Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Psychology (Psy.D.)



First Advisor

Marlene Sotelo-Dynega

Second Advisor

Mark D. Terjesen

Third Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe


Each year many students take college admissions exams (i.e., SAT® and ACT®), hoping to demonstrate their ability to perform at a collegiate level and gain admission to desired universities. However, a growing movement encourages colleges and universities to abandon this practice in their admissions protocol and instead consider alternative factors, such as, social-emotional learning skills, to identify promising applicants. As such, this study examined the psychometric properties of a novel social-emotional learning measure, ACT® Tessera®, which conceptualizes social-emotional traits through the Five-Factor Model lens using different measurement methods (Self Report Likert, Situational Judgement Tests, Forced Choice). Using data obtained from an undergraduate student sample at a metropolitan university, reliability and validity analyses revealed promising evidence for the scale's ability to measure social-emotional skills. However, recommendations for future scale iterations are made to improve the scales' psychometric properties. Then, ACT® Tessera® social-emotional trait measures were assessed alongside traditional college achievement predictors (intelligence, cognitive ability, standardized test scores) to determine their ability to predict undergraduate success. Preliminary evidence provided by this study suggests that considering social-emotional traits in conjunction with high school GPA may provide useful predictions of university success, without standardized test scores. Suggestions for future research and implications for school psychologists are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons