The intentional design and assessment strategies for character development of students in Christian coalition colleges

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Snively, Daniel M.
Riegle, Jack D.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The study was designed to investigate the practices of Christian college educators in identifying and translating ethical and moral ideals into written character development objectives for integration into curricular and co-curricular activities. A second purpose was to determine what sponsored curricular and co-curricular activities were designed as effective means to develop desirable character traits in students of the institution.Chief academic officers and chief student personnel administrators from seventy Christian Coalition colleges were mailed character development strategies questionnaires. Of the 140 surveys mailed, 85 were returned for a sixty-one percent response rate. Data were analyzed by frequency distribution, measures of central tendency, and measures of dispersion.Major conclusions included:1) The lack of coherence and pervasive integration-of the institutional mission and ideals into curricular and cocurricular programs has contributed to the diminishing distinctiveness of Christian higher education.2) Moral reasoning is considered to be the most effective approach in promoting character development in Christian Coalition students and values clarification was rejected as a viable approach.3) The neglect of developing an assessment strategy to calibrate student integration of desired moral and ethical ideals contradicts the espoused importance, intentionality, and purposefulness of character development of students as a central mission and justification of Christian education.4) There is little difference between public and Christian higher education regarding the intentional programming of character development in students.