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A new, Holland-based Interest Inventory is proposed, intended to facilitate the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Specific interest items were designed to grasp activities that are prevalent during tertiary studies, including an Academic-track-scale to assist in the choice between academic and vocational-oriented programs. Interest profile descriptions are complemented by a list of matching study programs. Data from 3,962 students were analyzed to evaluate the underlying circumplex structure, the criterion validity of the Academic-track-scale and the study program RIASEC codes. It is concluded that the assessment and feedback tools are promising instruments to facilitate the transition to tertiary education.
Exploring vocational and academic fields of study:
development and validation of the Flemish SIMON
Interest Inventory (SIMON-I)
Lot Fonteyne
Bart Wille
Wouter Duyck
Filip De Fruyt
Received: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published online: 18 August 2016
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract A new, Holland-based Interest Inventory is proposed, intended to facil-
itate the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Specific interest items were
designed to grasp activities that are prevalent during tertiary studies, including an
Academic-track-scale to assist in the choice between academic and vocational-
oriented programs. Interest profile descriptions are complemented by a list of
matching study programs. Data from 3,962 students were analyzed to evaluate the
underlying circumplex structure, the criterion validity of the Academic-track-scale
and the study program RIASEC codes. It is concluded that the assessment and
feedback tools are promising instruments to facilitate the transition to tertiary
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&Lot Fonteyne
Bart Wille
Wouter Duyck
Filip De Fruyt
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2,
9000 Ghent, Belgium
Int J Educ Vocat Guidance (2017) 17:233–262
DOI 10.1007/s10775-016-9327-9
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Despite the empirical evidence on the importance of vocational interests variance within one specific environment (Nye, Perlus et al., 2018;Schelfhout et al., 2019;Tracey et al., 2012), the most common methods of determining RIASEC environment profiles use RIASEC interest means, while ignoring RIASEC interest variance. For instance, the incumbent method usually only takes the mean of RIASEC scores over students in a specific program to determine the RIASEC profile of that specific program (Allen & Robbins, 2010;Fonteyne et al., 2017;Schelfhout et al., 2021a). Indeed, even a specific, homogeneous environment (for instance due to ASA processes, see also Schneider et al., 2000) can still exhibit quite some variance regarding vocational interests, which is rarely considered when determining the vocational interest profile of a specific environment (Nye, Perlus et al., 2018). ...
... However, literature already shows that linear RIASEC dimensions are related in a circular pattern, but not to the extent that two or more dimensions have highly collinear patterns (Holland, 1997;Fonteyne et al., 2017). For profile generation specifically, we thus consider the option to further reduce RIF12 to a regression with linear RIASEC terms only, ...
... The RIASEC dimensions are measured using the SIMON-I instrument, specifically designed for the context of study counseling in higher education (Fonteyne et al., 2017). The test consists of 173 items with a yes or no answer, asking students whether they would be interested in performing specific activities and occupations. ...
Polynomial regression is a proven method to calculate person-environment (PE) interest fit between the RIASEC (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional) interests of a student and the RIASEC profile of a study program. The method has shown much larger effects of PE interest fit on academic achievement than earlier approaches in literature. However, the polynomial regression method in its current form only focuses on establishing the regressed interest fit (RIF) of a population of students with their study environments, in order to observe how large the general impact of PE interest fit can become on academic achievement. The present study (N = 4407 across n = 22 study programs) further validates this method towards new applications by theoretically deriving two measures of RIF that only affect a single environment like a study program. Analyses show that the use of RIF for a single study environment results in an even stronger positive relation between PE interest fit and academic achievement of r = 0.36, compared to r = 0.25 for the original polynomial regression method. Analyses also show that RIF for one environment can be used to generate interpretable and reliable RIASEC environment profiles. In sum, RIF for a single (study) environment is a promising operationalization of PE interest fit which facilitate both empirical research as well as the practical application of interest fit in counseling settings.
... Holland used six primary dimensions, classifying both people's interests and people's environments on the same template, allowing for commensurate measurement: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E) and Conventional (C). The Holland model has been extensively verified on empirical data and has led to the development of multiple interest inventory tests, linking interests, academic subjects and careers around the world ( [9][10][11]). Our paper explores the implications of the diversity of interest profiles among pupils and discusses how this information could be relevant for guiding teachers and policy makers. To begin with, we examine responses of Scottish adolescents to a validated and contemporary interest inventory tool [11]. ...
