The New Jersey Schools of Character Program (NJSOC) was created as a result of the expansion of the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) National Schools of Character Program in 2006. New Jersey was fortunate enough to serve as a national pilot site for the 2006 State School of Character Award, which was sponsored by CEP, New Jersey Department of Education, and the Center for Social and Character Development at Rutgers University. Obtaining the distinction of being a NJSOC became a preliminary step to becoming a National Schools of Character (NSOC) candidate. This tiered approach was implemented to allow NJSOC to not only recognize additional schools and districts for their exemplary leadership and work in their development of character education programs, but to also serve as models to schools that are aspiring to create their own programs. NJSOC has been honoring such schools and districts since its 2006 induction. The NJSOC program recognizes schools and districts that excel in exemplifying CEP’s Eleven Principals of Effective Character Education, and demonstrate a superb character education program that yields positive results in student behavior, school climate, and academic performance.
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