The CliftonStrengths assessment is an online talent assessment designed to allow people that take it to discover “the one true you.” Completing the CliftonStrengths assessment allows people to discover what they naturally do best; it helps them learn how to develop their greatest talents and allows them to use their customized results to live their best lives.
Widely known for its polls and employee selection research, Gallup (the company that makes the CliftonStrengths assessment) has conducted extensive research for over 30 years to identify talent that could be enhanced and used to pursue positive outcomes in work and educational settings. CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) is an online assessment of personal talent that identifies areas in which an individual has the greatest potential for building strengths. As an assessment based on positive psychology, its main application has been in the work domain, but it has been used for understanding individuals and groups in a variety of settings, especially higher education.
This year, Grove City College had several students take the CliftonStrengths assessment for free as part of a grant the College was awarded in order to foster a deeper exploration of calling and vocation for the students. The program development grant is from the Council of Independent Colleges, specifically their Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education. Grove City College has a mission of “equipping our students to pursue their unique callings.” This assessment endeavors to provide students with a common language of talents and strengths and attempts to promote a culture where students thrive both inside the classroom here at Grove City College, and in the outside world.
Today, CliftonStrengths is available in more than 25 languages and more than 20 million worldwide have taken the assessment. CliftonStrengths presents 177 items that each consists of a pair of potential self-descriptors, and most of these descriptors are associated with a “theme.” A theme is a category of talents, which are defined as recurring and consistent patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior. The assessment measures the presence of talent in 34 distinct themes.
I will write a series of blog posts featuring students and faculty who have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment and interview them about how it has helped them learn more about themselves and their talents and how they are utilizing those results in their daily lives.