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Program description

CHARACTERplus Way provides an organizational approach to SEL. It includes programming for grades 6-12 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness at grades 8 and 11.

Strategies supporting educational equity

CHARACTERplus Way features strategies for creating youth action projects. This includes a framework for developing collaborative solutions to community and social problems. Student-directed service learning projects are a primary feature of this program.

      • Instructional practices
      • Relationship building
      • Positive classroom management
      • SEL generalization
      • Shared agreements
      • Student voice
      • Systemic support for SEL
      • Adult SEL
      • Group structures
      • Peer mentoring
      • Student Voice
      • Service-learning
      • Community volunteer activities
      • School Involvement
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted in the 2005-2006 academic year (unpublished report written in 2006) supported the effectiveness of CHARACTERplus Way for middle and high school students. This evaluation included grade 8 and 11 students enrolled in schools in the US Southeast. This evaluation found that students who participated in the program demonstrated significantly more positive perceptions of school climate and decreases in bullying behaviors compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported one year after baseline). However, CHARACTERplus Way evaluations have also found that the control group outperformed treatment students on outcomes of interest and it is for that reason, CHARACTERplus is designated as Promising.

  • Evidence shown in grades
    8, 11
    School characteristics
      • Southeast
    Student characteristics
    • Not Specified
    Percentage Low Income
    • Not Specified
    Study design type
    • RCT
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does CHARACTERplus Way support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“An evidence-based process for culture, climate, and academic improvement, the CharacterPlus Way promotes CASEL’s SEL competencies across all settings by creating shared core values with all stakeholders’ input. Common language and best practices encourage students’ wellbeing as well as helping them think, feel, and do what’s best for the community.”

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  • Accepted by CASEL
  • Marshall, J.C., Caldwell, S.D. (2006). Baldwin County ShowMe Character Implementation Project. Evaluation Report. Unpublished report.

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