Character as the Ultimate Measure:
Aspects of Student Virtue in Relation to Self and Others In the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program
David Rojeck, Ph.D.
Director: Leonard DeFiore, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America
Most studies on educational vouchers and student achievement have been situated in the cognitive domain without concern for the affective domain. This study explored the effects of educational voucher status, school stability, and percentage of K-12 Catholic education along with the influences of family, school, religion, self, peer/friends, extra-curricular activities, and popular media variables on a range of non-academic variables including social outcomes, nonviolent outcomes, student engagement, morality, and relationships with others. Over 850 students in grades 7-12 attending Catholic/Christian schools participating in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program participated in an anonymous, 120-item survey. Analyses were performed by analysis-of-variance, correlations, and linear regression. Significant differences in outcomes were revealed for voucher status, gender, grade cluster, percentage of Catholic education, and years-per-school. In addition, several influencing variables were found to predict student attitudes, values, and beliefs. The results reveal the greatest combination of supports on the road to virtue for voucher students (and all students) include greater levels of school stability in a Catholic school, having strong and moderating social networks of family, school, and friends who hold a positive regard for school, while at the same time incorporating religion and engagement in extra-curricular activities in their lives, with a lack of importance subscribed to the popular media.