About the Academy

The Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education exists to further the practice, research, and dissemination of strengths-based approaches to teaching, learning, and leading in higher education at Azusa Pacific University and beyond. The Noel Strengths Academy offers a variety of services and resources for the students, staff, and faculty of Azusa Pacific as well as other organizations interested in bringing the strengths philosophy of people development into their settings.

What would happen if we studied what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?

Don O. Clifton, Ph.D.
Former Chief Executive Officer, The Gallup Organization

Inspired by the vision behind StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond by Donald O. Clifton and Edward “Chip” Anderson (revised by Laurie Schreiner in 2006), the Noel Strengths Academy serves as a resource for research, training, and consultations to advance the strengths movement in higher education and other strengths-oriented organizations.

History of the Noel Strengths Academy

Edward “Chip” Anderson, Ph.D., known to many as the father of the strengths movement in higher education, came to Azusa Pacific University in 1999 as a professor in the Doctoral Higher Education program, after spending 28 years at UCLA in capacities as varied as veterans’ services, retention, counseling psychology, and the Graduate School of Education. Anderson was instrumental in igniting the “strengths revolution”—the commitment to changing the paradigm in higher education from deficit-remediation to strengths development.

Through Anderson’s partnership with the Donald Clifton, CEO of the Gallup Organization, and Lee Noel, cofounder of Noel-Levitz, LLC, the strengths movement began to change the higher education landscape one campus at a time, and today is widely used across the nation.

In 2002, Laurie Schreiner, Ph.D., co-author of the Student Satisfaction Inventory and professor of psychology at Eastern University, joined Anderson at APU. Together, they started the Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership. Since its inception, the academy has served students, staff and educators at APU and beyond. It boasts clients ranging from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the Murdock Charitable Trust.

The Gallup Organization

Azusa Pacific and the Noel Strengths Academy function independently from the Gallup Organization and do not possess any formal links or financial dependencies with the Gallup Organization.

However, the Noel Strengths Academy proudly uses many of the Gallup Organization’s strengths tools and frameworks—most notably the CliftonStrengths for Students online assessment (also known as the StrengthsFinder or StrengthsQuest assessments). Additionally, the Noel Strengths Academy acknowledges and appreciates the rich history of partnership and collaboration with the Gallup Organization.