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Case Study Snapshot: How Bentley University Prepares Students for Successful Careers Using CliftonStrengths

Case Study Snapshot: How Bentley University Prepares Students for Successful Careers Using CliftonStrengths

Learn what school leaders are doing to set up their students for success in life after graduation.

by Becky McCarville

Bentley University -- a private, coed university just nine miles from Boston -- has a long tradition of preparing graduates for the workforce.

Rated the top-ranked school for career services by The Princeton Review, Bentley is committed to creating a more holistic career development experience for each student.

To prepare students better for the changing needs of today's workplace, the university enlisted Gallup to help set up Bentley students for success in life after graduation.

Gallup finds that Bentley students who report having a strong understanding of their strengths are 1.6 times more likely to say that the university prepares them well for life outside of college.

Meeting Student Needs Starts With CliftonStrengths

Bentley uses CliftonStrengths in career services and other departments throughout the school to help students discover, develop and apply their natural strengths -- in and out of the classroom.

The school's comprehensive program, designed based on results from Gallup research of Bentley students' experiences in school and life, includes the following initiatives, among others:

  • offering two immersive career exploration courses for first-year students and sophomores
  • certifying career services staff members as Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches
  • creating a strengths fellows peer-to-peer mentorship program
  • developing a strengths-based model for wellness education

Bentley leaders know that self-awareness is key to student success. By identifying how each student naturally thinks, feels and behaves, school faculty trained in strengths-based development can help students use their talents more effectively and, thereby, learn the best ways to grow and succeed.

Re-Engineering Student Experiences to Ensure Great Jobs and Great Lives

In the university's quest to prepare students to thrive beyond graduation, Bentley uses the Gallup-Purdue Index as a platform to provide meaningful student experiences.

The Gallup-Purdue Index finds that graduates who strongly agree that they had the following experiences as undergraduates have double the odds of being engaged in their work and thriving in overall well-being:

  • Their professors cared about them as individuals.
  • They had a professor who made them excited about learning.
  • They had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.
  • They had an internship or job that allowed them to apply classroom learning.
  • They worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.
  • They were active in extracurricular activities and organizations.

Bentley partnered with Gallup to embed experiential learning into its curricula -- setting students up for more seamless transitions from school to the workplace.

Finding Meaning in Metrics

Gallup helped Bentley leaders measure the impact of their efforts.

The survey results show that Bentley students who have a strong understanding of their CliftonStrengths are:

  • 1.9 times more likely to be confident that they will get a good job after graduation
  • 1.6 times more likely to say that Bentley prepares them well for life outside of college

Gallup also discovered that Bentley students who receive support and opportunities for experiential learning are more confident about their prospects after graduation.

To learn more about how Bentley University uses Gallup solutions to help students succeed:
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This content first appeared in the Strengths Insights Newsletter -- subscribe today!