The Character Effect™ Designated as a “Promising Approach” by CASEL

March 9, 2022

The Character Effect™, Beech Acres Parenting Center’s Social and Emotional program, was recently designated as a “Promising Approach” by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). The Character Effect™ will be included in CASEL’s Guide for Effective Social Emotional Program.

“We’re thrilled to be included in the CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs,” said Jaimi Cabrera, Director of The Character Effect™. “This designation provides further validation to our unique approach of bringing together the science of positive psychology, the 24-character strengths, and mindfulness.”

The Character Effect™ is a holistic social and emotional learning program that integrates components of positive psychology, character strengths, and mindfulness. The Character Effect includes a universal curriculum for students, a systematic approach to supporting teachers, and strategies for caregiver engagement to develop children’s social emotional competence (SEC).

The Character Effect has three primary goals;

  • to reduce teacher stress,
  • foster positive student-teacher relationships,
  • and improve student behavior and academics.

Bringing together the science of positive psychology, character strengths and mindfulness, The Character Effect™ was intentionally designed to allow schools the flexibility and support to implement the program with-in each school and district unique environment; while helping to build program sustainability and create school climate change, starting with the teachers first. The engaging curriculum is broken down by individual grade level and housed in our state-of-the-art online Learning Management System, The Hub; along with other program materials and resources to support teachers and families. A dedicated Specialist is assigned to each school to help provide support with program implementation, professional development, coaching and family engagement.

The Character Effectwas required to meet strict criteria for inclusion in the CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs including submitting a completed evaluation that met each of four evidence criteria. These criteria were:

  • the type of research design used,
  • the setting in which the program was implemented,
  • the statistical findings,
  • and the types of outcomes demonstrated in the evaluation.

Our evaluation was conducted by the Miami University Community Research and Action Team[1] and covered two major areas:

  1. Alignment of The Character Effect with best practices in social emotional learning.
  2. The impact of the program on student outcomes (social emotional competence, academic performance).

The evaluation relied on retrospective data collected by the program development team from participating elementary schools in the first year of school-wide implementation (2018-2019).

Schools in the program were located in the Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky regions.

“Our inclusion in the CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs combined with our evidenced-based designation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)* position The Character Effectas a proven solution for schools to confidently implement effective social and emotional learning strategies into their classrooms to effect real change in their school’s culture.”

[1] The Character Effect Evaluation Report. Conducted by Miami University School and Research Action Team. Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford OH. July, 2021.