As a volunteer organization of colleges, secondary schools, professional associations, research organizations and individual counselors, the Character Collaborative is poised to produce the following to help schools and colleges “jump start” a consistent assessment of character in their institution-specific admission process:

  • Presentations at national and regional educational conferences to make clear what we mean by “character” and why we seek to signal the importance of character in an admission process that looks at grades, test scores and personal qualities.
  • A summary of recent research on the impact of character on performance and on the development and testing of rubrics and other tools to assess various character attributes. This will familiarize admissions deans, presidents, school heads and boards with background information and data that could help them implement a move toward including elements of character in admission.
  • A resource guide that will provide on-line access to options for rubrics and assessment tools that schools and colleges may use in their admission process.
  • A web-based training course to help admission deans and their staffs
    implement the character assessment tools or rubrics that work for their institution’s admission process.
  • Workshops and a resource guide for high school, college and club coaches, athletic directors, and college counselors who believe in the power of character in student-athlete recruitment.


Recognizing the challenge and opportunity that a vastly increased number of test optional applicants presents to admissions staff, the Character Collaborative announces a new on-line courses.  Assessing Character in Admission: Essential Elements reviews the challenges in assessing character, the core principles of character assessment, selecting tools for evidence of character, determining effective ways to rate character, and developing a sound decision-making process. Writing and Evaluating Letters of  Recommendation for Character gives school counselors important guidance on advising teachers and non-school references on how to emphasize character attributes in their letters, and gives admission officers options in evaluating these attributes in a consistent way. Application Essays: Evaluating and Advising with Character in Mind assists admission readers in finding evidence of character attributes in the essay that are important to the institution, and also helps school counselors advise students on how to highlight their character traits in their essays.

The courses were developed in partnership with NACAC and its CEO, Angel Pérez and his team. Information on how to access courses can be found at NACAC’s Character Focus Initiative site.


A series of podcasts that address  issues of practice, policy and research on character in Admission– Character Counts — can be found on the NACAC Podcast Network. 

Character Collaborative Board Committees

In order to move on the major “deliverables,” the Collaborative has organized itself into five committees, with volunteers from the board and general membership to staff these groups:

Executive Committee of the Board
Chair:  Tom Bear, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Charge: Other members are the Executive Director, Immediate Past Board Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  They shall function as the long-range planning committee to set goals and objectives for the organization.

Program Committee
Chair: Ray Diffley, RD3 Education 
Target audience: admissions staff, college counselors, other players involved in admission
Charge: design and plan annual meeting, on-line classes, podcasts and other educational programming that may be offered from time to time.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Chair: Arlene Cash, retired dean of admissions and vp for enrollment

Charge:  To ensure that diversity, inclusion, cultural competence and equity are reflected in the organization, its membership and leadership, and its educational programming, underlying the organization’s efforts in promoting character in admission. 

Athletics and Character
Co-Chairs: Mike Schell, Catholic Memorial HS, Boston and Brennan Barnard, Khan Lab School
Target audience: high school and college coaches, club team coaches, admissions staff, college counselors
Charge: develop and implement a plan and resource guide for embedding character development and assessment in coaching and recruiting student athletes.

Membership Development
Chair: Lee Dieck, Retired,The Masters School, NY
Target audience: admissions deans and directors; college presidents and
heads of school
Charge: develop and implement a plan for increasing and diversifying Collaborative membership.