Upcoming Events

November 16, 2020 to February 1, 2021

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

CACUSS [Virtual] Strengths Professional Development Series - Full Series


The CACUSS [Virtual] Strengths Professional Development Series is a professional development opportunity that provides higher education professionals with the opportunity to explore their personal strengths, learn how to create a strengths-based approach to work on their campus, and align their professional development with their unique strengths and the CACUSS Professional Competencies.

Throughout the series, participants will explore these concepts in a virtual learning model comprising self-reflection, program assessments, strategic development and professional development mapping. The CACUSS [Virtual] Strengths Professional Development Series is designed for participants to engage in all the full series, or individual sessions based on their professional development goals and needs. The series is also designed with individuals or teams in mind, and we encourage groups to engage in this unique professional development experience together.

This series is suited for entry and mid level higher education professionals that engage in program or curriculum development, staff management and strategic development. The curriculum has been created with flexibility for application to all institution types and levels of program development. It has also been designed as a train-the-trainer program, providing educators with the tools to help implement strengths-based practices on their campus.

The series will take place every other Monday at 1:00 pm ET starting November 16, 2020. Each session is 2-2.5 hours in length.

You can register for the whole series or for individual sessions. If you have not completed the Clifton Strengths Assessment, you must email us at least 4 days in advance of the session and we will add a fee for the CliftonStrengths code to your invoice. Please contact us at cacuss-ed@cacuss.ca. You will receive the code to complete the assessment prior to the workshop.

This registration is for the full series, sessions 2 - 5. 



Single Session/Individual  Intro only

Member: $79               Non-Member:  $119

Single Session/other sessions

Member: $69               Non-Member: $99


Member: $249             Non-Member: $359

Group/Team Pricing

  • 2-3 staff-- 10% off (use the code Strengths10 at checkout)
  • More than 3—20% off (use the code Strengths20 at checkout)

Session 2. Training and Development

Monday, November 30, 2020

1:00pm-3:30pmET (2.5 hours with break)

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to review current literature surrounding a strengths-based approach to training and development. Following an in-depth discussion on the current literature and its applicability to higher education, participants will explore the both CliftonStrengths® and the CACUSS Competencies, and participate in a reflective activity to explore how the tools can be paired together through both a personal and professional journey lens. Participants will take away ideas and strengths-based strategies that can be meaningfully and manageably integrated into professional development experiences.


  • Identifying the characteristics of strengths-based education as it applies to higher education environments;
  • Listing strengths-based strategies and tools that can enhance professional development experiences;
  • Explaining how strengths-based principles can be applied to meaningful training and development opportunities;
  • Using the CliftonStrengths® tool and CACUSS Competencies to explore the design of impactful professional development.

Session 3: Employee and Team Engagement

Monday, December 14, 2020

1:00pm-3:00pm ET

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to review current literature surrounding a strengths-based approach to employee and team engagement. Following an in depth discussion on the current literature and its applicability to higher education, participants will take part in a reflective activity to explore CliftonStrengths® as it relates to employee and team engagement with direct applicability to their current professional employees/team. Participants will leave with resources and activities designed to help understand and promote strengths-based engagement for their teams (professional or student staff).


  • Identifying how individual strengths fits into relevant theory, research and literature on employee and team engagement;
  • Discussing how strengths-based engagement can enhance retention and well-being, with a particular focus on a higher education setting;
  • Using activities and resources to promote strengths-based engagement for their own respective teams.

Session 4: Strengths Based Program/Curricular Development

Monday, January 18, 2021


In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity  to review current literature focused on strengths in higher education as it relates to program development and curricular design. Throughout this workshop participants will have the opportunity to analyze current literature and reflect on its applicability to their professional roles, higher education perspective and work on their [virtual] campus. Participants will be guided through a self reflection of CliftonStrengths® to explore opportunities for application at their home institution and within their own respective roles. Participants will leave with resources and tools to guide their program and/or curriculum development journey from a strengths-based lens.


  • Discussing literature, research and theory that informs program development and curricular design, with a specific focus on applying a strengths-based approach;
  • Using tools and resources to inform and enhance their program development and/or curricular design in the future;
  • Examining the application of a strengths-based approach to program development and/or curricular design within their own role and respective institution.

Session 5: Strengths and Flourishing: Wellbeing

Monday, February 1, 2021


In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore in detail their top five CliftonStrengths® themes, as it relates to well-being and flourishing. Participants will be provided with current literature as it relates to well-being and flourishing, and will have the opportunity to reflect on how this well-being lens applies to their current roles and career goals. Throughout this workshop, participants will be guided through self reflection activities to explore how a strengths based approach to well-being and flourishing can be used personally, within their role at their respective institution, and in supporting the well-being of their peers and/or staff. Participants will also be introduced to a curricular approach to developing a strengths-based campus, highlighting vital touchpoints and learning strategies that are vital to both educator and student flourishing on post-secondary campuses.


  • Identifying a campus-wide approach to developing a flourishing, strengths-based culture for post-secondary educators and students;
  • Articulating how CliftonStrength® can be used as a tool to support educator and student well-being on post-secondary campuses;
  • Applying their CliftonStrengths® themes to explore well-being in their current role and within their long-term career goals;
  • Using a strengths-based lens to explore flourishing principles within their own work, their institution’s work and in the development of peers or staff.


Sara Wills

Sara Wills works at Western University as the Manager, Integrated Learning and Assessment, researching and supporting the implementation of strengths-based practices in integrated co-curricular learning, professional development experiences, and assessment practices.  As an experienced student affairs practitioner and CliftonStrengths coach, she is passionate about supporting educators in creating strengths-based learning experiences and coaching students in exploring their own talents, career aspirations and purpose. Sara is also a Senior Consultant for Pathways Educational & Career Consulting, guiding organizations and government groups in developing a culture that shares the language of strength and leverages individual talents. Sara holds a Masters of Education from Memorial University, certifications in Career & Academic Advising, Leading Assessment, Life Coaching, and Positive Education, and has been a faculty member at various national and international learning and assessment institutes. 






Shari Walsh

Shari Walsh works at Niagara College as the Associate Director, Student Engagement, Academic Advising and Career Services. She is also a Senior Consultant for Pathways Education & Career Consulting, where she has the pleasure of supporting organizations and government groups in developing a shared understanding of a strengths based approach and leveraging their talents.  With 14 years of higher education, learning and leadership development experience Shari is passionate about working with individuals and professionals at all levels to help them explore their strengths, learn their potential and discover their path to success.
Shari holds a M.A in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University, certification as a Clifton Strengths coach, faculty experience within Ontario Colleges and recently served as a Director at Large on the CACUSS Board of Directors. 

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