Bethel College has been named a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2011-12 school year, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Oct 17. This is the third consecutive year Bethel received the honor, along with 221 other colleges and universities and six athletic conferences, including the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), of which Bethel is a member. “I am very proud of the quality student athletes we have here at Bethel College and I am pleased to see that quality recognized by the NAIA,” Bethel athletic director Kent Allshouse said. The NAIA uses a Champions of Character Scorecard to measure each institution’s commitment to the Champions of Character program. Institutions earn points in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. The schools’ points earnings are based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year. Conferences receive a Five-Star rating if 60 percent of their membership meets the criteria. Schools that reach a 60 or higher point total are 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 72nd annual NAIA convention next spring. 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.