FIND MY SPARK OVERVIEW
Help Students Find Their College Matches With FIND MY SPARK
Research conducted by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) found as many as a third of all entering college freshmen will eventually transfer. A common reason students give for transferring is a feeling they "just don't fit" at the college. Now there's a better way to help students choose colleges where their personalities and learning styles do fit - the GuidedPath Find My Spark™ College Survey. Just as students have a personality, colleges have a "style". Use Find My Spark to identify a student's personality and the appropriate college style for them. This survey was designed exclusively for GuidedPath by Claire Law, co-author of Find the Perfect College For You.
How FIND MY SPARK Works
Claire Law, an experienced educational consultant and co-author of Find the Perfect College For You, collaborated exclusively with GuidedPath to create Find My Spark, a personality survey. After many years of using psychology-based personality assessments in her educational consulting practice, Claire noticed certain colleges seemed to be better fits for certain personality types. Yet, no existing assessment recognized this fact. After further research, in collaboration with GuidedPath, Claire created Find My Spark, the first personality-based assessment to suggest colleges based on a student's personality type and learning style. The name of the survey, Find My Spark, embodies the intent of the personality survey and college search process. Helping students find their spark helps them in choosing colleges, careers and majors.
How to use FIND MY SPARK
To use Find My Spark, students complete a short, easy-to-understand questionnaire. Most students find they can complete the survey in 10 to 15 minutes. The questionnaire is completed online. Find My Spark creates an individual report for each student showing the strength of their match with a series of personality preferences.
Once the student's personality type is identified, college advisors use the matching college style in the Guided Search tool in GuidedPath. The college style attributes assigned to colleges are based on the institution's educational approach and campus culture.
Note: If a student already has a personality type identified, they can enter it in their profile, rather than taking the survey.
Personality Trait Descriptions used in FIND MY SPARK
Students age 14 to adult take the Find My Spark™ survey to identify which four of the following eight personality traits suits them best. The percentages that are displayed in the results next to the personality trait reflect the percent of the survey questions that were answered in a manner that matches the trait. So, the higher the percentage, the stronger the trait.
- Extraverts are stimulated by the external environment and are usually easy to get to know. Their energy comes from being with other people. They have a tendency to speak without thinking, which leads to their domination of many discussions.
- Introverts are stimulated internally and get lots of their energy from being alone. They may seem withdrawn, which makes them harder to get to know. Introversion is not equivalent to shyness.
- Sensors are detail oriented. They tend to focus on the parts and pieces of a project and appreciate the facts. Also, sensors are realistic and practical.
- Intuitive students are imaginative and focus on making associations and meanings beyond their five senses. They look at the big picture instead of the individual parts. Also, they tend to be more abstract and theoretical.
- Feelers are more concerned with how other people cope. They have a tendency to monitor emotions to help solve conflicts. They don’t like negative feedback, and they make decisions based on their values.
- Thinkers are typically more rational and analytical. They prefer to follow the rules, and they need examples of negative feedback to improve their work. Thinkers tend to be more impersonal.
- Judgers tend to be very organized and have their life under control with deadlines planned well ahead of time. They use calendars and like to make “to-do” lists. Also, judgers like to reach conclusions sooner rather than later.
- Perceivers are less focused on deadlines and seem messier to others. They are more spontaneous with their decision-making and like to leave things open-ended so they can be changed at a later time.
Personality Profile Continuum
Find My Spark is based on the Myer Briggs Personality types. These types are expressed as four personality dimensions:
1) Extroversion-Introversion: How we interact with the world and where we direct our energy.
2) Sensing-Intuition: How we notice, remember and absorb information.
3) Thinking-Feeling: The basis upon which we make decisions.
4) Judging-Perceiving: Whether we prefer to live in a more structured or in a more spontaneous way.
These personality types are expressed in a continuum. It is helpful to go over the different dimensions with students and parents. This helps parents, students, and advisors to fully explain and understand all the personality factors in action for a student.
Use this document to talk about the different personality profiles, with an emphasis on the continuum and how it affects the overall personality profile of the person taking the survey.
FIND MY SPARK College Styles
The two middle letters of the student’s Find My Spark™ results indicate both the kind of information a student naturally notices and remembers, and how the student likes to make decisions. These two middle letters are called the College Style. The College Style can be linked to a college’s mission statement, teaching style, and overall culture. Matching students with a college that fits their learning styles will help them enjoy their experiences and excel in their academics.
In order to make a good student-to-college match, consider these key points:
- What is the college’s mission and values?
- Take notice of the college’s strongest programs and departments.
- Is the college focused on undergrads or grads?
- What is the teaching and faculty behavior toward new students?
- Are the classes small and what goes on in there?
Find My Spark Survey Majors and Careers Resources
General Career Resources
Students better understand themselves and figure out what they are good at through the FIND MY SPARK survey, along with other academic assessments. Students should search for majors or careers that will let them further their interests, use their abilities, and maintain their values. People who work in careers they enjoy experience more satisfaction.
General career resources used to create a list of careers:
Rubric for Find My Spark Personality Assessment
1. Definition of Sensing and Intuition Personality types
2. Learning Styles by "heart of type" (middle 2 letters of personality profile)
3. Descriptions of the 16 types and dominants
4. Typical fields of study or work by preference combination
5. College Environments and Holland Typology Style
Tips for working with your students based on the Find My Spark results
PDF version of the Find My Spark Survey.