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Strengths-based Learning at MSU

Imagine a world where you get to build on your talents; a world where how you think, feel and behave is not only accepted but valued. The Dean of Students Office is working to create just such an environment here at Midwestern State University. The strengths-based campus movement has taken off around the country as universities draw on the latest research in fields such as positive psychology to help students realize their full potential.

What is a Strength?*

Strength is the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a given activity. High achievers across time and cultures do not waste their energy and talents trying to be well-rounded. When they do something well, they do it repeatedly, until they master it. This is an intuitive sign of a strength, and it is the common element across high achievers -- whether they are star athletes, master teachers, award-winning scientists, innovative artists, transformational leaders or every day achievers. They focus on mastering what they do well, and they practice it until they make the amazing look easy.

Why focus on strengths?*

Too often students (and just about everyone else) are led to believe that the best path to success in any endeavor is to spend most of their time working on their weaknesses. The best -- in any field – do not do that. A focus on strengths is a path to excellence.

What is strengths-based education?

Doing what we do best leads to high levels of engagement and productivity. Educators who capitalize on their strengths daily help students do what they do best by developing a strengths-based approach to education. The principles of strengths-based education include measurement, individualization, networking, deliberate application, and intentional development. Through a parallel process, educators practice the principles of strengths-based education when advising and teaching while students learn to put their strengths to work in learning and social situations.

StrengthsQuest - a path to identifying and developing strengths

Midwestern State University has chosen the StrengthsQuest tool to help students identify and build upon their strengths. The Gallup Organization's strengths development program for college students, faculty, and staff, gives people the opportunity to develop strengths by building on their greatest talents -- the way in which they most naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals. Since its inception, more than 500,000 students have gained insights into their strengths through StrengthsQuest programs on more than 600 campuses. Click here to learn more about StrengthsQuest ( To find out about opportunities to take the StrengthsQuest assessment contact the Dean of Students Office.