Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

[Recap] Creating a Strengths-Based University Campus





On a recent Called to Coach, we spoke with Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Ken Barr, Jr.

As director of Student Strengths Development at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Ken was responsible for leading all facets of the creation, development, assessment, and operations of this talent development/student success program. For a coach thinking about getting strengths started on a campus, Ken says they first need to define what the end goal is, the overall mission, and how it ties into the mission of the university.

The next thing that a school needs to consider is how to administer the assessment to students. At first, Ken was only seeing about 50% of students taking their free code and using it on their own. He found that best practice is having someone guide them through the steps to start the assessment. Another good way to get professors and students excited about taking the assessment is to tie CliftonStrengths into a specific assignment or to the learning objective of the class. Like in a college writing class, the professor usually asks students to write a paper geared around self-reflection.

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To hear more about coaching strengths for organizations, individuals and coaches, please watch the full video or listen to the audio above.


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Ken Barr, Jr. was the director of Student Strengths Development at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. During his time at Kalamazoo he was responsible for leading all facets of the creation, development, assessment, and operations of the talent development/student success program. Every day he delivered one-on-one coaching to help students discover, develop, and apply their Strengths to accomplish their goals. He also specializes in guiding clients through the career decision-making process. In career coaching, he looks to guide clients based on their Strengths, personality type, work values, skills, and interests. He emphasizes making informed career choices and finding ways to use natural talents every day. Ken received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and his master’s in counselor education and counseling psychology from Western Michigan University.


Ken's top five strengths are: Input, Maximizer, Arranger, WOO and Learner




1 comment :

Maureen Monte said...

I sure enjoyed both Ken's enthusiasm and his deep expertise. I encourage all coaches and universities to watch and learn from this subject matter expert! Great conversation.