For the past five years, first year students have been required to take the
StrengthsQuest assessment from Gallup in order to learn about what their top five strengths are. In the assessment, students are asked a series of thought-provoking questions in order to get them to think about how they go about making decisions on a daily basis, what kind of thinkers they are and what kinds of things motivate them. At the end of the assessment, students get a detailed description of what their strengths mean, as well as a couple of questions for students to ask themselves about how they feel about their results.
Jessiah Garnett, a first year student here at Eastern, took her StrengthsQuest assessment this year and some of the strengths she obtained were Futuristic, Achiever and Ambitious. She felt that some of the strengths that were listed did apply to who she is right now and who she hopes to become in her future endeavors at Eastern. She felt the most connected to the Futuristic strength because she often thinks about the future to the point where it can feel she’s already living in the future instead of the present which is a common trait for people with this strength. The strength that she hopes to develop more into during her time here is the Achiever strength because she said that she does procrastinate a lot but she still manages to get assignments done. She wants all of her strengths to tie in together so that she can be successful during her college years.
“I think they all tie together so I need them to tie together at Eastern so I can get my degrees and get out of here” Garnett said as she laughed.
Sarah Todd, the Director of the Talent and Career Development, helps students after they have taken the assessment to understand what their strengths mean and how they can best apply them in their Eastern career. She believes that it is important for students to take this assessment freshman year so that they can feel “empowered and affirmed” in things about themselves that are “right” and “ that are great” Todd said.
“My take is that by spending a bit of time in students first years helping them just to identify aspects of themselves that [make them realize that] hey, when you go into a situation, you’re already doing this [strength]. You don’t have to think about it. It’s natural. It’s apart of who you are. And the language that we’re using here at Eastern [is that] it’s a way to understand God’s gifts” Todd said.
The goal is to help students, especially first year students, to realize that not only does Eastern have something to offer them but also that they have aspects of themselves that Eastern and the overall world needs to experience. This assessment is designed to truly help nourish the seeds of strength that is already inside of students and to help them grow into their Godly purpose here at Eastern.