Collaborating States Initiative

  • The purpose and mission of the Collaborating States Initiative (CSI) is to work with states and school districts to help ensure that preschool to high school students are fully prepared—academically, socially, and emotionally—to succeed, now (in school) and in the future (in work and in life).

    Through the CSI we are actively partnering with states that want to develop policies or guidelines to support implementation of quality social and emotional learning (SEL). The work is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pure Edge, Inc. Download the Sept. 5, 2017 request for applications to participate in the CSI.

    Our Approach

    Forty states expressed interest in the CSI. They wanted guidance about how to do this work well and to be sure it is grounded in evidence-based practices.

    In response, CASEL established the CSI—a collaborative learning community of state teams and an advisory group of experts who want to learn from each other as they advance their own state’s implementation of SEL.

    Each state team is the expert and authority on its unique priorities. Student and family needs vary. Plans and approaches will differ, depending on the context. Some states want to develop guidelines or professional learning to support student SEL. Others want to articulate learning goals for student SEL. Still others want to do both. We encourage each state to develop a plan that will create the conditions that meet the unique needs of its students and families.

    Our Role

    Whatever plan a state ultimately creates, CASEL is happy to offer support. We share findings from research and information about best practices.

    We develop and share helpful tools and resources, such as our nationwide scan of social and emotional learning and guidelines on effective implementation of SEL. Examples may be found in the “Resources” box on this page.

    We provide technical assistance to states that request it.

    We document how states, districts, and schools are implementing these policies and practices

    And we share those findings to help other states that may be on a similar journey.

    Support for this work was provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pure Edge, Inc. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of either organization.

  • Resources

    Key Features of High-Quality Policies and Guidelines to Support SEL 


    Recommended Process for Developing State Policies and Guidelines to SEL 


    A Process for Developing and Articulating Learning Goals or Competencies for SEL 


    5 Teaching Resources developed by the CSI: SEL and English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and General Teaching Practice. View page.


    2018 State Scorecard Scan provides updated information on states that have developed voluntary SEL guidelines and posted SEL-related resources on their websites. View Scorecard page.
    Download Feb. 2018 state scorecard brief.


    Video of Congressional briefing on SEL at the school, district, state, and federal levels. On Oct. 25, 2017 CASEL and Committee for Children organized this Congressional briefing. View the full video. (1 hr., 22 min.) View highlights. (7 min.)