... Our paper explores the implications of the diversity of interest profiles among pupils and discusses how this information could be relevant for guiding teachers and policy makers. To begin with, we examine responses of Scottish adolescents to a validated and contemporary interest inventory tool [11]. This instrument allows us to establish a vocational interest profile for each adolescent. ...
... Vocational interests corresponding to each academic subject are determined by one-dimensional types ( [13,14]). Our tool is derived from that of [11], in which all vocational interest profiles of study programmes are defined by a two-dimensional type. In other words, in our presentation, vocational interests of the adolescents are characterised by the one or two most dominant (i.e., highest scoring) Holland interest dimensions (R, I, A, S, E or C). ...
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This paper documents Scottish adolescents’ vocational interest types. Our research is based on the responses of 1,306 pupils from 18 secondary schools to an empirically verified online interest inventory test. Our results are threefold. First, the structural validity of the test with the Scottish sample is confirmed by evaluating the underlying circumplex structure of Holland’s RIASEC vocational interests. Second, gender distribution along the six primary vocational interest dimensions is consistent with the research literature: young men scoring higher on the Realistic vocational interest and young women scoring higher on the Social dimension. Finally, we observe that across dimensions, vocational interests of young women are less diverse than those of young men. We discuss how these dissimilarities could lead to differences in education choice and career decision-making.
... The present study focuses on predicting academic achievement by assessing the basic skillset of students towards a specific program. The present study explores the prediction power of these basic skillsets by using data from the SIMON (i.e., Skills and Interest MONitor) project at Ghent University, which aims to dispense program-specific, post-enrolment advice for each student prior to the start of the first bachelor year Fonteyne, Wille et al., 2017). The advice is based on test results measuring the basic skills and properties to succeed in a specific higher education program. ...
... The dataset for this study was obtained through the large longitudinal SIMON -project (dataset 2016-2018, see also Fonteyne, Wille et al., 2017) in Flanders, Belgium (Flanders), featuring a large pool of first-year students (N = 6,624, 64% response rate, 60% female). The dataset contains independent samples from eleven faculties and 21 bachelor programs from an open access university (ARWU top 100 of the Shanghai ranking of worldwide universities). ...
Student fail rates in the first year of open access academic higher education can become dramatically high. The present study in Flanders, Belgium examines how performance on program-specific basic skillsets can identify students at risk at the start of their curriculum in 21 bachelor programs (N = 6,624), months before actually failing their exams or dropping out. Results identify up to 58% of the students prone to failure at relatively lower error rates while still adhering to the principles of higher education equity. In practice, institutions and counselors can use the methodology of this study to identify at-risk students and offer them reorientation and remediation trajectories, preventing failure. Future applications towards more restricted or selective international education systems are discussed.
... De RIASEC-interessegebieden en de dimensies van (Wille, De Fruyt, Dingemanse, & Vergauwe, 2015) en SIMON-I (Fonteyne, Wille, Duyck, & De Fruyt, 2017). Deze vragenlijsten hebben als doel om de belangrijkste interessegebieden van een persoon te identificeren. ...
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In the Netherlands and Flanders, vocational interest inventories are frequently used to address (study) career dilemmas. In contrast to their popularity in practice, in the Dutch language region, there is relatively little research looking at vocational interest(s) (inventories). This artide introduces the Spherical Model of Vocational Interests and the Dutch translation of the Personal Globe Inventory(PGI; Tracey, 2002), a measure for this model. The Spherical Model adds Prestige interests as a third dimension of vocational interests to the traditional two-dimensional circumplex. Additionally, the Spherical model splits the traditional circumplex in eight, rather than six, interest domains. The quality of the Dutch PGI was investigated with 12 samples. The psychometric qualities of the full Dutch PGI and its short version appeared to be acceptable to exemplary: the items of the scales largely fitted with the appropriate scales, the scales correlated according to the expected circumplex order, and the reliabilities were acceptable. The largest gender difference was found on the People-versus-Things dimension. Additionally, younger and more educated people scored higher on Prestige interests. Future research could further the understanding of the content of the Prestige dimension and how this dimension affects (study) career processes and outcomes.
... The importance of decision on the choice of field studies (even if it is choice between academic or vocational) is not simple. Solutions presented by several authors (Fonteyne et al., 2017) show that there are many obstacles in a smooth transition between secondary and higher education. While many possible solutions are available, they include a process of self-exploration as well as psychometric measures which demand a special programm which gives back to student a personal, structured feedback on personal motives and concrete study advice. ...
