The Value Of Specific Items

The Student Experiences Form of the CPQ generates 10 scale scores for each student. Collectively, the set of scores provide a comprehensive picture of the ways in which the individual is prospering or floundering. However, advisors report that the best ingredients for constructive change in students are specific (scores on single items) rather than general (scores on scales). Therefore, the CPQ generates a profile that includes not only the scale scores but also the students' responses to each item within a scale. The individual items provide specific guidance on where interventions can be most beneficial. For example, the student who reports that she often submits assignments after the due date will undoubtedly improve by developing time management skills.

Another advantage of using individual items is that they provide a more certain picture of where help is needed. Sometimes, a scale score may be low but some of the items within it are not. Efforts at change will be profitable directed at the specific problem areas.

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