The Office of Student Transitions has run a two-year pilot program, in fall 2017 and fall 2018, in approximately half of First-Year Seminar sections. Students in these sections were provided with an access code. During the semester, they took the assessment, participated in an in-class presentation and Strengths activities, and had 1:1 coaching sessions with WMU Strengths Champions.
Data collected from the Fall 2017 pilot indicated:
- Students improved in self-knowledge and self-confidence
- Engaging in Strengths activities helped students better connect with their peers and work on teams
- Strengths understanding affirmed major/career choices
- Students saw how Strengths can help them plan their future
All of the themes that emerged from the fall 2017 pilot qualitative data also emerged from the fall 2018 reflection papers. Strongest themes included:
- Self-awareness and self-discovery
- Understanding how to use Strengths in academics, career paths, and future planning
- Interpersonal development
- Deeper Strengths knowledge
Additionally, of the 416 active pilot students from fall 2018, 89% said Strengths should be included in all First-Year Seminar classes.
Strengths will continue to be used in First-Year Seminar sections during fall 2019, and Strengths has been used in other leadership classes with upper-class students. Anyone on campus who has taken Strengths can request a 1:1 coaching session, and Champions are available to do Strengths presentations and activities with student or professional staffs.
Many units on campus are invested in helping students identify, understand, and apply their Strengths. In addition to the Office of Student Transitions, the following departments use Strengths: