A Practical Guide for Implementing a Strengths-Based Faculty ...

A Practical Guide for Implementing a Strengths-Based Faculty ...

A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR IMPLEMENTING A STRENGTHS-BASED FACULTY MENTORING PROGRAM Dr. Richard J. Dittus Instructor of Mathematics Ave Maria University July 17, 2018 2

Ave Maria University a Catholic liberal arts higher education institution dedicated to forming joyful followers of Jesus Christ founded in 2003 3 Ave Maria University

Located in southwest Florida Rural Stewardship Development Community New college town opened in 2007 Current Enrollment: 1100 students 4 5 6

7 Strengths-Based Faculty Mentoring Faculty interaction Academic advising Mentoring Effective mentoring Strengths-based mentoring CliftonStrengths for Students Mentoring program structure

Program benefits and challenges 8 Importance of Faculty Interaction 9 Importance of Faculty Interaction Strong predictor of student retention, persistence, engagement, and academic success (Schaller, 2010, p.20). Students do not generally seek faculty

interaction beyond the classroom experience (Lillis, 2011). Faculty interaction increases career and educational aspirations and academic performance (Mui, Brown-Welty, & Tracz, 2010). 10 Academic Advising What are some of the activities that should be incorporated within the academic advising process?

11 . OBanions Academic Advising Model Five-Phase Advising Process 1. Exploring personal goals 2. Investigating career goals (research, internships, summer jobs, informational interviews) 3. Reviewing academic goals and selecting an academic program

4. Choosing courses 5. Scheduling classes 12 What is Mentoring? Support provided for college students which incorporates: emotional and psychological guidance and support, help for succeeding in academic coursework, assistance examining and selecting degree and career options, and

the presence of a role model by which the student can learn from and copy their behaviors (Crisp, 2009, p. 189). 13 Effective Mentoring Requires a relationship building process Based on conversation Dialogue helps the mentee to make his or her own discoveries Approach mentoring conversations with a focus on questions rather than lead

with the intent of telling the mentee what he or she needs to discover. 14 Strengths-Based Mentoring Mentoring should support and encourage students to manage their own learning in order that they may: maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be.

Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring 15 CliftonStrengths for Students An online measure of personal talent that identifies areas where an individuals greatest potential for building strengths exists (Asplund, Lopez, Hodges, & Harter, 2009, p.2). 16

CliftonStrengths for Students Provides a report listing: each students top five talent themes, action items for personal development, and suggestions for using talents to achieve academic, career, and personal success. 17 CliftonStrengths for Students 34 CliftonStrengths themes of talent

Each theme of talent fits within one of the four domains: Strategic Thinking Executing Influencing Relationship Building 18 Strategic Thinking 8 Talents Analytical searching for reasons and causes Context enjoy thinking about the past Futuristic inspired by what could be

Ideation fascinated by ideas 19 Strategic Thinking 8 Talents Input craving for information; liking to collect and archive information Intellection introspective; appreciating intellectual discussions Learner great desire to learn and continuously improve Strategic creating alternative ways to

succeed 20 Executing 9 Talents Achiever working hard; great satisfaction in being busy and productive Arranger organizes pieces and resources for maximum productivity Belief having certain unchanging core values with defined life purpose Consistency needing to treat people by the same set of rules

21 Executing 9 Talents Deliberative serious care taken in making decisions or choices; anticipating obstacles Discipline enjoying routine and structure Focus can take direction, follow through, and make corrections to stay on track Responsibility taking ownership of what they say they will do Restorative adapt at dealing with problems 22

Influencing 8 Talents Activator turning thoughts into action Command taking control of a situation and making decisions Communication finding it easy to put thoughts into action Competition measuring progress against the performance of others 23

Influencing 8 Talents Maximizer focusing on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence Self-Assurance feeling confident in managing their own life Significance want to be very important in the eyes of others Woo loving the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over 24 Relationship Building 9 Themes

Adaptability taking things as they come and discovering the future one day at a time Connectedness believing that there are few coincidences and that everything has a reason Developer recognizing and cultivating the potential of others Empathy sensing the feelings of others by imagining being in their situations Harmony looking for consensus; seeking agreement 25

Relationship Building 9 Themes Includer accepting of others; showing awareness of those left out Individualization seeking how people who are different can work together productively Positivity having an enthusiasm that is contagious Relator enjoying close relationships with others; finding working hard with friends to achieve a goal satisfying

26 Strengths-Based Interventions Lead to statistically significant increases in: Student retention Academic performance Academic engagement and self-efficacy Self-confidence Optimism Sense of direction Hope Altruism

Sense of meaning and purpose 27 The Big Six Experiences The Gallup-Perdue Index (2014) indicated six college experiences are critical to being engaged at work: At least one professor made learning exciting. Professors cared about students as a person. A mentor encouraged pursuing goals and dreams. A project took a semester or longer to complete. An internship or job applied classroom learning.

Extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations. 28 StrengthsQuest Faculty Mentoring Student Learning Outcomes Articulate individual talents. Explain what individual talents mean or represent. Identify and utilize strategies to transform talents into strengths in academic pursuits.

Identify and utilize strategies to transform talents into strengths in career preparation. 29 Faculty Mentoring Program Structure Students will: choose to enroll in the program and submit an information form (prior to the Fall semester) meet their faculty mentor at the Sophomore Summit (first week in September) complete and submit a self-reflection activity on Canvas (prior to each mentoring session)

identify and describe their talents and how they can utilize these talents in their academic work and in exploring career options 30 Faculty Mentoring Program Structure Students will: discuss their interests, skills, and life goals review and either confirm or revise their declared academic major develop and review their four-year academic plan with their faculty mentor

review their proposed courses for the next semester and receive approval from their faculty mentor 31 Faculty Mentoring Student Information Form

Name Preferred Name Birthday Home Address (city and state) Cell Phone #

Email Address High School / Prior College Attended # of College Credits Earned Cumulative GPA Intended College Major(s) Intended College Minor(s) 32 Faculty Mentoring Student Information Form What are you planning to do this summer (job, internship, travel, family vacation, mission work, etc.)

With regard to your college major, have you already made a decision or are you exploring options? What are some of the things that you like to do in your free time? (hobbies, interests, sports, church, family related activities, etc.) What activities are you involved in or hoping to get involved in at Ave Maria? What are your future aspirations? 33 Strengths-Based Self-Reflection Activities and Faculty Mentoring Sessions

Four required self-reflection activities and faculty mentoring sessions during the academic year: Exploring My Signature Themes of Talent (early Fall semester) Setting My Academic Course (late Fall semester) Developing My Talents Into Strengths (early Spring semester) Setting My Career Course (late Spring semester) 34

Exploring My Signature Themes of Talent Identify each of your signature themes of talent and describe what each theme means. Describe how your themes of talent might help you excel in college life. Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Activity 1.8: Exploring My Signature Themes. Can only be used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 35 Setting My Academic Course

What do you want to be able to do as a result of going to college? Which of your talents do you believe will be most instrumental in helping you fulfill your dreams and desires for college? Which of your talents do you plan to develop through classes and extracurricular activities? Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Activity 3.2: Settng My Academic Course. Can only be used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 36

Setting My Academic Course What do you seem to learn with the greatest ease? What do your teachers compliment you about? What do you have a burning desire to know and understand? Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Activity 3.2: Settng My Academic Course. Can only be used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 37 Developing My Talents Into Strengths

Which of your top five talents are you choosing to further develop? What specific action could you take to further develop or apply this talent? Attending classes Getting involved in student organizations Reading books or other material Interacting with faculty mentor Using websites or internet research Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Supplemental Activity 2.K: Intensity Strength. Can only be used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 38

Developing My Talents Into Strengths What specific action could you take to further develop or apply this talent? Using artistic opportunities Using sports or recreational activities Volunteering or using community service activities Attending special workshops Using work and internship opportunities Interacting with family and friends Other Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Supplemental Activity 2.K: Intensity Strength. Can only be

used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 39 Setting My Career Course What experiences have been your most fulfilling? Which careers seem most interesting and attractive to you? In what career would you be able to best use your greatest talents? Given your general career interests and vocation, what types of graduate-school training will you need? Which courses and college opportunities can help you best prepare for your vocation, career, and graduate school?

Excerpted/adapted from the StrengthsQuest Activity Workbook, Activity 3.2: Settng My Academic Course. Can only be used in conjunction with StrengthsQuest. Copyright 2008 by Gallup, Inc. 40 Faculty Mentoring Program Benefits Students evaluations indicate that: self-reflection activities and mentoring sessions were very insightful and well planned out. students enjoyed learning how they could develop their talents into strengths.

mentoring sessions helped in developing career goals and taking steps to realize them. 41 Faculty Mentoring Program Benefits Confirmed decisions related to choosing an academic major. 61.2% of students sought to participate in an internship related to their career interests. Increase from 56.1% to 98.5% in awareness of personal talents and strengths. Increase from 33.3% to 60.6% in the students

scoring at least 40 out of 50 points on the Strengths Awareness Measure (SAM). 42 Faculty Mentoring Program Benefits Increase from 43.9% to 69.7% in the students scoring at least 112 out of 160 points on the Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale (SSES). Based on the CSDE-SF, an increase from 50.0% to 80.3% in the students reporting a high level of confidence in their career planning and professional preparation.

