Assessing Achievement and Aptitude and Career and Interest Assessment

Introduction
In this unit you will analyze different career and life planning assessment tools used in a variety of settings. Career choice and development play a major role in the lives of many individuals. You will find that certain career and life planning assessments are more suited to your particular areas of research and practice than others are. When making a thorough psychological assessment for a special population, one major consideration is selecting a test to obtain missing data and assist the client in reviewing a concrete measurement tool that can make the problem areas seem more objective.
Measures of career development include both attitudinal (career beliefs and concerns) and cognitive (career planning competencies) factors. It is essential for counselors to be able to identify what is blocking an individual’s career potential. Assessing individual values and beliefs can play a role in how an individual is functioning at work and achieving their goals and objectives. Additionally, interest inventories can be of assistance if the client and the counselor determine that this can be useful. Comprehensive self-assessments, based on computer programs or career and life planning workbooks, can be used to stimulate growth in clients.
The assessment of various aptitudes plays an important role in the field of psychological testing (Hood & Johnson, 2007). Aptitude is related to achievement in various areas, and while aptitude testing usually occurs primarily in the school years, it can span across a lifetime. In the elementary schools, achievement tests tend to measure accomplishment. Measures of general achievement assess reading, vocabulary, mathematics, and writing skills. Achievement tests can be used for student placement, advancement, to identify areas to strengthen, or to identify a disability.
Reference
Hood, A. B. & Johnson, R. W. (2007). Assessment in counseling: A guide to the use of psychological assessment instruments (4th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
Objectives
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Describe measurement constructs of a given interest inventory.
2. Examine the presentation of assessment results in a professional setting.
3. Describe the impact of group assessment procedures with diverse populations.
4. Analyze the implications of using group approaches to administering assessments.
Learning Activities
Unit 7 Study 1
Aptitude and Career Assessment
Required Reading
Use Principles and Applications of Assessment in Counseling to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 10, “Assessing Achievement and Aptitude: Applications for Counseling,” pages 193–213.
• Read Chapter 11, “Assessment in Career Counseling,” page 214–236.
Use the Library to complete the following:
• Read Osborn’s 2012 article, “An International Discussion About Cross-Cultural Career Assessment,” in International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, volume 12, issue 1, pages 5–16.
Complete the following:
• Review the “Strong Interest Inventory Profile and Interpretive Report,” prepared for Jane Sample in preparation for the first discussion in this unit.
• Research
• In preparation for the second discussion in this unit, locate one scholarly peer-reviewed article from the Library addressing the application of achievement or aptitude assessments in counseling settings.
Optional Reading
If you choose, read:
• Byara-Winston’s 2010 article, “The Vocational Significance of Black Identity: Cultural Formulation Approach to Career Assessment and Career Counseling,” in Journal of Career Development, Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 441–464.
• Palladino Schultheiss’ 2005 article, “Qualitative Relational Career Assessment: A Constructivist Paradigm,” Journal of Career Assessment, Volume 13, Issue 4, pages 381–394.
Discussion 1: 1 page needed with minimum of 250 words and 2 references.
Interest Inventories
If you have not already done so, review the “Strong Interest Inventory Profile and Interpretive Report,” linked in the Resources for this discussion. Describe how you would present the assessment results for Jane Sample. Be certain to provide a description of what the inventory measures, including what it can and cannot determine. As a final task, incorporate Osborn’s (2012) cross-cultural research to address ethical considerations in administering career assessments to diverse populations.
Discussion 2: 1 page needed with minimum of 250 words and 2 references.
Achievement and Aptitude Assessment
Achievement and aptitude assessments serve distinct, but potentially complimentary purposes. Both are often administered in a group setting. Summarize how these assessments are distinguished in professional practice, including the implications of group administration. Incorporate one scholarly peer-reviewed article from the Capella Library addressing the application of achievement or aptitude assessments in counseling settings.

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