Document Type


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


The research study sought to identify the significance or impact of strengths training received by first-time college students at a private, denominationally affiliated college that holds membership in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and to determine whether or not there were statistically significant differences in first semester outcomes between students who received formal feedback and training on their identified strengths and those who do not receive their strengths results or training.

First-time college students at Mount Vernon Nazarene College (MVNC) in Mount Vernon, Ohio completed the Gallup Strengths Finder (GSF) assessment as a part of the new student orientations in June and July, 2001, prior to their first semester of college enrollment. The GSF assessment identifies levels of strength in 34 trait areas from four general life themes, which are: relating, impacting, striving, and thinking. Specific individual strengths from among these life theme areas are identified by the GSF.

For the study, a group of 32 first-time college students at Mount Vernon Nazarene College served as the study group for the Fall of 2001. This group participated in three scheduled interactions including two classroom group-training sessions and an individual consultation with the researcher. This sequence of interaction between students and researcher occurred during the month of October 2001 their first semester of college enrollment at MVNC.

A control group of 40 different students were randomly selected by English class sections from the same pool of first-time enrollees at MVNC and did not receive GSF written results nor further strengths training or follow-up.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2002 for the University of Sarasota. Dissertation committee: Jerrold D. Hopfengardner (Chairperson), Celia Edmundson, and Nancy Hoover.