... For this purpose, experts in vocational interest assessment could assign two-or three-letter codes to all available study programs (relying on prior empirical work describing the distribution of RIASEC interests across study programs). This exercise is also needed in order to create a feedback tool that matches students' interest profiles to a list of congruent undergraduate programs (see, e.g., Fonteyne, Wille, Duyck, & De Fruyt, 2017). Subsequently, fit indices (such as the C-index Brown & Gore, 1994or the Zener & Schnuelle index 1976 between the student and his/her undergraduate program could be computed. ...
This study aimed at developing and validating a new instrument to facilitate late adolescents and young adults to choose a higher education major. For the main study, the sample consisted of 6,215 late adolescents and young adults ( M age = 19.50, SD = 1.89, 42.3% female). After rational scale construction based on the RIASEC model of Holland (1997) , several statistical analyses were conducted. In four studies, structural validity, internal consistency, and construct validity were examined. Our analyses showed that adequate structural validity, internal consistency, and construct validity were established. A 7-factor structure was found, in which the investigative domain split into two subscales. The overall results suggested that the new instrument is reliable and valid as an orientation instrument in applied settings in secondary and higher education.
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Purpose of the study: The current study was conducted to investigate Holland's circular order model of interest, congruence between career interest and career aspiration, and congruence impact on students' academic performance in an indigenous context. Methodology: Data have collected from 669 (356 boys & 313 girls) students studying in grade 10 th from 16 high schools, 8 boys school (4 government & 4 private sectors), and 8 girls school (4 government & 4 private sector)-from significant towns of Gilgit division, Pakistan. Career interest was measured using the Urdu version of Career Key (Jones, 2010), students' obtained marks measured academic achievement in the last examination, and career aspirations were assessed by asking about aspired future careers from students. A randomized test of hypothesized order (Hubert & Arabie, 1987) was applied to determine the circular model, congruence was measured using Holland's (1963) first-letter agreement, and academic achievement of congruent, incongruent, and ambivalent groups of students was compared using one-way analysis of variance. Main Findings: The study's findings revealed that the results did not support Holland's circular order model of interest. The congruence hypothesis was partially funded, and the impact of congruence on academic achievement was fully supported in the present study. Gender differences were found in some career interests as well as in aspired occupations. The findings are discussed in a cultural context. Applications of this study: The results of the study are applicable and valuable for the educational institutes. In the present study, we have evaluated three assumptions of Holland's theory: circular order model of interest structure, congruence between career aspiration and career interest, and impact of congruence on students' academic achievement. Novelty: In Pakistan, career success and relevant domains are least explored by researchers. However, it is imperative to provide academic and career counselling services to ensure academic and career success and satisfaction. Therefore, the current study was conducted to assess Holland's model of interest, congruence between career aspiration and interest, and its impact on student's academic achievement in Pakistan.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrolments in higher education are declining while the STEM gender gap of female underrepresentation seems to widen. The present study addresses both issues by exploring how the fit between a student's vocational interests and the STEM field contributes to a (non-) STEM study choice. Data was collected in the unique setting of an open access and low cost higher education system, which allowed for study of vocational interests without unwanted influence of admission conditions. Specifically, we assessed the interest fit of N = 9162 first-year Belgian university students with (1) the STEM field (i.e., STEM fit) and (2) their specific program of choice (i.e., program fit). Results indicated STEM fit indeed predicted STEM study choice, with a stronger effect in female students. Results also indicated that female students showed a better specific program fit. In order to promote student STEM enrolment and address the gender gap, the present study therefore advocates a gender-specific approach to attract more students with appropriate interest profiles.
This study aimed to adapt to the Brazilian Portuguese the O*NET Interests Profiler - Short Form. The instrument evaluates vocational interests according to the RIASEC model, which includes six types (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). Validity evidence was obtained through Principal Components Analysis, Multidimensional Scaling, correlations between secondary concepts from the theoretical model, and contrasts between groups. PCA results, the contrasts between selected occupational groups and correlational results between secondary concepts followed the theoretical expectations. However, the MDS results did not fully confirm the hexagonal structure. Overall results suggest the adapted instrument has acceptable evidence of validity. Further studies are suggested to increase the suitability of the Brazilian version of the instrument.
De overgang naar hoger onderwijs is een beproeving voor elke Vlaamse student. Inderdaad, omdat Vlaanderen een open toegang heeft tot hoger onderwijs, kan elke student met een diploma secundair onderwijs aan bijna elke opleiding beginnen. Om het vooropgestelde diploma te halen van de gekozen opleiding, dient een student twee taken tot een goed einde te brengen. De student dient een haalbare studiekeuze te maken. En de student dient te slagen in examens om op schema te blijven om het begeerde diploma te halen. Deze taken zijn niet zo eenvoudig als ze lijken. De data in deze dissertatie geven aan dat slechts 36% van de eerstejaarsstudenten erin slaagt om alle opleidingsonderdelen tot een goed einde te brengen om zo op schema te blijven om tijdig het beoogde diploma te behalen. Om dit onrustwekkende cijfer te verbeteren heeft de Universiteit Gent het SIMON-project (Study Skills and Interest MONitor) gestart. SIMON is erop gericht om studenten die dreigen te falen te (her)oriënteren naar een meer haalbaar studieprogramma vooraleer ze hun examens effectief falen, met verlies van tijd en middelen tot gevolg. In deze dissertatie worden de PAKSOC (praktisch, analytisch, kunstzinnig, sociaal, ondernemend en conventioneel) studie interesses van een student gebruikt om de impact van het SIMON project te vergroten door in de literatuur een aantal openstaande vragen te onderzoeken omtrent studiekeuze en studiesucces. Om dit te bewerkstelligen heb ik in deze dissertatie de uitvoering en resultaten besproken van vier empirische studies. Zo heb ik onder meer gevonden dat de fit tussen de interesses van een student en een set van studieprogramma’s kan worden benaderd via een uniforme distributie. Deze distributie kan dan worden gebruikt als de basis voor een Empirische Advies Set Engine, of ook wel EASE. EASE verstrekt gepersonaliseerde studieoriëntatie voor elke student, gebaseerd op een objectief criterium dat toelaat de lengte en de fit van de set met voorgestelde programma’s te balanceren. Deze balans is superieur aan deze die wordt gegenereerd door meer klassieke indices van interessefit, die trouwens ook worden gebruikt in SIMON. Dergelijke studieoriëntatie kan van cruciaal belang zijn in bepaalde gespecialiseerde gebieden. Als dusdanig heb ik ook onderzocht hoe de interessefit van studenten en studieprogramma’s kan bijdragen tot een economisch belangrijke STEM (wetenschap, technologie, ingenieur en wiskunde) studiekeuze. De resultaten hiervan laten duidelijk zien dat vrouwelijke studenten een betere interessefit hadden met hun gekozen (STEM en niet-STEM) programma in vergelijk met mannelijke studenten. Vrouwelijke STEM - studenten hadden ook een betere interessefit met het STEM veld in vergelijking met hun mannelijke collega’s. STEM studiekeuze en de genderkloof (mannelijke meerderheid) in het STEM veld werden verklaard door een model dat alle PAKSOC dimensies bevatte, naast wekelijkse uren wiskunde in het secundair onderwijs, en de fit met het STEM veld. Een mannelijke STEM keuze was meer gerelateerd aan uren wiskunde in het secundair, terwijl een vrouwelijke STEM keuze meer gerelateerd was aan de fit met het STEM veld. Naast studiekeuze behandelt de huidige dissertatie ook studiesucces. Omtrent dit studiesucces, heb ik ook een verandering voorgesteld in methodologie. Als dusdanig spitst de huidige dissertatie zich toe op identificeren van studenten die dreigen te falen in hun gekozen studieprogramma. Hiertoe heb ik mij vooral gericht op het voorspellen van resultaten van individuele studenten, en niet op het verklaren van populatievarantie in studiesucces, zoals het meestal gebeurt in de literatuur. Deze methodologie valideert ook een set (niet-) cognitieve predictoren voor identificatie van falende studenten. Wat betreft deze identificatie, heb ik ook de mogelijkheid onderzocht om minder strenge vals-positieve (succesvolle studenten die worden geïdentificeerd als falend) ratio’s te gebruiken. Specifiek voor studie-interesses heb ik een aanwezigheidsgraad gevonden van 24% in de identificatiemodellen. Dit betekent dat studie interesses voorkwamen in 24% van de (programma-) specifieke modellen om studiesucces te voorspellen. Dit was de derde meest impactvolle predictor, na studieantecedenten en cognitief vermogen. De relatie tussen studie-interesses en studiesucces wordt ook beïnvloed door de omgeving. Resultaten laten zien dat programma’s een lage diversiteit hebben in de studie interesses van studenten die het programma hebben gekozen. Populaties met een hogere diversiteit werden trouwens gelinkt aan hogere gemiddelde gecontroleerde motivatie en lagere gemiddelde autonome motivatie. In het algemeen was een hogere diversiteit over programma’s ook gelinkt aan betere gemiddelde studieresultaten. Bij een aantal programma’s met een zeer specifiek interessepatroon (hoge sociale dimensie, lage praktische dimensie) observeerde ik echter het omgekeerde effect. Ik vond ook dat de interessediversiteit in programma’s een sterkere invloed had op studiesucces dan individuele interessefit. Om te besluiten, stel ik dat in deze dissertatie, de empirische resultaten en de specifieke operationalisatie van de PAKSOC dimensies en interessefit een uniek perspectief (open toegang) bieden op studie-interesses en hun effect op studiekeuze en studiesucces. Oriëntatie naar een interessante studiekeuze wordt gebaseerd op een objectief criterium: hoe goed moet de fit zijn tussen de interesses van een student en het profiel van een programma? Oriëntatie naar haalbare studiekeuzes wordt gebaseerd op het identificeren van falende studenten door het voorspellen van studiesucces, terwijl er nog altijd wordt rekening gehouden met de specifieke set up van het onderwijssysteem met open toegang. Deze dissertatie stelt studieadviseurs ook in staat deze bevindingen onmiddellijk in de praktijk te brengen.
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The past years have been witness to a renewed attention for vocational interests in both theory and practice. In this context the present research aims to illustrate the relevance of finer-grained interest information next to more general information at the domain level. A recently developed and Holland-based interest instrument is presented and validated; it measures 15 interest components in addition to the more familiar Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (RIASEC) domains. We provide evidence for (a) the hierarchical structure of specific interest components under broader interest domains and (b) the convergent validity of this instrument. Moreover, (c) the relevance of considering diversity within Holland types is illustrated by showing divergent associations with Big Five personality traits.
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This report focuses on the effort to generate vocational interest information included in the Worker Characteristics domain of the O*NET Content Model. The report describes how Holland's (1997) RIASEC work environments have been applied to the development of Occupational Interest Profiles (OIPs) for the occupations included in O*NET.
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The study investigates consequences of eliminating items showing gender-specific differential item functioning (DIF) on the psychometric structure of a standard RIASEC interest inventory. Holland’s hexagonal model was tested for structural invariance using a confirmatory methodological approach (confirmatory factor analysis and randomization tests of hypothesized order relations). Results suggest that eliminating items showing gender-specific DIF had no considerable influence on the instrument’s psychometric structure. Considering DIF as one possibility to improve test fairness when developing interest inventories is discussed.
Education at a Glance 2013: Highlights summarises the OECD’s flagship compendium of education statistics, Education at a Glance. It provides easily accessible data on key topics in education today, including: • Education levels and student numbers: How far have adults studied, and how does early childhood education affect student performance later on? • Higher education and work: How many young people graduate from tertiary education, and how easily do they enter the world of work? • Economic and social benefits of education: How does education affect people’s job prospects, and what is its impact on incomes? • Paying for education: What share of public spending goes on education, and what is the role of private spending? • The school environment: How many hours do teachers work, and how does class size vary? Each indicator is presented on a two-page spread. The left-hand page explains the significance of the indicator, discusses the main findings, examines key trends and provides readers with a roadmap for finding out more in the OECD education databases and in other OECD education publications. The right-hand page contains clearly presented charts and tables, accompanied by dynamic hyperlinks (StatLinks) that direct readers to the corresponding data in Excel™ format.
John Holland's typological theory of persons and environments is regarded as the most influential in the field of career counseling (Brown, 2002), but few have carried the theory over to the field of higher education and academic advising (Smart, Feldman, & Ethington, 2000). Therefore, Holland's theory and the subsequent research on it were explored to determine if the theory would be an appropriate means of understanding the behavior and organization of college faculty members and students. A practical approach for integrating a Holland-based system of academic advising and career counseling is discussed.
This study compared RIASEC college major codes derived from surveying students enrolled in 28 majors, the judgments of subject matter and counseling experts, and workers employed in jobs related to the majors. Of the four methodologies used to obtain college codes, the highest degree of agreement was the 96% between student Career Decision-Making (CDM) codes having reasonably close matches or better with codes in the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes. The article discusses that students must be aware that some common major names are not very communicative or descriptive of the predominant code types studying the subject.