COE: WS: LACE: Leadership Academy in Character Education
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Learn to Lead a School of Character

Since 1998, the Leadership Academy in Character Education (LACE) has helped over 500 school leaders develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to create, implement and evaluate programs and processes that make their schools true learning communities in which character education is a vital part of the curriculum and culture.

LACE is a complex and comprehensive year-long professional development experience for school leaders. Its ten elements include:

  1. a LACE Starter Library in character education,
  2. peer networking,
  3. attendance at a regional character education conference,
  4. a series of monthly full day workshops by Expert Workshops,
  5. a curriculum of monthly written collaborative reflections with expert constructive feedback,
  6. development of a site-specific character education plan,
  7. collaborative site-based planning,
  8. site visits to national award winning schools and presentations by award winning principals,
  9. an option for up to 6 graduate credits for LACE participation, and;
  10. eligibility for Advanced Certification by CharacterPlus.

LACE has a demonstrable record of success. This can be seen, for example, in the number of leaders whose schools have won independent recognition for excellence in character education. Each year, (formerly CEP), based on a rigorous set of criteria, recognizes public and private schools and school districts in the United States as models of effective character education. As part of their National Schools of Character program, the first LACE was established in St. Louis in 1998 as a partnership of the Center for Character and Citizenship at UMSL and CharacterPlus. As of 2014, 42 schools and districts in the St. Louis region led by LACE graduates have earned recognition as National Schools/Districts of Character. That represents almost 25% of all schools and districts so recognized in the entire country.


  • Applications will not be complete until we receive the letter of support. It can be mailed (Center for Character and Citizenship, 402 Marillac Hall, UMSL, One University Blvd., St. Louis MO 63121-4400) or faxed (314-516-7356) to us.
  • There is a $500.00 fee for each LACE participant to cover part of the estimated $4,000 cost of LACE. We cover the rest of the costs through grants and donations.

LACE in 2016:

January 21 & 22, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
February 22, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
March 15, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
April 7, 2016TBA (Site Visit)
May 27, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
June 28, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
July 27 & 28, 2016CharacterPlus® Conference
August 31, 2016(8:00 am-3:30 pm
September 15, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
October 25, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
November 17, 20168:00 am-3:30 pm
December 2, 20169:30 am-1:30 pm

Workshops & Classes


Beatrice Shivers

G12 Marillac Hall (MH)
p: (314) 516-7522

Applications Due:
December 1st
Slide 1 2015 Graduates
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Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor in Character Education

Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz is the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and University of Missouri President’s Thomas Jefferson Professor. He has also served as the inaugural Ambassador H.H. Coors Professor of Character Development at t...