I am sharing a series of seven thoughts from the Making Caring Common (MCC) report, “Turning the Tide II” that addresses character in college admissions. This is specifically for parents.
As a recap here are the first five points:
 Keep the focus on your teen.
 Follow your ethical GPS.
 Use the admissions process as an opportunity for ethical education.
 Be authentic.
 Encourage your teen to contribute to others in meaningful ways.
 Advocate for elevating ethical character and reducing achievement related distress.
Before you read any further, answer the following: who is responsible for raising ethical students? Here are three possible responses.
🤷🏿♀️Why do think parents are responsible?
The bible says that “children are a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). As parents, we are instructed to discipline our children (Proverbs 29:17), “impress” God’s commandments on them (Deuteronomy 6:6-7), train them up because they don’t know the way to go (Proverbs 22:6), and not provoke them to anger (Ephesians 6:4).
🤷🏼♂️Why do you think the local education system is responsible?
We know that Moses was “educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22).
Remember the response of a certain teenager when Superintendent Asphenaz was directed by his boss to teach the young Israelites “the language and literature of the Babylonians” for three years (Daniel 1:3-5)?
Without overlooking Christians who are called to serve God through the public education system, this is one reason why parents are deciding to homeschool their children.
🏫What about the community or the church?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
If parents are ultimately responsible for influencing the classroom and community to reinforce those values, what could they do?
👉🏼Parents could enroll their children in a character-driven charter school or classical Christian private school.
👉🏼Parents could advocate and support character-based education by getting involved in the PTA/PTO, All Pro Dads, and other mentorship programs in the local school district.
👉🏼Parents could encourage educators to emphasize “collaboration rather than competition among students.” This also includes how college information is shared with students.
Equal access to college means that we are sharing and exposing all students to the types of colleges and the pathways to graduation to reduce college planning stress.
👉🏼Parents could question how colleges admit students. While academic entrance exams are the norm, they should ask if they are admitting students that have a “concern for others and the common good.”
The authors write that “parents need to step up—respectfully but firmly—to advance a very different vision of high schools and the college admissions process. They can press for prioritizing not just academic achievement but ethical character, take a zero-tolerance stance on achievement-related distress, and advocate for greater equity and fairness.”
The MCC Team offers four action points for parents:
1. Encourage your child to take action against problems that affect them, such as cyberbullying or an unsafe street corner.
2. Provide opportunities for your child to join causes that interest them.
3. Encourage your child not just to “do for” others but to "do with" others, working with diverse groups of students to respond to community problems.
4. Think out loud with your child. For example, start a conversation about ethical dilemmas that arise on TV shows.
Combining my youth ministry and educational consulting experience, I guide students to connect higher education with God's calling.