Want to see how other universities introduce CliftonStrengths early to their students?
Watch Christina Cox-Leisinger, assistant vice president for student enrollment, engagement and success at West Texas A&M University, share how her campus embraces the theme of "name it, claim it, aim it" to create personalized touchpoints for the students
From the video:
My name is Christina Cox-Leisinger. And I have the privilege to serve as our Assistant Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success at West Texas A&M University. The main way that we use Strengths is that we administer the CliftonStrengths assessment to every incoming freshman at our orientations during the summer. So we are now in our fourth summer of doing that, which is really exciting, because now we're able to start seeing kind of that full cycle of our first round of students that came in to the do the assessment will now be seniors this year.
We have really embraced kind of the theme or the direction of the name it, claim it, aim it. And so what we had hoped to do was over their four to five years at WT, that we had created different touch points for them to use strengths and to become more familiar and really to work through that self-awareness in the development phase. We put a lot of emphasis in our career services with strengths. And we have currently three certified Gallup coaches that work in just our career services center. And so they spend a lot of time working with students who come in, on their résumés; really to talk about how do you incorporate your strengths into your résumé? And how do you articulate that to people? We have incorporated strengths into some different job fairs that we've done. So we've allowed our employers that come in to take the StrengthsFinder assessment. We've done programs with them to help them learn. And so when the student walks up to the table, they can have that conversation. It's kind of a practice for them to be able to talk about how their strengths manifest for them.
As they move through the four years, what we heard from our students was really the visual cues, like keeping it in front of them a lot. And so we try to run it on our visual boards as much as we can. We do photo booths at orientation also with the sticks that have their top five. And so we post those all the time - social media. We give little tidbits of information on social media throughout the week. We host Theme Thursdays, just like you do. The twist that we put on it is we invite what we call a VIP, someone in a leadership position on our campus, to come in to our Theme Thursday. So after we watch the video, our VIP will talk about how the strength manifests for them and how they use it daily. Which is kind of a cool thing to be able to see the leaders on our campus talk about what their strengths are. That very first year we worked hard to really target our division of student affairs, the president's cabinet, and some very select student leader organizations. So what we call our LEAD WT Program. Our President Ambassadors Program, our peer leaders. So we felt like we had kind of a good foundation to start to build the knowledge of strengths on our campus.
Strengths has been such a shift for them to say you know what? Let's focus on like what I'm really good at and spend the time putting the development into the things that I'm going to be awesome at. It's really the foundation of Strengths. It's throughout their entire education system they've had to focus on what they're not good at. They all know, they know which ones know they weren't good at math or good at grammar, and they knew that because teachers were telling them in their report cards and their parent teacher conferences. Our goal really is to help our students just find what they're passionate about. And I tell our students that I want them, I want to help them to be able to find the internship, the major, the job that they cannot wait to sleep and get up and go to work the next day.
This content first appeared in the Strengths Insights Newsletter -- subscribe today!