Character Initiatives at North Central College

Character Initiatives

North Central College is committed to inspiring well equipped, principled, responsible leaders. That’s why we partnered with the Kern Family Foundation, who provided a 4.5-year, $3.2 million grant—the College’s largest private grant ever—to launch character initiatives designed to have a lasting impact. 

Through this process, North Central College will be a place where educators, aspiring leaders, administrators, and community members develop social, emotional, and ethical competencies to influence transformation in themselves and others.

A Message from President Hammond

The Kern Family Foundation believes that strong character and a high-quality, rigorous education are critical to individual and organizational excellence, and contributes to flourishing communities.

Our North Central mission aligns. We are a diverse community of learners dedicated to preparing students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts.


Strategically Designed

North Central's Cultures of Character Initiatives have been designed to:

  1. Enhance the master of education in educational leadership program with scholarships, fellowships, and curriculum enhancements.
  2. Establish a Character Education Institute with a Character Education Certificate as well as a Principal Academy providing on-site coaches and mini-grant opportunities.




character graphic


Master of Education Program

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership program was designed to prepare innovative, impactful leaders for PK-12 schools while meeting Illinois principal endorsement requirements. Thanks to the generosity of the Kern Family Foundation, this program also benefits from targeted scholarships, extended internship opportunities, and enhanced curriculum that prepares aspiring leaders to foster a school culture that enriches social and emotional skills.

For more information, contact or call (630) 637-5555


Character Education Institute

The Character Education Institute delivers programs and professional development for teachers, administrators, undergraduate education majors, and other community stakeholders to foster thriving communities of character in their areas of influence.

Character Education Certificate

First cohort begins in February, 2021

The Character Education Certificate program, offered at a nominal fee, is open to certified educators and will lead to 45 professional development units. 

"This module was atypical of other professional development I have experienced. Having Dr. Nagashima teach as well as interact with student-supplied comments was a breath of fresh air from the common professional development structure." 

Joe Pereiro, Plainfield Central High School, Character Education Certificate pilot launch participant. 

Male and Female

Cultures of Character Academy

Launching in 2021

This academy, open to principals and other administrative leaders, will demonstrate how to use character education to facilitate school improvement. Mini-grant opportunities will be available and trained coaches will provide support and mentoring on-site.


Principal Oswego

Discover Your Place

Faculty Kern MEdL

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership Details

Student teacher explaining something to students

How to Apply

Two teachers talking outside on south of campus

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