Psychosocial Readiness for College: A Multidimensional Model and Measure for Students Entering College in Their Twenties

Phillips-Berenstein et al. / Journal of Career Assessment / November 2023

students sitting outside with notebooks and phones

Dropping out of college is often linked to insufficient academic or psychosocial readiness. Therefore, assessing students’ readiness, preferably before they begin their first year of college, may help identify those at risk of dropping out. The present study aimed to develop and test a multidimensional measure that assesses psychosocial factors promoting student persistence. The Psychosocial Readiness for College questionnaire (PRCq) aims to assess the readiness of students who have deferred entering college to their twenties and comprises six dimensions: Academic Self-Efficacy, Educational Commitment, Social Comfort, Campus Engagement, Self-Discipline, and Resilience. The PRCq was administered to five cohorts of first-year college students in Israel (N = 7,382). The PRCq demonstrated good psychometric properties, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported its six dimensions. The PRCq demonstrated measurement invariance across age, gender, SES, first vs. non-first-generation students, and institution type. The PRCq’s construct validity was supported by the negligible associations between the scale scores and high-school GPA and pre-college scholastic aptitude test, and the pattern of associations with the Big-5 personality factors. The PRCq’s predictive validity was supported by the student dropout rate after one year. Implications for students at risk of dropping out and interventions to decrease this risk are discussed.