StrengthsFinder - StrengthsFinder - Strengths-Based Advising


What is strengths-based advising?
Strengths-based advising is a strategy in which an academic advisor, in a one-on-one relationship with a student, explores with the student the behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, motivations and beliefs that enable the student to be most effective.

A "strength" is a specific quality that enables a person to do certain things very well (Anderson, 2001). Focusing on the development of these strengths increases student motivation, provides students with a strong foundation for overcoming obstacles to success, and enables students to reach levels of personal excellence.

Building on strengths produces excellence:


  • Students' greatest potential for excellence is found in their strengths and talents.
  • Having strengths and talents isn't enough to produce excellence, however. These strengths must be fully developed and then appropriately applied.
  • To reach excellence, students must have a clear image about what excellence is and what it looks like.
  • Excellence requires painstaking preparation and hard work.
  • Knowledge of strengths and talents often supplies the energy and motivation to do the hard work necessary to achieve excellence.

(Edward C. Anderson, 2001)


For more specific strategies on strengths-based advising, Academic Advising for Student Success and Retention is highly recommended. To review this video training series, go to





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