The Career Compass' description is fully applicable to the College Compass--but with special emphasis on issues unique to the college experience.

The adaptation of the Career Compass to the needs of young people came about naturally in response to requests from executives to apply the strengths-based approach to their kids. As executives, they were using the Career Compass to guide their careers and manage their leadership teams. They immediately saw the potential for using it with their children. After all, many of them had literally 100's of thousands of dollars tied up in educational expense and they wanted to know that it was being well spent and that their kids were on the right track.

And these days that track starts out early--trying to sort out which colleges to apply to, what to say about themselves in applications and interviews, what to look for when touring campuses, what classes to take in college, what major to choose and eventually where to start their career.

It would be a simple matter if well-intentioned parents could easily provide accurate advice and the kids diligently followed it.  I'm sure that happens--but just not very often! The problem is that parents "see" their children through their own filters and their own desires. Their guidance may or may not be right for the unique individual who is their child.

An objective analysis provides more accurate data about the strengths, interests, and needs of the young adult--the key factors he or she will be dealing with for the rest of their lives. It provides a useful and non-judgmental common language with which parents and children can discuss these issues. The assessment and feedback activity, just by itself, is a very "adult" activity and as such it validates the young person's entry into adulthood and has a demonstrated salutary effect.

The College Compass should be done any time from junior year in high school on--the earlier the better. It consists of two sophisticated strengths assessments, feedback consultations on the results, a book on the strengths-based approach, a summary report and debrief to the parents, and coaching discussion on application of the results.