FOUNDATIONS OF THE SYSTEM
Life skill outcomes were chosen as measurements of quality because
Youth Development programs focus their work on teaching youth and adults the
life skills necessary to become capable, competent, contributing and caring citizens. The life
skills model "Targeting Life Skills" (TLS
from Iowa State University was used as a model to create this system.
(see TLS Preview Wheel
The Targeting Life Skills (TLS) Model consists of 35 life skills.
These life skills were identified through a process of reviewing
and integrating numerous life skills models. Those life skills
or competencies that consistently emerged as being necessary for
individuals to attain success in life were used (Hendricks, 1999).
Programs that incorporate the TLS Model help individuals reach their full potential
through a positive approach to life skill development. The model provides a
format incorporating major points of program planning:
Delivering information and skill practice at the appropriate developmental
level for the target audience
Writing specific learning objectives for life skill development that are measurable
Completing an instructional plan that creates experiences based on
experiential learning theory to achieve life skill development
Identifying observable/measurable indicators of change using these
indicators to effectively evaluate program impact/goal. (Hendricks, 1999)
To learn more about the TLS Model and to order support materials, see the
TLS Model Web site
Specific life skills were selected at Washington State University (WSU) Extension to measure on a
statewide basis. They were chosen through a consensus process with input
from over 70 Family Living and
Youth Development educators.
These life skills were used to develop the Life Skills Evaluation System which consists of two components:
Life Skills Senior
Life Skills, Senior for youth sixth grade and above and adults and;
Life Skills, Junior for youth grades three through five.
utilizes eight (8) life skills. Life Skills, Junior
utilizes six (6) life skills.
The selected life skills are:
Wise Use of Resources
Useful / Marketable Skills *
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
* Life skills not included in Life Skills, Jr.
For more information select which life skills and indicators you would like to know more about:
Validity means the evaluation instrument measures what it is intended to measure. In this case, the Life Skills Evaluation System measures what life skills the participant learned from participating in the program.
Validity of the system was tested at several levels:
First, the life skills indicators were created by a team of
Extension Specialists and County Educators.
Next, the indicators were assessed by the team for face validity.*
Then the indicators were piloted on program participants.
Finally, a statistical analysis, called a factor analysis**, was run to determine validity.
Reliability refers to whether or not the evaluation instrument can accurately measure
the life skills when used repeatedly with different groups of program participants.
Reliability of the system was tested through a statistical analysis called a Cronbach's
Evaluation instruments that are valid and reliable are better measures of changes made
by participants in your program. The Life Skills Evaluation System is valid and reliable for
measuring the selected life skills the participants learned from participating in the program.
For further information contact Dr. Ina Linville at email@example.com
* Face validity is a form of content-oriented validity in which consensus is obtained among
a group of subject-matter experts that the indicators completely and comprehensively cover the
life skill that it intends to measure.
** Factor analysis is a statistical technique used to examine the interrelations among a set
of variables, or items, in order to identify an underlying structure to those items.
*** Chronbach's Alpha determines if there is internal consistency within the indicator statements.