Overview & Model of Assessment Plan

Twin Cities Campus Institutional-Wide Assessment Plan

In summer 2011, several individuals representing a diverse group of University departments, including the Office of Institutional Research, collaborated to develop the Strengths Impact Model. The model was originally created as part of the Strengths at the U: Building a Strengths -Based Undergraduate Experience Initiative which was discontinued in 2015The model represented a framework of constructs and activities to assess the impact of a strengths-based approach on students and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus community. 


Broadly speaking, the Strengths Impact Model took into consideration the impact of students’ precollege characteristics on both their engagement in higher education and subsequent outcomes, including institutional measures of student success. Additionally, the model considered the impact of students’ engagement with (including their involvement in and enthusiasm for) strengths-based initiatives on factors that can moderate broader institutional outcome measures of success. The moderating factors proposed by the model include self-efficacy, appreciation of diversity, sense of belonging, engagement, and hope. Overall, the model proposed that students’ precollege characteristics as well as their engagement in strengths-related initiatives throughout college influence both the moderating factors and individual/institutional outcomes.

As demonstrated on the second page of the Strengths Impact Model, the assessment plan attempted to measure:

  • Students’ strengths engagement
  • The moderating factors
  • Individual/institutional-level outcomes.

Surveys and focus groups were used to assess the impact of strengths on the experience of students. Please click here to review our findings. Additionally, the assessment plan took into account direct and indirect levels of measurement to capture data related to the impacts of strengths on campus.