Character Education Development Certificate

4 Courses
8 Units
Online Self-Paced
18 Weeks

Bring Character Education, Social, and Emotional Learning to Your Classroom

Character education — emphasized as vitally important in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and other founders — has arguably fallen by the wayside in the modern era. However, the benefits of focusing on character education, and social and emotional learning, in public school education are profound.

Our online Character Education Development Certificate program is a golden opportunity to enhance your skills in this essential yet often overlooked discipline, giving you the opportunity to take an individual course or work toward earning a certificate with multiple courses.

Offered through the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education in collaboration with the university’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences – Character Education Resource Center, the program prepares you to apply best practices to plan, deliver and assess character education in the classroom.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the USD professional development certificate in character education, students are required to successfully complete four individual courses, which can be accomplished in as few as two semesters. Learn more about the University of San Diego’s Professional and Continuing Education Certificate Benefits and Policies. See course titles and tuition fees in the chart below.

Schedule & Fees

Courses – Enroll in Individual Courses, or Earn a Certificate with Required Courses (8 units)

All courses from this stream are required for completion of this certificate
Course Date Units Price
Instructional Strategies in Character Education (prev #: EDU-521CL) [EDU-X731A] Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 2 $307
Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled
2
$307
Online Self-Paced
Patricia Meacham

Instructional Strategies in Character Education is a two-unit online course which is part of the Character Education Development Certificate program or can be taken as an individual course

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

Character-based Classroom Management: Strategies & Practices (prev #: EDU-523CL) [EDU-X723J] Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 2 $307
Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled
2
$307
Online Self-Paced
Kristi Birrell

Character based Classroom Management Strategies & Practices is a two-unit online course which is part of the Character Education Development Certificate program or can be taken as an individual course

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

Social-Emotional Learning and Teaching: Home, School, Work [EDU-X726L] Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 2 $307
Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled
2
$307
Online Self-Paced
Patricia Meacham

Character Education Development Certificate program consists of four online courses designed for K-12 educators and others

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

The Character Education Teacher as Model, Leader, and Collaborator [EDU-X770R] Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 2 $307
Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled
2
$307
Online Self-Paced
Christina Wright

Online two-unit course for K-12 educators that want to promote character education development programs or initiatives, providing leadership-driven and collaborative efforts in their community, district, school and classroom.

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

$45
$1,273

Learning Method Information

Online Self-Paced

Our online self-paced courses are similar to online fixed-date courses, but are designed to give you a six-month period from time of enrollment to complete all assignments. Like fixed-date courses, online self-paced courses are asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime; the difference being there are no assigned due dates in self-paced courses. Your instructor will provide feedback via written responses on your assignments and exams. Grades are based on completed projects, assignments and exams.

How is the self-paced course structured? Like fixed-date courses, online self-paced courses are asynchronous meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime; the difference being there are no assigned due dates in self-paced courses. The content is divided into learning modules. Each module will cover one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, websites, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments (which may include: written assignments, quizzes, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.

What Is Character Education? [Definition]

The U.S. Department of Education describes it as follows: “Character education teaches the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations.”

In practice, the federal agency says: “Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Upon such core values, we form the attitudes and actions that are the hallmark of safe, healthy and informed communities that serve as the foundation of our society.”

Historically, America’s public school’s used to focus on character education and civic virtue,” according to the Department of Education. “The founders of this country, including John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, wrote about the importance of character education in maintaining the new republic. Those founders would likely be horrified by the loss of this goal, as they all cite character education as the way to create an educated and virtuous citizenry.”

Principles of Character Education

Character.org, a national organization founded in 1993 to foster character development in U.S. schools and communities, lists the following 11 Principles of Character Education, which it describes as guideposts for schools and educators seeking to implement character education:

Character Education Development Certificate – Curriculum

The four courses that comprise the University of San Diego’s Character Education Development Certificate are:

Enroll in individual courses of your choice or start the certificate program with any course to earn graduate level extension credits. Online self-paced courses are available anytime and allow for six months from enrollment date for completion. Key points about your online learning experience include the following:

What You Will Learn

Educators who complete the online Character Education Development Certificate program will greatly enhance their ability to:

Who Should Attend

The University of San Diego’s online Character Education Development Certificate program is designed to engage and inspire K-12 teachers and administrators who are interested in learning how to plan and implement character development education in their classroom, school or district.

