Student Affairs

Developing a Strengths-Based Residence Life Program

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Anne Brackett & Alicia Wojciuch
Price: $50.00

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Working in residence life comes with a unique set of challenges. There’s the potential for things to go wrong 24/7. That being said, this also means you have the ability to positively impact students 24/7. It can be incredibly fulfilling and frustrating depending on the day, or even the moment. There are many ways to approach student development and discipline, but we’ve found that CliftonStrengths by Gallup (formerly StrengthsFinder/StrengthsQuest) is an incredible tool that your professional and paraprofessional staff can use to help students, whether they’re in trouble or excelling. It’s also a fantastic tool to help your team better understand themselves, each other, and be more productive. Unlike other tools or assessments, Strengths can be integrated into your current residence life program. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but once your staff understand the Strengths framework, you can use it to improve the things you’re already doing whether you use a programming or a residential curriculum model.

CliftonStrengths was developed from decades of research on human talent. It’s based on positive psychology and focuses on the philosophy that people are more successful and fulfilled when they focus on what they do best. Because our talents color how we see and interact with the world, understanding our talents - and developing them into strengths - can help your students and staff better understand themselves and others. Strengths is a great framework to help students navigate everything from homesickness to roommate issues to developing productive study habits. Strengths is a great team builder for your staff, as well as an effective framework to use for supervision. This webinar will help you consider if a CliftonStrengths initiative is right for you and give you concrete steps to begin or enhance your program.


  • Benefits of Using Strengths in Residence Life
  • Using Strengths with Your Staff
    • Training
    • Supervision
  • Using Strengths with Your Students
    • Clifton Strengths Assessment
    • Individual Meetings
    • Roommate Conflict/Coaching
    • Discipline/Restorative Justice
    • Discipline/Restorative Justice
    • Discipline/Restorative Justice
    • Discipline/Restorative Justice
  • Integrating Strengths into Programming or Residential Curriculum

Learning Outcomes:

  • The basics of a Strengths-Based framework
  • How implementing a Strengths-based initiative can increase self-awareness, foster development, and create a common language for staff and students
  • Ideas for creating a funding proposal, including long term results of a Strengths-based initiative
  • Specific ways you can implement Strengths into your current residence life model Our personal triumphs and challenges in implementing and operating within a strengths-based initiative

Who Should Attend:

  • Anyone in residence life who is looking for tools to enhance, energize, or revamp their current program
  • Supervisors in residence life looking for coaching tools for professional and paraprofessional staff
  • Anyone looking for professional development tools that will increase collaboration
  • Anyone trying to increase student and/or staff engagement and retention

Presenter Biographies: 

Anne Brackett has worked in residence life for 20 years. She has a MA in Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Texas Tech University and is a PhD candidate in Education at University of Missouri-St. Louis. Anne is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Engagement Champion. Anne is currently a Co-Founder and the Chief Engagement Officer of Strengths University. Anne’s CliftonStrengths Top 5 Talent Themes are Ideation, Context, Adaptability, Input, and Strategic.

Alicia Wojciuch has worked in residence life for five years and Higher Education for ten years. She has an MSW from University of Missouri-St. Louis. Alicia is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Facilitator in Strengths Based Education, and Instructor in Strengths Based Education. Alicia is currently a Life Coach at Maryville University. She is also a Co-Founder and a Strengths Catalyst at Strengths University. Alicia’s CliftonStrengths Top 5 Talent Themes are Connectedness, Input, Arranger, Developer, and Individualization.                                                                                                                       

Both Anne and Alicia started out in residence life as RAs. They’ve seen students, RAs, and professional staff struggle both personally and, in their efforts, to help others. When they discovered the impact a strengths-based program could have to help anyone grow and develop, they worked with their colleagues to roll out a campus-wide strengths initiative, including integrating it into the residential curriculum. Anne and Alicia have extensive experience helping students, staff, and faculty better understand their talents, develop their strengths, and improve their relationships with others. After successfully working with CliftonStrengths for Students on campus for six years, they started Strengths University to bring the power of strengths-based development to even more students, faculty, and staff.

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