Arlington, VA – September 19, 2013 – Despite increasing national attention on the state of college readiness, few college-bound students today are prepared to succeed in college. In fact, 42 percent of high school graduates who start college full-time don’t graduate within six years according to National Center for Education Statistics. While much of the emphasis has been on academic preparation, non-cognitive factors such as hope, engagement, and wellbeing can play an important role in driving student success.

Hobsons and Gallup have announced the integration of StrengthsExplorer, a strengths-based assessment for middle and high school students, with Naviance, the world’s leading college-and career-readiness solution, to help students discover their unique strengths, and provide educators with the resources necessary to help students cultivate those strengths and apply them towards post-secondary attainment.

Each year, the Gallup Student Poll has tracked student engagement as a means of facilitating a discussion around non-cognitive factors and student performance. According to Gallup, addressing issues of student hope, engagement and wellbeing can have a positive correlation with academic achievement, including GPA and performance on tests like the ACT and SAT. These factors can account for up to a third of the variance in post-secondary student success.

“Decades of Gallup research has proven how important it is for kids and adults alike to understand and develop their strengths. In many ways, it’s the secret to success in life. Our school systems and testing standards too often focus on what’s wrong with students. We desperately need to shift to a strengths-based development model and this partnership with Hobsons will unlock this potential in millions of youth,” said Brandon H. Busteed, executive director, Gallup Education.

The combination of Naviance and StrengthsExplorer allows school districts to address issues like student engagement by helping students identify their strengths and how they can apply those skills in the classroom and in life. StrengthsExplorer identifies ten talent themes and then provides tools for students develop their three strongest talents through activities that teach them how to leverage them on a day-to-day basis.

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