Our Mission and Work

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has been a leader of the SEL movement since first introducing the term more than two decades ago.

CASEL has helped grow social and emotional learning (SEL) from a promising theory to an essential part of education. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan leader in SEL, we are uniquely positioned to evaluate programming, curate research, inform legislation, and partner on implementation.

Whether we are sharing what we’ve learned through an academic journal or supporting partner school districts, all of our efforts are unified by a commitment to evidence-based SEL to support all students’ learning and development.

Commitment to Collaboration

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The “C” in CASEL stands for “Collaborative” as it is both who we are and how we work. We believe great movements are built when multiple (sometimes competing) stakeholders collaborate to create strategic direction and continuously learn. We have seen this multidisciplinary collaboration produce the richest insights, biggest impacts, and best outcomes in support of children. As pioneers of the field, we have formed a community of SEL champions at every level—from classrooms to statehouses.

With that growth comes a commitment to ensure SEL is dynamic and inclusive of all learners. We strive to identify and contribute to the types of educational experiences that foster personal and collective growth and well-being, especially for those our society has long underserved. We imagine communities in which all young people—across race, ethnicity, family income levels, learning abilities, home language, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other factors—have the skills, relationships, and environments to thrive. Every child deserves to have rich instructional opportunities that promote social, emotional, and academic skills and learning environments that are supportive, culturally responsive, and focused on building relationships and community.

This is the community we aspire to build—and we ask you to join us on this journey.

Our Mission

Two children sitting on a bench reading a book together

CASEL’s mission is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school.

Our Vision

Teacher educating two young children

We envision all children and adults as self-aware, caring, responsible, engaged, and lifelong learners who work together to achieve their goals and create a more inclusive, just, and equitable world.

What We Do

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To reach our vision, we are dedicated to working alongside researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to ensure high-quality, evidence-based SEL for all:

Build shared knowledge

We conduct, commission, and synthesize academic research to continuously advance the field and address the most pressing issues. Key initiatives include:

  • Defining SEL — Our widely-used definition and framework for SEL creates a foundation for all communities to identify evidence-based SEL strategies that are most meaningful to their local context.
  • SEL and Equity — Our research and learning agenda is exploring how SEL can be a lever for equity and excellence.
  • Research-Practice Partnerships (RPP) — We work with partners to combine rigorous SEL research with practical, actionable findings.
  • CASEL Guide to SEL Programs — We review and evaluate SEL programs to help educators make informed choices that meet their local needs.

Drive quality implementation

We translate research into action through field-tested SEL resources and school district partnerships nationwide. Key initiatives include:

Guide supportive legislation

We inform SEL policies with state and federal policymakers to create conditions that support implementation. Key initiatives include:

  • Collaborating States Initiative (CSI) – We work directly with more than 40 state education agencies to advance SEL policies and practices.
  • State Resource Center – We curate resources from CASEL, partners, and states to help state education agencies support SEL.
  • Federal Policy – We inform and advocate at the federal level for policies that expand high-quality SEL implementation.

Inform and convene SEL Champions

We bring the field of SEL together, including experts, practitioners, and policymakers, to broaden understanding of SEL and create communities of advocates nationwide. Key initiatives include:

  • Social and Emotional Learning Exchange – We host an annual SEL Exchange, convening the field for the nation’s largest forum on SEL.
  • Leading with SEL Coalition – We partner with 30+ major national organizations representing key voices in education – parents, educators, students, community and advocacy organizations, businesses, nonprofits – who share a vision for a high-quality education that includes social and emotional learning.
  • CASEL Webinars – We offer a series of free thought leadership webinars to share expert SEL knowledge on relevant topics.
  • Constellations Blog – We publish SEL stories, viewpoints, spotlights, and deep dives from voices across the world.

Learn more about Our History and Our People.

Take the SEL Pledge

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To impact our schools and communities, let’s start with ourselves.

The Together for SEL Pledge is a movement to build a more just and caring world, together, with social and emotional learning.

Educators: Commit to one way that you will activate the statements in the pledge this school year.

Organizations: Pledge to leverage your influence and resources to prioritize SEL by sharing your commitments.

Take the pledge.


CASEL is a 501(c)3 non profit organization. Your support enables us to advance our mission of promoting high-quality, evidence-based SEL for all.
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