Center for Student Success


Oberlin College and Conservatory is proud to partner with Gallup to offer the CliftonStrengths assessment for first-year Obies. CliftonStrengths is a talent assessment tool used to help people maximize their own potential to further their success. The Center for Student Success will use CliftonStrengths to aid students in developing their individual success plans and to help them define, shape, and reach their goals.

Why does Oberlin value CliftonStrengths?

All too often we look for weaknesses – in society, in others, and even in ourselves. Using a Strengths-based framework allows students to take a positive aproach to life and learning.  Obies know that one person can change the world: using Strengths as a starting point can help students make their mark on the world more quickly and effectively.  Details on the validity of CliftonStrengths can be found in the Technical Report on the Gallup website.  

How does the CliftonStrengths assessment work?

Gallup believes that Talent x Investment = Strengths. Everyone has special talents that are our natural ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. As students invest their time in developing these special skills, they'll begin to live through their Strengths: consistently providing near-perfect performance in specific tasks. The more investment students put into developing their top five Strengths, the bigger the positive impact will be.  

How can students use CliftonStrengths to learn more about themselves? 

CliftonStrengths is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways. Throughout the year, students will have an opportunity to deepen their understanding of their unique Strengths by participating in workshops, events, and Success Coaching sessions. Students will learn how to implement their Strengths in a variety of settings: from elevating participation in student organizations and team sports, handling difficult conversations with roommates, or highlighting special talents during a job interview. There is no limit to the benefits that a Strengths-based mindset will bring! 



No - you are one in 33 million! Your CliftonStrengths top five, in its exact order, is unique to you. Over 30 million people around the world have completed the CliftonStrengths assessment and learned their top five talents. There is a one in 33 million chance that two people will share the same top five. Because of your unique combination of talents, no one else will approach any situation in the exact same way as you.

Everyone has unique Strengths. Learning to develop oneself through a Strengths-based mindset creates a deeper understanding of how you show up on teams and in groups. Personal Strengths impact the way teams are formed and structured: there are different roles for a reason! By appreciating and utilizing personal Strengths in conjunction with the Strengths of others, teams can develop more effective ways of working together.

CliftonStrengths does not define someone or in any way limit their identity. CliftonStrengths is a set of 34 talents that can be nurtured and developed into a unique set of leadership skills. All of these skills have a positive orientation, and all are equally valuable. After taking the CliftonStrengths assessment, students will learn their top five Strengths. Remember: having specific Strengths in the top five doesn’t mean that the other 29 talents are missing - the top five are just the talents that are most naturally and often used. 

CliftonStrengths is an excellent tool for knowing more about oneself, but it should not be viewed as the only resource for determining skill or ability. 

Coming to an understanding of your CliftonStrengths may take some time and self-reflection. Be open to the surprising results that you may encounter as you get to know your unique set of Strengths. Over time, as you deepen your understanding of your top five Strengths, you will continue to be able to apply them in new ways. We encourage you to make an appointment with a Success Coach and attend campus events where you can learn more about your Strengths and how to use them.

Logo for Clifton Strengths