- Why It Matters
- In Schools
- Collaborating Districts Initiative
- Policy & Advocacy
- 2013 CASEL Guide
Numerous SEL programs have documented their positive impacts on students in well-designed research studies. However, research demonstrates that the quality of implementation will determine whether a SEL program will succeed or fail in benefiting students. A program that is not well implemented (e.g., only a portion of the developer’s recommended training is given to staff) or not implemented with fidelity (e.g., key components or lessons are omitted) is unlikely to succeed.
While there are many reasons programs fail to be implemented well, we know the following elements must be in place: the school community must be enthusiastic about the initiative, have the confidence and skills to carry it off, and have the support and encouragement of school leadership, policies, and structures to sustain their SEL work. Adopting and sustaining a successful schoolwide SEL initiative, as with other major school change efforts, involves a series of steps and ongoing commitment. It generally takes at least three to five years for any major organizational change to become fully implemented schoolwide. SEL programming is no exception.
This section of our site is designed to give you an overview of an implementation process that will help ensure that your SEL efforts succeed.