50th Anniversary

Strengths Resources


34 Themes List
Frequently Asked Questions


There isn’t any “one size fits all” set of learning and study techniques. Top achievers capitalize on their personal uniqueness as they learn. StrengthsQuests provides you with the knowledge to determine how to leverage your strengths for academic success. Kalamazoo Valley Community College is committed to providing academic resources that will allow all students to achieve their academic goals. Please click here to check out the Learning Center website, geared towards helping students be successful in the classroom.

Four Key Factors That Will Determine Your Achievements in Academic:

  1. Your beliefs about your talents to achieve
    Never underestimate the power of what you believe -- it will directly affect your achievements. What you believe about your talents can affect whether you will even attempt to achieve. Your beliefs directly influence your emotions, attitudes, behavior patterns, and motivation.

  2. How well you know, understand, and value your talents
    One of our primary goals is to increase your understanding of and appreciation for your greatest talents. This forms the basis for increasing your confidence and for building achievement patterns.

  3. The extent to which you apply your talents through strengths
    You should provide the initiative for designing your education around your talents. This is likely to produce superior results, because you won't be "getting" an education, you'll be creating one. And it will be based on who you really are and the person you have the capacity to become.

  4. Your motivations, desires, and goal-setting practices
    Numerous studies identify motivation as the single most important factor in academic achievement and graduation from college. Specifically, they point to two important motivational dynamics: First, you must have multiple motives for achieving and persisting. Second, these motives must be important to you personally. Having only one reason for achieving (for example, to make more money or to please someone else) usually results in lesser achievement.

Four Tips for Developing Academic Strengths in College:

Your overall academic experience can be greatly enhanced by the perspective and direction you take in setting goals and making key decisions. Consider these four suggestions

  1. Define college success in terms of maximizing your talents through strengths development
    If you are going to assume responsibility for your college experience, you must come to grips with defining success for yourself.

    So, what is the best outcome of college that you can imagine? Most people would say getting a 4.0 GPA, graduating Magna Cum Laude, getting a well-paying job, or gaining admission to medical school, law school, or some other graduate or professional school. These are good, but your considerations should go well beyond your college years. Defining college success in terms of identifying and building upon your greatest talents emphasizes building yourself into a person of excellence.

  2. Select classes on the basis of your talents and strengths
    Considering your talents is particularly important as you select classes for the early portion of your college education. In these first couple of years, it is especially important to build your confidence by following your talents. Far too many students who enroll in college never graduate, and many of those who drop out do so in the first year. Why? Quite frequently, the reason is that they have selected classes that don't suit their talents. As a result, they don't experience the success they expected, and then they become frustrated and disillusioned and eventually give up.

    Be sure to continue to apply the strengths approach during the rest of your college career. This means that every time you select your classes, ask yourself two questions: (1) Which of my talents will I be able to apply in this class? and (2) What strengths will this class help me create? If you don't know the answer to either of these questions, get more information about the classes you are considering. If you have to say "none" to both questions, you must ask yourself why you are enrolling in the class in the first place. These comments may be controversial, so let's be clear: We are not anti-liberal arts, nor are we trying to undermine the need for all students to have certain basic skills. We are certainly not trying to limit students' exploration of new fields. What we oppose is educational practices that give students placement tests to find out what students can't do or don't know -- and then force them to focus first on where they struggle before they can learn about their most naturally powerful talents.

  3. Consider your talents when selecting extracurricular activities
    To gain maximum benefits from college, think about college as a total experience in which you purposely become as deeply involved as possible. This means making college the focal point of your life. Becoming personally involved might include forming study groups, meeting with professors, and making use of campus programs and services. If possible, live on campus or near campus -- and with other students -- or at least form close relationships with people from college.

    As you make decisions about extracurricular involvement, seek opportunities to build on your talents in strengths development. For example, form relationships with professors and students who share your talents. Become involved in clubs and organizations that provide opportunities for you to use or develop strengths.

  4. Choose your college jobs by considering the opportunities they provide to develop strengths by following your talents
    Most college students must work in order to make ends meet. That is a reality, but it is also true that employment during college presents another opportunity to build on your talents. Therefore, carefully consider where you'll be employed and what type of work you'll do. The most ideal situation would be (1) to work on campus so you can increase your involvement, and (2) to work in a job where you can use and build on at least some of your most natural talents. That way, you will be doing more than just earning money.

    See Chapter 7 in the Online Book for more information. You will need to be logged in to view this content.


Developing as a leader might be one of the most significant and important opportunities you will have as a student. Chances are, at some point in your life, you will have the opportunity to lead; in fact, you may already have served as a leader several times. Learning and emerging as a leader is a process that takes knowledge, skills, and practice, and it requires you to be intentional in how you use your talents. Kalamazoo Valley Community College provides a multitude of opportunities for you to grow and develop as leader.

What Can I Get Involved In?

Here they are set departments who provide involvement opportunities that will allow for you to invest in your talents and utilize your strengths to make a difference in the world
Office of Student Activities
Phi Theta Kappa

How can StrengthsQuest help me become a better leader?
StrengthsQuest can help you develop as a leader by:


"The Chinese philosopher Confucius had it right 2,500 years ago: 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.'" Career and Student Employment Services utilizes the StrengthsQuest Assessment to educate and empower students to dream possibilities, explore opportunities & fulfill their career goals.

-- StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career and Beyond

Imagine a job where you have the opportunity to do what you do best -- every day. What would that job look like for you? Who would you work with, where would you work, and what type of activities would you be doing?

Finding a job that is a good fit for your talents is a key part of the career exploration process. Gallup research has found that employees who have the opportunity to use their strengths are six times as likely to be engaged in their work and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life than employees who don't get to focus on what they do best.

Through StrengthsQuest, you'll gain insight into your areas of greatest potential: the things that you naturally do best. StrengthsQuest is not a career assessment and it won't tell you what job or career you should do. But it does provide valuable information about who you are and gives you clues to the type of work environment in which you are most likely to thrive.

After you have completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, read through Chapter 10 in the Online Book for suggestions and ideas about finding a career that will be a good fit for your strengths. You will need to sign in to view this content.


StrengthsQuest can improve and deepen your relationships by helping you see and appreciate others' talents.
Who are the people who are most important to you?

You have many relationships in your life as a student: with parents, teachers, professors, siblings, roommates, friends, teammates, and others. But in all your relationships, who encourages you to be your best? Viewing your relationships through the lens of strengths can give you a new perspective on how you relate to the people in your life.

If you knew your roommate craves social interaction, how would that change how you interact with her? If you understood that your brother revels in planning and details matter to him, how would that change how you schedule activities with him?

Understanding the talents of the people in your life can give you a deeper appreciation of how they view the world -- and what they need from you.
Do you know the talents of the people you have a close relationship with? And do they know your talents?

Send them your Signature Theme report by e-mail and start a conversation about your talents with those close to you.
To learn more about relationships from a strengths perspective are Chapter 4 in the Online Book. You will need to sign in to view this content.