Evaluating Civic Learning in Service-Learning Programs: Creation and Validation of the Public Affairs Scale–Short Survey (PAS-SS)

Chantal Levesque-Bristol, K. Andrew R. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Community engagement and civic learning have become increasingly common components of higher education in the United States. Service-learning programs are one way to promote civic learning. Researchers and practitioners must evaluate the effectiveness of service learning by measuring the degree to which it results in meaningful student-level outcomes. The Public Affairs Scale has been developed as a valid and reliable measure of civic learning in the three domains of community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership. However, the scale contains 40 items and can take a long time to administer. This study sought to create and validate a short version of the Public Affairs Scale. Using exploratory factory analysis, we identified a 15-item structure and then subjected it to confirmatory factor analysis. Results of confirmatory factor analysis supported the 15-item short scale version of the Public Affairs Scale. The short scale was found to correlate with similar measures of service-learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-428
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Affairs Education
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • civic engagement
  • cultural competency
  • undergraduate teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration

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