We are excited that we have just completed our first year of offering incoming freshmen Meredith’s signature program, StrongPoints®. This new multi-dimensional advising and coaching program begins with students’ identifying their top strengths. Expert faculty and staff then guide the students as they explore how they can use their strengths to build their best college experience – and life.
StrongPoints is powerful because it encourages students to focus on their innate talents and gifts – not always the first instinct among women, in particular. They build on their strengths through four processes: (1) academic planning, through which they develop their intellectual interests and passions, (2) experiential planning, which enhances their college experience and preparation for life beyond, (3) financial planning, which ensures students are able to advocate and care for themselves financially, and (4) career planning, which helps them identify career pathways that draw on their strengths and interests.
Currently, we are collecting and assessing results from students, faculty, and staff on the value and impact of StrongPoints, and I will have more to share with you as we move forward.
Meanwhile, we know that a focus on strengths can help people outside of our current student population. That’s why we are creating and launching a new community outreach program, Stronger U, which focuses on the identification and use of strengths beyond the academy. Our intention is to offer programs that help weekend participants understand their strengths and use them in a variety of settings – from home to the community to the workplace.
The first Stronger U workshop on strengths-based leadership will be held in October. Future programming includes strengths-based budgeting, team building, health planning, and numerous other options that should appeal to a broad audience who may not know so much about Meredith College (yet!).
Of course, we also want to extend these kinds of programs to our alumnae and friends, many of whom are far outside the Raleigh/RTP area. Be on the lookout for some offerings during Alumnae Reunion Weekends in the near future – and perhaps eventually some online “courses” that could offer some of the programming in self-paced modules. If you have thoughts about topics you’d like to see addressed, we welcome your input. You can send an email to StrongerU@meredith.edu.
All this is just more evidence of the power of Meredith’s boldly claiming her status as a premier institution that educates and prepares women for life. It is exciting to see the new Going Strong brand of Meredith College evolve with unique programming that highlights the College’s strengths, while serving her students, alumnae, and friends in powerful (and empowering!) ways.
Originally published in Meredith Magazine, Summer 2015