Character Collaborative and NACAC Partner to Launch New Training Courses

Shanda Ivory

Character Collaborative and NACAC Partner to Launch New Training Courses


Arlington, VA (Jan. 18, 2021) – The Character Collaborative and National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today announced the launch of Character Assessment in Admission: An Introduction, the first course in a series designed to provide guidance on the value of character attributes in colleges and schools.

The Character Collaborative, an organization of over 70 schools and colleges, college counselors, associations, and researchers nationwide, was created in 2016 to promote changes in school and college admission practices that reflect the significance of character strengths in attaining success in school, college, and career. NACAC, with its membership of more than 14,000 institutions and individuals, advocates on behalf of the profession and students and families navigating the college admission process.

“Today, with the impact of COVID-19, renewed focus on access and equity, and rapid alteration of the testing world, there is an accelerated movement toward holistic admission, including the elevation of character attributes,” said David Holmes, executive director of the Character Collaborative. Board Chair Robert Massa added, “Admission staff today are challenged to design and implement an admission process that incorporates these changes in a consistent, fair and valid way. Recognizing this challenge, the Character Collaborative, together with NACAC, has produced the first of seven planned courses to give admission professionals the tools and insights they need to factor into their admission process attributes of character that are important to institutional mission.”

“NACAC is pleased to partner with the Character Collaborative on this training program,” NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez said. “As a profession, we have long known that existing admission criteria are limited in their ability to predict success, and even more limited in their ability to create more equitable admission outcomes. This training is an important resource to help us integrate a more complete set of factors into our admission decision-making processes.”

Members of the Collaborative and NACAC can participate in the course free of charge.

The new course 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. The 75- to 90-minute course is taught by Dr. Meghan Brenneman, director of assessment products for the Enrollment Management Association, and Arlene Cash, a recently retired enrollment manager with over 25 years of experience at major public universities and private colleges.

Other courses in the series, which will be rolled out over the next 18 months, include:

  • Why Character Matters
  • Signaling the Importance of Character
  • Character Assessment Readiness
  • Character Assessment in High Schools
  • Writing Letters of Recommendation
  • Evaluating the Impact of Character in Admission

For more information about the introductory course or to inquire about joining the Character Collaborative, contact Executive Director David Holmes or Board Chair Bob Massa.


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. 

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