Benefits of the Character Education Development Certificate Program

The benefits of character education in public schools and classrooms are incredibly significant, according to Jessica Lahey, a writer and English teacher who relates her experiences teaching character education and “core virtues” in an article in The Atlantic. Schools that teach character education, she says, report the following positive outcomes:

Additionally, she notes, “From a practical perspective, it’s simply easier to teach children who can exercise patience, self-control and diligence, even when they would rather be playing outside.” Such teachings, she says, make a huge difference in children’s “emotional, moral and intellectual development.”

Experienced Instructors

Our instructors, most of whom hold advanced degrees, are experienced subject matter experts who engage each student in a stimulating and participative learning environment. Click on individual course listings to learn more about our primary Character Education Development Certificate program instructors.

Careers Outlook

Employment opportunities in the education field are expected to grow by almost 1 million new jobs by 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With so many new and emerging opportunities, schools are going to have to compete heavily to attract and retain the most talented educators.

This makes furthering your education and diversifying your business skillset all the more important. With expertise in a wide variety of business concepts, you will not only be well suited for many job roles, you will also be in demand by the employer of your choosing.

Industry Insights

10 %

Job growth

$57,220

Median salary


Career Opportunities

High School Teachers
Middle School Teachers
Elementary School Teachers

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I design a classroom for students with special needs?

Special needs” encompasses such a wide range of student abilities and challenges that no one space can accommodate all physical or behavioral needs. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that all public school classrooms must be ADA compliant, meaning that they must be accessible to wheelchair users and that teachers must make reasonable accommodations when it comes to technology tools. In general, best practices for classroom design apply to students of all abilities, such as minimizing distractions, making the space safe and comfortable, ensuring every student has access to the tools they need, and that the layout supports both independent and collaborative work.

How can I design my classroom on a budget?

Designing or redesigning your classroom does not require expensive materials or upgrades. Big box stores like Walmart and Target sell attractive, affordable classroom organization solutions, and Pinterest features hundreds of thousands of ideas for designing a classroom on a budget.

What if I need help enrolling in a course, or I need more information on a course?

If you experience issues enrolling, or have questions, complete our Contact Us Form or call our Enrollment and Student Services team between 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (PST), M-F, at (619) 260-4585 or toll free at (888) 321-6658.

How do I request an Official Transcript?

Transcripts can be ordered online via your student account. For more detailed information, please visit the Student Transcript Request Page

What type of credit am I earning?

The credit earned is considered Graduate Level Extension Credit, in semester hours (1 semester hour= 15 contact hours). The credit earned is usually used for salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification. Graduate Level Extension credit is not usually transferrable towards a degree. Prior district approval is highly recommended and the responsibility of the student if using the units towards salary advancement, credential renewing and/or recertification.

I need more time to finish my Self-Paced course, what do I do?

Independent Study Self-Paced courses – USD allows 9 months from the date of registration to complete an independent study formatted course and submit all completed course work for evaluation.

Online Self-Paced courses – USD allows 6 months from the date of registration to complete an online self-paced formatted course and submit all assignments for evaluation within this period

If you need additional time and would like to make an extension request, contact us prior to your upcoming deadline at continuinged@sandiego.edu or call between 8:30AM – 5:00PM (PST), M-F, at (619)260-4585 or toll free at (888)321-6658 for a one-time extension. If an extension is granted, it is final.

Classroom, Online Fixed-Date, and Credit Validation formatted courses do not allow for any additional time to complete assignments.

Where can I get directions to my course classroom?

The address for classroom courses are provided at the section level detail on the course page. Once you know the address, we recommend you use Google Maps. Otherwise please contact the ESS during business hours of 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (PST), M-F, at (619) 260-4585 or toll free at (888) 321-6658.

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

How can I receive a receipt for tax purposes?

A payment confirmation is automatically sent via email once you have registered and paid for a course through the website, please save these receipts for tax purposes. In addition, you can access receipts in your Student Account, Account History.

Can I be notified when a course section opens for enrollment?

Yes, on the course page, click on Request Information and you will be notified by email when enrollment is open for the course or you can complete the Course Inquiry form

Why USD?

PCE nurtures key partnerships on the local, national and international level to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers, as well as with their employers to help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

Informative Stats and Facts

600+

Number of high-quality, career-building courses to choose from

50+

Number of in-depth, innovative, and relevant topics

25+

Career advancing certificates

5 REASONS WHY CONTINUING EDUCATION MATTERS FOR EDUCATORS

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