About the Character Focus Initiative at NACAC 

As part of NACAC’s education and training offerings, the Character Focus Initiative encompasses opportunities to support college admission counseling professionals as they advance their practice of elevating non-academic factors and character-related attributes in the admission process.

The Character Focus Initiative exists because of the importance of character assessment in the college admission process. The work of the initiative is to develop research-based resources and proven best practices for advancing the identification and consideration of positive character attributes in the admission process.

Resources and Training 


In 2023, NACAC acquired the work of a volunteer organization known as the Character Collaborative. This acquisition led to a NACAC program called the Character Focus Initiative. The Character Collaborative, established in 2016, encompassed 74 member organizations and 300 active participants.

The vision of the group at its founding was to promote the use of character attributes in the evaluation of candidates for admission to colleges and independent schools. Members of the group presented on character in admission at various conferences and built three virtual courses designed to help admission offices recognize and assess student character attributes in their process. The Character Collaborative also held an annual meeting in tandem with the annual NACAC Conference.

Get involved

Involvement in the new Character Focus Initiative is open to all NACAC members. A community on NACAC Engage will be available for any member interested in staying informed and being involved with the initiative.

An advisory group made up of former Character Collaborative board members and other NACAC members interested in the assessment of character in college admission meets regularly to discuss the initiative and continue advancing the work of this initiative.