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.

The course was developed in partnership with NACAC and its CEO, Angel Pérez and his team. Sign up here for a free account to take the course.

Task Force Groups

In order to move on the major “deliverables,” the Collaborative has organized itself into six task force working groups, with volunteers from the membership to staff these groups:

Presentations and Writing
Chair:  Florence Hines, St. Lawrence University
Charge: Expand exposure of Character Collaborative through conference presentations and writing

Resource Guide
Chair:  Sam Rikoon, Educational Testing Service
Target audience: admissions staff, college counselors, institutional players involved in admission.
Charge: produce online guide for utilizing character attributes in admission.

Online Professional Development
Chair: Arlene Cash, retired V.P. for Enrollment
Target audience: admissions staff, college counselors, other players involved in admission
Charge: design and create online modules (or full course) on utilizing character attributes in admission.

Athletics and Character
Co-Chairs: Mike Schell, Catholic Memorial HS, Boston and Brennan Barnard, Derryfield School, NH
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, 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.

Chair: Dan Sullivan, President Emeritus, St. Lawrence University
Target audience: foundations and educational associations
Charge: develop and implement a plan for raising funds in support of the
Collaborative mission