each region by gender. These groupings were used to explore possible mean differences in examinees’ vocational interests, values, and abilities as a function of where they live and attend school or work.

Table 1. — Summary of Normative Data by Region and Gender

Region Males Females Totals
West 1,680 1,503 3,183
South 1,122 2,410 3,532
Northeast 2,113 2,853 4,966
Midwest 2,770 2,677 5,447
Totals 7,685 9,443 17,128

Consistent with previous normative analyses, comparisons were made across gender, grade level, and region to explore which of these factors, if any, revealed mean differences. Of these factors, only gender revealed consistent mean differences on levels of occupational interest.

This suggests that scale means for males and females are reported separately, as has been done in the past, for the COPS. Thus, all four regions were aggregated at the national level and two normative distributions, one for each gender, were determined for individuals with educational levels in grades 6 through 12. Similar analyses were conducted on the COPES and CAPS inventories.

As in previous years, separate normative distributions were produced only when mean differences were observed that strongly and significantly influenced the interpretation of scores. Normative analyses of the CAPS (ability battery) revealed mean differences as a function of grade level. The student profiles reflect this trend, such that grades 8-9 are combined separately from grades 10-12.

The multiple profiles discussed here have been developed using best practices methodology. Our goal throughout this process has been to increase the overall meaningfulness and effectiveness of the recommendations made by those who rely on the COPSystem to assist them as they guide examinees during their career exploration process.

For additional information, please contact us.

Learn more about the career clusters measured by the COPSystem.

A Brief Summary of the Reliability and Validity of the COPSystem Assessments

A career guidance assessment program is a valuable way to increase self-awareness and professional competence among students and working adults. The COPSystem consists of the COPS Interest Inventory, the CAPS ability battery, and the COPES work values survey. All three are long established, reliable, and valid assessments relating interests, abilities and values to occupations and occupational information. Reliability and validity information is presented in this article.

Career Occupational Preference System Interest Inventory (COPS)

In terms of reliability for the COPS, alpha coefficients for each scale range from .83 to .91. Numerous studies have been conducted to establish the construct validity of the COPS. Correlations of the COPS interest scales to other similar assessments have been used to establish concurrent validity. In comparing the COPS with the Kuder, correlations between conceptually similar scales ranged from .21 to .49 which were significant and were as high as would be expected. In this study, 89% had at least one of their top three areas of interest the same on both the COPS and the Kuder.

When compared to the Holland based Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI), correlations between conceptually similar scales ranged from .50 to .70. To add further support to the construct validity of the COPS, declared major of entering college freshmen was compared to COPS scores and for 71% of the sample, declared major matched one of the top three measured interests. A long-term predictive validity study showed that 64% of students were in a job or college major that matched one of their three highest interest areas from one to seven years after taking the COPS.

Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)

The CAPS test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from .70 to .95. To establish concurrent validity, correlations with the Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT) were obtained and ranged from .65 to .81 between conceptually similar tests. Correlations were obtained between CAPS tests and grades in specific subject areas. These correlations ranged from .30 to .60 between the CAPS tests and the subject to which it was most closely related. For example, the CAPS numerical ability test had the highest correlations with grades in math. These results are significant and demonstrate the validity of the CAPS. Predictive validity studies show that ability scores are significantly related to subsequent career choice.

Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES)

With regards to the COPES, alpha reliabilities ranged from .60 to .85. Concurrent validity studies demonstrated that the scales on the COPES are correlated .40 to .60 to conceptually similar scales on the DF Opinion Survey and the Allport Vernon which are as high as would be predicted. The COPS scores were compared to the COPES scores to confirm the validity of the values scores as related to the interest clusters. This analysis explored the relationship between interests and work values by selecting a sample of examinees with scores in a single interest area at the 75th percentile or higher and establishing a COPES profile.

The findings demonstrated the relationship between work values and interest scores that is reflected on the COPSystem Comprehensive Career Guide. A preliminary follow-up study for the COPES found an 89% hit rate for work values matched to subsequent career or college major choice. This article is a brief summary of technical information. For a more comprehensive discussion of the reliability and validity of the COPSystem please see the individual Technical and/or Examiner’s Manual for each assessment.

Stability of the COPS Interest Inventory Scores Between Eighth and Twelfth Grades

In an effort to provide longitudinal validity data for the COPSystem assessments, the COPS Interest Inventory was used to determine the stability of students’ interests from the eighth to the twelfth grade. The effectiveness of career exploration classes in high school was also examined.

The subjects in this study were 807 females and 668 males from a metropolitan school district in South Carolina. All graduated between the years of 1997 and 2001. The students were tested in the eighth grade and again in the twelfth grade. Only those students that completed both administrations were included in the study and inventories were matched by comparing names, gender and identification numbers.

Profiles of each student’s three highest areas of interest were plotted for both sets of scores and then compared. Of all the students tested, 87% had at least one interest that remained one of their top three areas of interest between the eighth and twelfth grades. The percentage of students who reported an exact match between the first ranked area of interest in eighth grade and first ranked interest in twelfth grade was 27%.

“87% of the students retained at least one of their top three areas of interest between the eighth and twelfth grades.”

