State Schools of Character Program

WCEP is the sponsor for the State Schools of Character (SSOC) award program for Wisconsin. This award program, in partnership with Character.org, gives state schools recognition for their exemplary character education programs. Wisconsin is one of 30 states participating in the SSOC program. SSOC winners become eligible for the National Schools of Character (NSOC) recognition. Although designation as a State School of Character is a very affirming experience for schools, past participants have identified that the greatest aspects of the SSOC program were the professional growth and program development that resulted from the school wide focus on character education programs that this opportunity provided.

WCEP’s sponsorship of the State Schools of Character Program (SSOC) is in coordination with Character.org, a national characteunities range from Tier 1, which encourages schools to use the Character.org SSOC program and resources to explore and evaluate their character education programs without any external review, to Tier 4, which involves feedback by state and national reviewers for schools that have already been identified as WI State Schools of Character.  The wide range of these four tiers provides opportunities for all schools, whether the school is just beginning the character education journey or if the school is seeking re-certification after its five-year NSOC designation.

As shown in the boxes below, these opportunities range from Tier 1, which encourages schools to use the Character.org SSOC program and resources to explore and evaluate their character education programs without any external review, to Tier 4, which involves feedback by state and national reviewers for schools that have already been identified as WI State Schools of Character.  The wide range of these four tiers provides opportunities for all schools, whether the school is just beginning the character education journey or if the school is seeking re-certification after its five-year NSOC designation.

In Tier 3 (State Review) Wisconsin will select and recognize schools and districts that exemplify strong implementation of character education in their schools, based on the Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education in accordance with the NSOC guidelines. Schools and districts are evaluated according to Character.org’s Character Education Quality Standard a Self-Assessment Tool for Schools and Districts. To review this assessment tool, or learn more about the NOSC/SSOC application process, CLICK HERE.

All public and private K-12 schools and school districts are eligible to participate in the State Schools of Character Program and can choose whichever tier is most appropriate for their schools’ needs.  For schools that are ready for Tier 3 (State Review) but are challenged by the $250 fee, WCEP will reimburse the $250 fee for WI applicants once Character.org verifies receipt of the application, and the school submits a request for reimbursement to WCEP.