Students became proactive in setting their personal goals for the future while determining their current opportunities to explore their career options. 43 Faculty Mentoring Program Benefits Growth in confidence as students develop a plan to succeed over the next few years. Growth in awareness of the need to begin career preparation by seeking productive ways to spend

the summer. Encouraged students to develop networking skills and good human connections for their future endeavors. Gave students the needed accountability to pursue a summer internship. 44 Faculty Mentoring Program Challenges Getting faculty to become knowledgeable in the strengths-based mentoring process prior to serving as a mentor.

Getting students to understand the program benefits and to enroll in the faculty mentoring program. Scheduling faculty mentoring sessions. 45 Tools for Measuring Mentoring Program Outcomes Strengths Awareness Measure (SAM) The SAM evaluates the students ability to identify and describe their five top talents

and potential strengths, as well as ability to transform their talents into strengths in their curricular pursuits and professional orientation. 46 Tools for Measuring Mentoring Program Outcomes Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale (SSES) The SSES evaluates the students ability to identify and describe their five top talents

and potential strengths, as well as ability to transform their talents into strengths in their curricular pursuits and professional orientation. 47 Tools for Measuring Mentoring Program Outcomes Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale (CDSE-SF) Confidence in ones ability to manage career development and work-related tasks

Measures the degree of belief that an individual can successfully complete tasks necessary to make career decisions Measures overall career-decision self-efficacy Evaluates self-appraisal, gathering occupational information, goal selection, making plans for the future, and problem solving 48 SOPHOMORES 49

Why Focus on Sophomores? The second college year has been described as a unique and important period when students are examining their life purpose (Schaller, 2010, p. 13). 50 Freshman Year A time for learning how to be a college student Building time management skills

Improving study habits and note-taking skills Developing research and writing skills Adjusting to living with residence hall roommates Developing new friendships Exploring non-academic interests 51 Sophomore Year A different set of personal challenges Moving toward owning your college education and your life direction

Determining a college major Exploring potential career opportunities Seeking ways to utilize your talents in serving the needs of others 52 Sophomore Definition Sophomores: Full-time college students who have completed their first year of undergraduate education and that are in their second year at the same institution (Gahagan & Hunter,

2008). 53 Sophomore Challenges Persistence Academic success Personal involvement Motivation Major choice Academic self-efficacy Satisfaction

Exploring personal goals 54 Sophomore Slump A major academic decline during the sophomore college year: Developmental confusion Lack of academic engagement Disappointment with the college experience Experiencing academic deficiencies Experiencing uncertainty related to your

major/career direction Exploring personal goals 55 Sophomore Development Importance of developing an academic, career, and life purpose during the sophomore college year Four stages of sophomore development (Schaller, 2005): Random exploration Focused exploration

Tentative choices Commitment Exploring personal goals 56 Sophomore-Related Initiatives 57 Sophomore-Related Initiatives Should be connected to the institutional mission.

Could be designed and implemented as part of a higher education institutions quality improvement plan to support regional accreditation efforts. Further investigation into the benefits of a sophomore mentoring program will provide a deeper understanding of how individual lives can be transformed by the academic and developmental support received during the second-year of college life. (Dittus, 2013) 58 Initiatives for Sophomore Success

Mentoring Developmental Advising Faculty Interaction Academic Self-Efficacy Choosing a Major Career Planning Collaborative Learning Classroom Engagement Sophomore Seminars

Leadership Skills, Networking, Ethics Exploring personal goals 59 Sophomore Success QEP Goals Goal 1: The pursuit of knowledge and its effective communication Student Learning Outcomes: Liberal Arts Education students will articulate the nature and benefits of a liberal arts education within the Catholic intellectual tradition

Oral Communication students will express knowledge of rhetoric and characteristics of great speeches, and they will demonstrate skills oral presentation skills 60 Sophomore Success QEP Goals Goal 2: The development of self-knowledge and professional preparation Student Learning Outcomes: Self-Evaluation students will identify and describe their main talents and potential personal strengths

Career Orientation students will evaluate academic and career goals in light of their talents and apply strengths-related strategies in consideration of calling and career planning 61

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