AU launches nation’s first character education program

Wed, 2012-08-01 10:39 -- univcomm

Anderson University’s School of Education, the Center for Character Development at Anderson University, and The Josephson Institute of Ethics recently announced the launch of the nation’s first undergraduate teacher education program for character development. Beginning the spring semester of the 2005-06 academic year, education students will be able to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a specialization in Character Education.

“I am pleased that the Center for Character Development and the School of Education collaborated to create this unique program,” said Dr. Carl Caldwell, vice-president for Academic Affairs and Dean. “Through it we are preparing Anderson University students to serve an ever-changing society that recognizes the place of the public school in character education.”

“This program will be the most comprehensive character-development initiative for teacher preparation in the nation,” said Dr. Diana Ross, dean of the School of Education. “Teachers graduating from the AU School of Education will leave with all the training necessary to implement a character-based classroom.”

The new undergraduate education track is the first of its kind in the country. It is also the first education curriculum endorsed and based upon the national CHARACTER COUNTS! framework. CHARACTER COUNTS! is a nationally recognized character education tool sponsored by The Josephson Institute of Ethics (

“We, at the Center for Character Development and the School of Education, are excited about the possibilities that this unique and special partnership will afford our future leaders,” said Don Peslis, director of the Center for Character Development.

The program will focus on the theories, strategies and practices utilized in character education and will also prepare students to be a resource within their communities to promote character development collaborations within school and community organizations.

Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, said, “Character education has long been the foundation of public education. This partnership with the School of Education at Anderson University positions CHARACTER COUNTS! exactly where it is most needed-preparing our future character educators.”

The mission of The Center for Character Development within the School of Education at Anderson University is to recognize, enhance, teach and sustain positive qualities in the lives of persons in order to promote civility through character development. The intent of this initiative is to foster greater understanding and cooperation among individuals and organizations and help develop a positive environment to address issues that will shape the future.

Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts university of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in theology, business, nursing and education.