The Center staff has contacts with many local and national character education specialist as well as the faculty in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.


The Center is a resource for those interested in exemplary character education programs. It also provides resources that will help schools and school districts implement, maintain and evaluate their character education efforts. 

Essay Contest

For the past 19 years the Center has conducted a yearly “Character Matters “ student essay contest (grades 4 to 12) in San Diego and Imperial County schools.


For two decades the Center offers educators and others an annual “Character Matters” two-day conference.

Professional Development

In conjunction with USD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education educators may earn a specialist certificate in character education.


At the University, the Center offers undergraduate and graduate students elective courses in character education


The Center uses a “badge” symbol to represent the values/virtues that should be included in character education initiatives in homes, schools, and communities. Download the 10 Badges of Character.


The CDC Director writes a monthly blog on topics related to character, character education, and school/education matters. 

Publications and Projects

The Center has books, articles, web site references, and graduate student projects that may be of interest to readers of this web site.


In conjunction with the national Character Education Partnership’s State Schools of Character (SSOC) that recognizes exemplary programs at the state level, the Center is responsible for administering the California State Schools of Character (CSSOC) Awards.