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Bethel named Champions of Character Five Star Institution for 2nd year

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College has earned the Champions of Character Five Star Institution Award from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for 2010-11.

This was the second straight year Bethel received the honor, along with 219 other colleges and universities and 23 athletic conferences.

“Achieving this designation two years in a row is a wonderful honor and a tribute to the quality of students who attend Bethel College,” said Athletic Director Kent Allshouse.

The NAIA launched the Champions of Character Scorecard in 2009 in order to convert NAIA vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

The Champions of Character Scorecard encompasses efforts from across the NAIA and signals important differences in how the NAIA conducts athletic competition. NAIA member institutions are not required to participate in the Scorecard initiative, but in order to “earn the five stars,” an institution must score 60 or more out of a possible 100 points.

Institutions are measured based on demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and may earn points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions may earn points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year. Conferences will receive a Five Star rating if 60 percent of their membership meets the criteria.

Schools that reach a 60 or higher point total will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website and receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor. The institution’s president and athletic director will be recognized at the 71st annual NAIA convention in April 2012.

The Scorecard was crafted to convert the NAIA’s vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The initiative supports performance-driven athletics while defining expectations and standards that drive successful teams and athletics departments.

“In today’s complex college athletic environments – where success is sometimes only measured by wins and losses – strengthening effective athletic departments and leadership is key to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics,” said Kristin Gillette, NAIA director of Champions of Character. “The Scorecard supports and recognizes member institutions and conferences using sport as a vehicle to teach life lessons. No doubt this is a point of differentiation in college athletics and making a huge impact on our 60,000 student-athletes.”

The NAIA’s model of intercollegiate athletics simultaneously promotes competitive athletics, academic excellence and character values, a process based on the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character. The initiative, launched in 2000 in response to the growing problem of deteriorating standards of integrity in sports and society, emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. In sports, Bethel competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and the NAIA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu or http://athletics.bethelks.edu.

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