By: Lori Gallegos, Guest Columnist
Coaches Corner is a monthly column written by the CNM Connect Acheivement coaches. Look for the next installment of Coaches Corner in issue eight of the CNM Chronicle.
CNM Achievement Coaches are a collaborative bunch. This close-knit group has always worked together in a spirit of information sharing, creative problem-solving, and mutual support in a coordinated effort to improve student success.
This summer, the collaboration continued with a coordinated effort to improve student success with Cosmetology students. This past July, 16 Achievement Coaches from CNM Schools and Connect travelled to the South Valley Campus to meet with Cosmetology students and work with them one-on-one to create success plans incorporating each student’s individual strengths.
Second-term students in Mary Kolesar’s Hair Lab II class each took the Clifton StrengthsFinder Strengths Assessment. Based on answers on this assessment, StrengthsQuest identifies an individual’s top 5 talents or themes which can then be developed into strengths.
These talents/strengths are innately characteristic of each individual and can be used as a foundation from which one builds success in school, work, and relationships.
Once the Cosmetology students took the assessment, CNM Achievement Coaches then worked with them to develop a Success Plan targeting a particular area the student identified. Barbara Burrows, former Health, Wellness, and Public Safety Achievement Coach, was instrumental in training the Achievement Coaches on student success plans and said that the effectiveness of the success plan is in the conversation between the coach and the student.
The conversation incorporates how the student might utilize their strengths to achieve goals or address challenges.
Student Celeste Romero, whose strengths included “woo” meaning she derives satisfaction meeting new people and “includer” meaning she is accepting of others and makes an effort to include those who feel left out, said she felt that these strengths speak to her choice of cosmetology as a career to work as part of a team to make others feel beautiful and good about themselves.
The use of the StrengthsFinder Strengths Assessment was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education grant.
The Achievement Coaches hope to conduct a follow-up with the Cosmetology students sometime this fall to discuss strategies for the term.