Comprehensive Character Development is a holistic approach to teaching and developing character. It focuses on the development of the whole person, from social emotional learning to moral, performance, intellectual, and civic character.

​Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania) has proven that, "there is scientific evidence that positive character traits are more important for academic achievement than IQ or socioeconomic background." Through comprehensive character development, school cultures improve and children are provided safer educational environments in which they can flourish.


Unlike most character education programs, comprehensive character development focuses on more than just social emotional learning (SEL). While SEL is an important part of comprehensive character development, it is only one piece of the puzzle. As we say, character is not just another item on the plate, it is the plate.

Comprehensive character development programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Moral character
  • Performance character
  • Intellectual character
  • Civic character
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL)
  • Pro-social behavior
  • Interpersonal skills
  • School climate development
  • Academic improvement
  • Growth mindset and positive psychology
  • Anti-bullying
  • Parents and community outreach
  • 21st century learning models

The visual below illustrates comprehensive character development and its components.