AU hosts Statewide Character Institute

Wed, 2012-07-25 08:25 -- univcomm

Anderson University will be the site for the first Indiana Character Education Institute, June 10-13. The summer institute will feature the leading national and state experts in the field of character education. The goal of the institute is to discuss character education topics and provide resources for invited participants to create a character education initiative in local school districts and communities. The event will be hosted by the Indiana Department of Education, the Center for Character Development at Anderson University and the newly formed Indiana Partners for Character Education (IPCE).

"Character development is a major theme for Anderson University,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “We look forward to the contributions that will be made by Institute leaders and guests to our own work as a university dedicated to the development of persons of character. No activity could be more important. This conference will be very much at home on our campus.”

Featured guests during the three-day institute include Dr. Mary Williams, professor of Education at the University of San Diego; Dr. Phil Vincent with The Character Development Center in Chapel Hill, NC; and Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, Sanford Chair of Character Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Session topics during the three-day event include “Developing A Comprehensive Character Education Framework,” “Civility in the Classroom and the Chattanooga Community Project” and “Character Education-Putting It All Together.”

“Since first taking the charge from Governor Frank O’Bannon to bring character to a community agenda across the state of Indiana, the Center for Character Development has visited many schools and communities engaged in character education,” said Don Peslis, director of the Center for Character Development at AU. “However, there is a need to help Indiana’s teachers address the topic of character in their classrooms and communities. In order to provide a clear, consistent message on the importance of developing good character, there must be an opportunity where thoughtful strategies and ‘best practices’ can be shared and embraced. It is our hope that the Indiana Character Education Institute will provide a step in that direction.”

The Character Education Institute is sponsored by the Indiana Partners for Character Education (IPCE) and the Center for Character Development at AU. The IPCE includes the Indiana Department of Education; The Mendelson Center for Sport, Character and Culture at the University of Notre Dame; the Indiana State PTA; the Purdue 4-H Cooperative Extension; the Citizenship through Sports Alliance, which includes the NCAA; the ERIC Clearinghouse for Reading and Language Arts at Indiana University, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism and the Center for Character Development at Anderson University.

“With the help of the Indiana Department of Education, Dr. Sueellen Reed and Dr. Evelyn Holt-Otten, eight initial participants were invited to the table to begin conversation about how to make character education and development a statewide priority in Indiana,” added Peslis. “Through a series of conversations, this group has worked to bring a statewide character education agenda into focus and the upcoming institute is a tangible result of these ongoing efforts.”

Teachers, community stakeholders, parents and school administrators interested in attending the Character Education Institute can apply by contacting the Center for Character Development at Anderson University at 765-641-3871 or through the Web at

The mission of The Center for Character Development 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.