One of the tools available to students to conduct valuable self-assessment is Gallup’s StrengthsQuest. StrengthsQuest is comprised of 34 themes. These themes emerged in Gallup’s study of successful people over decades of research. Each theme contains several talents. These talents are natural, recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. The talents found in your Signature Themes are things you do naturally — like breathing. You actually do them without even trying.



What is a strength?

A “strength” is the ability to provide consistent, near-perfect performance in a given activity. Whether you are a star athlete, master teacher, award-winning scientist, innovative artist, or transformational leader, by focusing on mastering what you do well and then practicing it, you can make the amazing look easy.

Why focus on strengths?

Understanding your strength themes provides insight into discovering and developing your natural talents. Too often students (and just about everyone else) are led to believe that the best path to success in any endeavor is to spend most of their time working from a deficit model. The best — in any field — don’t do that. Instead we want to focus on an asset model. A focus on strengths is a path to excellence.

Research in the field of positive psychology shows that people who use their strengths more frequently…

  • are more confident
  • have higher levels of energy and vitality
  • experience less stress
  • are more resilient
  • are more likely to achieve their goals
  • perform better and are more engaged at work
  • are more effective at developing themselves and growing as individuals

StrengthsQuest - a path to identifying and developing strengths

Lewis & Clark has chosen the StrengthsQuest tool to help students identify and build upon their strengths. The Gallup Organization’s strengths development program for college students, faculty, and staff, gives people the opportunity to develop strengths by building on their greatest talents — the way in which they most naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals. Since its inception, more than 500,000 students have gained insights into their strengths through StrengthsQuest programs on more than 600 campuses. Click here to learn more about StrengthsQuest.

Helpful Resources

 For Students:

For Faculty:

 To find out about opportunities to take the StrengthsQuest assessment email

Adapted from Clifton Strengths School ( and San Jose State’s Strengths Program ( San Jose State is a StrengthsQuest Best Practices institution.