New publication in International Journal of Educational and Vocational Guidance

Exploring vocational and academic fields of study: Development and validation of the Flemish SIMON Interest Inventory (SIMON-I)

A new, Holland-based interest inventory is proposed and tested intended to facilitate the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Specific interest items were designed to grasp study and training activities that are particularly prevalent during tertiary studies, including an Academic-track-scale developed to assist the choice between academic- (tertiary-type A) versus vocational- (tertiary-type B) oriented programs within the same field of interest. Data from 3,962 students were analyzed to evaluate the instrument. Results of confirmatory factor analysis and randomization test of hypothesized order relations (RTOR) confirmed the underlying circumplex structure of the RIASEC scales. Participants’ agreement with the generated interest profiles was generally encouraging. The newly developed Academic-track-scale differentiated successfully between students in academic versus vocational programs. RIASEC and Academic-track descriptions are further complemented by a list of matching study programs, and the validity of these recommendations was evaluated by comparing RIASEC scores of individuals attending these study programs with O*NET database information and expert ratings. It is concluded that the interest assessment and feedback tools presented here are promising instruments to facilitate the transition from secondary to tertiary education.


Fonteyne, L., Wille, B., De Duyck; W., & De Fruyt, F. (in press). Exploring vocational and academic fields of study: Development and validation of the Flemish SIMON Interest Inventory (SIMON-I). International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IJVO). PDF available here

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