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The word character is derived from the Greek word charaktēr, meaning  ​"mark or distinctive quality."

Character Strengths

185 Character Strengths

Below are the 185 Character Strengths that contribute to one’s character.  For anyone new to the field of character development, it’s often helpful to share the breadth and depth of the vocabulary used to define what we mean when we simply say, “character.”  As you can see from the list below, it isn’t quite so simple!

Martin Luther King Jr. 


The word character is derived from the Greek word charaktēr, meaning  
​"mark or distinctive quality."

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​Character and Social Emotional Development (CSED)


Character development is difficult enough without needing multiple programs.

Traditionally, schools developed core values either through Character Development or Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Rather than having to choose between one or the other, why not utilize both at once?


Recently, put Character Development and SEL together to create a groundbreaking new Model Standard. Character & Social Emotional Development (CSED) were developed in partnership with leading experts in the fields of both character and SEL. These comprehensive standards for grades K-12 provide detailed outcomes for students across the four dimensions of character coupled with the five skills of social-emotional learning. CSED is aligned to the full range of current educational approaches, including multi-tiered systems of support, PBIS, trauma-informed initiatives, and restorative practices. 


All CITRS programs, including the app, are now aligned to CSED.

We aim to cultivate environments in which students develop both their character strengths and their social-emotional skills. We maintain that schools should not "just" do character development or "just" do SEL because, either way, their programs are incomplete. In order for a program to be truly complete and most effective, it needs to be holistic and aligned with CSED.


Based on’s CSED Model Standards

  • Performance Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of self-discipline, responsibility, goal setting, and grit. 

  • ​Intellectual Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of curiosity, carefulness, intellectual autonomy and humility, open-mindedness and critical thinking.

  • ​Civic Character: To demonstrate  the character strengths of fairness, respect, volunteering and contributing to the common good. 

  • Moral Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of honesty and integrity, caring and compassion, gratitude, and the courage to take initiative.


  • Responsible decision-making: To make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical principles, safety concerns, appropriate social norms, respect for self and others, and the likely consequence of your decision. 

  • Relationship Skills: To establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups, to communicate clearly, actively listen, collaborate and cooperate, manage conflict constructively, seek and offer help when needed, and resist inappropriate peer pressure. 

  • Social Awareness: To empathize and take the perspective of others, including demonstrating awareness of cultural differences and respect for human dignity. 

  • Self-Management:  To consistently manage and regulate your impulses, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. 



  • ​Self-Awareness: To recognize, understand, and express your own thoughts, emotions, mindsets, and personal strengths, including how emotions can affect thoughts and actions. 

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