CONTACT :: Fay Gore, Section Chief K-12 Social Studies, State Character Education Coordinator

MISSION :: Character Education is a national movement creating schools that foster ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through an emphasis on universal values that we all share. It is the intentional, proactive effort by schools, districts, and states to instill in their students important core, ethical, and civic values such as respect, responsibility, integrity, perseverance, courage, justice, and self-discipline. Character education's long-term solutions address moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of growing concern about our society and the safety of our schools. Character Education is effectively integrated into the Social Studies Standard Course of Study and may be used as the underpinning for other critical issues such as discipline problems, gang violence, teen pregnancy, and poor academic achievement. Character education may address such critical issues as student absenteeism, discipline.


In the fall of 2001, the Student Citizen Act of 2001 (SL 2001-363) was passed into law by the North Carolina State Legislature. This Act requires every local board of education to develop and implement character education instruction with input from the local community. With the passage of this Act, the state of North Carolina has affirmed that the development of character in our children is the cornerstone of education. We want to provide the leadership, resources, and support to develop ethical and caring citizens. NCDPI has developed several resources to assist districts and schools with character development effort in the past. These resources were intended to help local boards of education, school systems, schools, and communities develop high-quality education plans and strengthen existing programs.


Character development is an essential part of a child’s education. It is not an add-on to the already full school day; but rather, it is an important ingredient that helps to shape the climate and the culture of schools. It is not merely education for life. It is life itself. NCDPI uses the framework from to select and support State Schools of Character. Below are our North Carolina state and national schools of character in chronological order.



*Note: State Schools of Character Schools (SSOC) this designation for 3 years. Being named a SSOC qualifies an applicant to be considered for National Schools of Character (NSOC) status. NSOC hold their designation for 5 years.

There are even more schools across North Carolina who have been recognized for Promising Practices in Character Education.