Kalamazoo Valley Receives National Strengths Award



On August 14, Kalamazoo Valley Community College received the Gallup Clifton Compass Award from Mark Pogue, Vice President of Gallup Education Practice, and Kyle Robinson, Gallup Director of Campus Engagement. The Clifton Compass Award honors institutions that best represent a Strengths-based campus, as evidenced by their strategic commitment to student, staff and faculty engagement and well-being through Strengths-based development. “Kalamazoo Valley has displayed great leadership and a strong vision for how a college can impact an entire community with strategic strengths-based development” said Robinson. “We are proud of Kalamazoo Valley’s accomplishment and value their ongoing partnership to engage their students, staff and faculty.” Ken Barr Jr., Director of Student Strengths Development at Kalamazoo Valley, accepted the award at a formal ceremony at the Texas Township campus. "What we're celebrating today is what our staff has done to invest in our students," Barr said. "It has really paid off." Barr began working at Kalamazoo Valley in January 2007 and introduced Student Strengths Development to Kalamazoo Valley students and staff beginning in August 2009. “It’s amazing!” Barr said of the national recognition. “There was a time when this was simply an idea.” During the first year that Strengths was put in place on campus, Kalamazoo Valley was recognized as a leader. “Now we’re in our third year and we won the Compass award!” Barr said. “We set a high standard and we met it.” “It is our mission to assess, develop and apply student Strengths in all facets of students' educational experience at Kalamazoo Valley,” said Laura Cosby, Director of Student Success for Kalamazoo Valley, “Our commitment to integrate and leverage our students' Strengths in the classroom and into the workforce has clearly set us apart from other colleges. I am extremely proud of our Strengths Team accomplishments.”