Student’s responses on the Needs Assessment section of the COPS were also collected and analyzed for a subset of the sample.This subset consisted of 254 females and 233 males who graduated between the years of 2000 and 2001. The Needs Assessment Summary is presented in the form of two questions at the end of the COPS inventory. The question that was analyzed for this study consisted of a list of 19 skills which examinees were asked to indicate by either a “yes” or “no” response if they needed additional help in these areas.

The percentage of students in the total sample who answered “yes” to each item was calculated for both the initial and the follow-up administrations and compared. The percentage of “yes” responses on items related to educational/career planning declined from 47% to 23% between the eighth and twelfth grade administrations. These items included reading skills, language skills, math skills, study skills, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, career planning skills, educational planning skills, how to find college information, applying to a college or university, applying for financial assistance, and finding military service information.

The percentage of “yes” responses on items related to placement and job skills declined from 40% to 19% between the eighth and twelfth grade administrations. These items included how to find job information, how to find a job, how to apply for a job, how to interview for a job, how to keep a job, obtaining entry level job skills, and upgrading of existing job skills.

“Results indicate that high school career guidance classes and programs provide helpful information to students.”

As evidenced by the Needs Assessment Summary, exposure to career guidance and information offered through the school-to-work program was of significant help to students. Providing career assessments, guidance information, and counseling to students gives them valuable information that they may use for college and job placement.

COPS-P, CAPS and COPES Validity

The COPS-P System is a career awareness program consisting of three measures: Professional Interests (COPS-P), abilities (CAPS), and work values (COPES).

The COPS-P, CAPS, and COPES may be used together and summarized on a single profile, the COPS-P Comprehensive Career Guide. The following four tables show validity evidence for each inventory. Interpretation of these measures is organized around a comprehensive set of occupational clusters, which represent all possible jobs. Results are keyed to major sources of occupational information and related activities, skills, college majors, school planning, and training programs.

The COPS-P System structure of occupations is based on a theoretical clustering of occupations having highly similar job activities. Research on statistical confirmation of the theoretical structure upon which the COPS-P System is based dates back to the work of L.L. Thurstone in 1931 and its roots may be traced from that pioneering effort to the work of J. P. Guilford and the classification system presented by Anne Roe.

The theoretical basis of the COPS-P System provides a broader, more comprehensive base for career guidance than those instruments based on a few arbitrarily selected and empirically developed occupational scales. The COPS-P Interest Inventory provides occupational information organized into Career Clusters for the entire world of work, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Career Clusterscops-p-validity-table-1

In addition to its strong theoretical base, the COPS-P has substantial validity evidence. The COPS-P has demonstrated factor validity; the items have been factor analyzed and demonstrate the occupational structure presented above. Correlations between scales on similar types of interest inventories further demonstrate the validity of the COPS-P. Table 2 presents correlations between the COPS-P and scales on the SCII. It can be seen that the highest correlations have been found between conceptually similar scales on the two inventories. Complete information may be found in the COPS-P Technical Manual.

Table 2. Correlations between COPS-P and SCII.cops-p-validity-table-2

The CAPS and COPES may be used in conjunction with the COPS-P. Results for the three assessments are combined on the COPS-P Comprehensive Career Guide. The CAPS is a widely used ability battery with well established validity and reliability information. Table 3 shows the correlations of the CAPS to another ability battery, the GATB. Correlations are high as would be expected between the conceptually similar tests and are shown in italics.

Table 3. Relationship of CAPS to GATB.cops-p-validity-table-3

Table 4. Relationship of COPES to MBTI.cops-p-validity-table-4

The COPES is the work values assessment component of the COPSystem battery. It is also widely used and has well established validity. A study was conducted comparing the COPES to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Although these two assessments are somewhat different in design, both may be used to explore career issues such as the motivation behind selecting and remaining in a particular occupation.

The COPES survey was designed to measure personal values that relate to occupational selection and job satisfaction. Work values measured by the COPES include Investigative, Practical, Independence, Leadership, Orderliness, Recognition, Aesthetic and Social, and are keyed to the COPSystem Career Clusters. The Myers-Briggs was developed as a means of applying Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types to personality assessment. The MBTI classifies individuals as one of 16 possible types, depending on preferences related to functioning in the areas of Introversion vs. Extraversion, Sensing vs. Intuitive, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judgement vs. Perception. In career counseling, the different personality types are assumed to be the most attracted to and satisfied by particular occupations.

In the study, 299 high school and college students completed both the COPES and the MBTI. MBTI scores were converted to continuous scores as detailed in the MBTI Manual. Pearson correlations were computed between scales on both instruments and are shown in Table 4. As expected, there were significant correlations between like named, theoretically similar COPES and MBTI scales.

The finding of this study supported the hypothesized relationships between the COPES and the MBTI scales. Each of the eight COPES scales were significantly correlated with the expected MBTI scale, reconfirming the validity of the instrument. As demonstrated by the results of this study, the COPES is a useful measure of work values which are known to play an important role in occupational selection and satisfaction.

Further evidence of the validity and reliability for all three assessments may be found in their respective Technical Manuals.