Strengths Institute

Strengths Insititute Graphic

The 2021 Strengths Institute was held August 3 - 5, 2021 in a hybrid format with portions being held in-person on campus and portions being held virtually.  The purpose of the Strengths Institute is to equip faculty and staff with a foundation to understand and apply their individual strengths. Participants who attended came away with an appreciation for all 34 talent themes and strategies for implementing strengths in their instruction with students, and interactions with students and others. 
This interactive workshop is limited to 24 and provides participants with an opportunity to explore and engage with their individual strengths, practice using them in facilitated group strengths activities and connect with colleagues throughout campus.

(Workshop is based on Gallup's CliftonStrengths Assessment and talent themes.)

Strengths Institute Participant feedback and projects

“I have used the Gallups Strengths in my Capstone and Internship course to help students gain a better understanding of themselves and how they can use their strengths to grow professionally. In both classes, we talk about strengths in relation to their values and goals and how to incorporate what they have learned inro their LinkedIn profiles, resumes, and portfolios. It has helped give language and specific examples to some of the concepts students often struggle to capture in their professional materials. It has been two years since I attended the institute and each semester I find I want to build in even more content because it resonates so well with the students and it helps me to accomplish my learning outcomes for that portion of the course. I am so glad I took the time to attend.”     Beth Goodier, Associate Professor, Department of Communication 


"Through the Strengths Institute, I learned a variety of ways to use Clifton Strengths in classroom and groupwork activities. It was a great way to give structure and transparency to many things I was doing intuitively. The Institute provided time to develop assignments and the opportunity to consider how my students and my team complement each other through our unique combinations of strengths.  In the Honors FYE (HONS 100: Beyond George Street) students complete the Clifton Strengths Assessment in Week 2. Once they know their top 5 talent themes, they work in small groups with their Peer Facilitators to begin understanding them and articulating them to others. Throughout the semester, we ask students to return to their top five to self-reflect and develop their skills of self-presentation. Specifically, we ask students to consider these as they complete their applications for a year-long civic engagement assignment, develop a professional resume, and craft a personal narrative. We encourage the students to think of the Clifton Strengths as a joint vocabulary they can use across campus and as a starting point for self-exploration over their four years at the College of Charleston. We also use Clifton Strengths as we train our peer mentors for working with first-year students."   Brooke Permetter,  Faculty Fellows Director, Student Engagement, Honors College

"The Institute in Summer 2020, a time marked by adjectives we're all tired of hearing (unprecedented, challenging, uncertain, etc.), was by far one of my favorite experiences I have had at the College. I so appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from across campus while learning more about Strengths as a tool to help in my work with students and to help me understand myself better. Beginning in Fall 2021, I am excited to begin teaching a new required one-credit course for Arts Management majors, Professionalism in the Arts, which will include Strengths as a core component to help prepare students for applied professional experiences."     Claire Long, Program Coordinator/Director of Experiential Learning, Arts Management, School of the Arts

“I found the Strengths Institute extremely helpful, especially in understanding themes that were not as familiar to me.  I used the knowledge gained from the sessions to train my peer academic coaches to help students struggling academically to focus on what they do well naturally.  These students were then able to apply different strategies for studying and managing their time more successfully.”     Robin Stewart,  Director Impact Programs,  Center for Academic Performance & Persistence

"I was first introduced to Clifton Strengths through the College of Charleston Strengths Institute.  The Institute helped me understand more about myself and others.  I am now much better at assigning team members to tasks for projects.  As an instructor, I now integrate Clifton Strengths into the Team unit of my Project Management Capstone course teaching students how as future project managers, tools like these can be useful to identify, understand, and utilizing people’s strengths.  Understanding one’s own strengths and in those of others opens lines of communication; enables managers to increase diversity on a team; and contributes to selecting the right person for specific tasks. "     Debby Marindin,  Instructional Technologist, TLT and Adjunct Instructor, Project Management and Professional Studies Program 


Quotes from strengths advocates around campus

"Learning about my strengths has allowed me to understand why I do things the way I do, while also teaching me how best to connect with others based on their strengths and how they tend to operate."     former CofC student, Tyler Futrell.

"Strengths Finder helped my students reflect more deeply on their performace in field experience settings.  It also helped me become more aware of my own strengths and how they influence who I am as a teacher."    Dr Kelley White, Associate Professer of Early Childhood Education

"It is exciting to see how students grow in their strengths through the coaching process.  Recently, I connected with one of the students I coached about a year ago and she mentioned (unprompted) how she uses one of her strengths regularly in her job.  Wow!  That was an exciting moment for me."     Karen Hauschild, Director, Academic Advising and Planning Center

"Knowing my strengths made me stand out in an interview.  My interviewer asked what would set me apart from fellow applicants, and I was able to explain how my certain strengths make me a unique applicant in that, all applicants may have the same qualifications, but not all have the same strengths.  So in combination with clinical knowledge, my 'relationaship buidling' strengths encourage a true desire to maximize the potential in others.  Also, it made me understand that there are just some things I am not good at, and that focusing on my own strengths is a more effective way to become a confident person and own who I am.  Knowing my strengths and how unique they are to me gives me an appreciation that not all people have the same strengths.  I am able to work more effectively with others through that lens of understanding."     CofC student, Rachel Maher


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