Integration of SEL With Other State Priorities

State Resource Center: Integration with State Priorities

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Integrating and aligning SEL with other priorities is important because it optimally supports social and emotional development throughout the school day and helps educators make connections that will support social and emotional development in a variety of school contexts. These priorities may include: Academics, Career Planning and Workforce Readiness, Character Education and Development, Mental Health and Wellness, Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and/or Whole Child.

CASEL recommends states provide guidance on how SEL connects to other key priorities in their state. The resources below can help.

Career Planning and Workforce Readiness

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Consider what it means for students to be prepared for the future. Workforce preparation must include essential knowledge and technical skills required for jobs today, but also deeper human skills – known as social and emotional skills. Successful integration of SEL and workforce development advances our vision to prepare all students for success as lifelong, engaged learners and effective contributors to the complex future they will inherit, including in their future work lives — as entrepreneurs, business owners, or employees.

Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • The Graduate Profile: Imagine the Possibilities on #SELDay. CASEL with Urban Assembly, SEL4US, Portland Public Schools, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The webinar features leaders discussing how Graduate Profiles can cultivate meaningful school experiences and how social and emotional learning can strengthen our vision of future-ready graduates. (March 2021). Watch the webinar (via YouTube).
  • Preparing Youth for the Workforce of Tomorrow. The report identifies the skills employers are seeking in the workforce and how those skills directly align with CASEL’s core SEL competencies. (June 2020). Download the report.
  • Ready To Lead: A 2019 Update of Principals’ Perspectives on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Prepare Children and Transform Schools. The report, developed with Civic and Hart Research, finds that principals stand ready to bring systemic, school-wide SEL to their schools, but need greater support from leaders at the state and district levels. (October 2019). Download the PDF.
  • Respected: Perspectives of Youth on High School & Social and Emotional Learning. The report, developed with Civic and Hart Research and funded by The Allstate Foundation, finds most current and recent high schoolers see a big missing piece in their education – a lack of social and emotional skills development – and most recent students feel unprepared for life after high school. (November 2018). Download the PDF.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • Building a Grad Nation: Progress & Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates. America’s Promise Alliance. The annual report examines both progress and challenges toward reaching the GradNation campaign goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent. (October 2020). Visit the website.
  • WIOA Youth Program Element Resources. WorkforceGPS. The website includes high quality services for youth beginning with career exploration and guidance, continued support for educational attainment, opportunities for skills training, and culminating with a good job along a career pathway or enrollment in post-secondary education. (August 2018). Visit the website.
  • Making School Relevant with Individualized Learning Plans: Helping Students Create Their Own Career and Life Goals. V. Scott H. Solberg. The book from counseling expert V. Scott H. Solberg introduces a new paradigm for career development focused on teaching skills that all students need to set long-term goals and experience post-secondary success. (October 2019). Purchase the book.
  • Handbook of Career and Workforce Development: Research, Practice and Policy. Book. V. Scott H. Solberg and Saba Rasheed Ali. The book describes how the current research can be used to promote the design of more effective career development programs and services at local, state, and national levels. Purchase the book.

Resources from States and School Districts

  • Delaware and CASEL Bridge Crosswalk: Empowering Every Student to Achieve Purpose, Place, and Plans for the Future. This crosswalk identifies the intersection of SEL and employability skills in Delaware. (October 2020) Download the PDF.
  • Delaware Career and Technical Education website. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs allow Delaware students the chance to earn early college credits, industry-recognized credentials and work experience while still in high school. Access the webpage.
  • Delaware Pathways webpage. Delaware Pathways stems directly from the “Delaware Promise,” Governor Jack Carney’s commitment that by 2025, 65% of Delaware’s workforce will earn a 2- or 4- degree or professional certificate, matching the percentage of Delaware jobs requiring one. Access the webpage.
  • Kansas Career and Technical Education webpage. CTE can help all students achieve the objectives of the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS) through authentic, applied learning experiences. Access the webpage.
  • Nevada Career and Technical Education webpage. Their mission is to ensure that all students have access to quality programs that lead to marketable skills for the 21st Century. Access the webpage.
  • North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education webpage. The webpage Includes publications, reports, and resources for educators, students and families, and business and industry leaders. Access the webpage.
  • Ohio Career Tech webpage. It includes programs, resources, and upcoming events on career tech in Ohio. Access the webpage.
  • Pennsylvania Career Ready Skills webpage. The Pennsylvania Career Ready Skills are social emotional learning progressions that support the development of student competence. By design, the PA CRS reflect priorities to ensure youth are career ready and prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce. Access the webpage.
  • Pennsylvania Career and Technical Education webpage. It offers students the opportunity to develop critical skills through a combination of classes and hands-on learning experiences, which allow them to apply academics to real-world problems. Access the webpage.
  • Utah Career and Technical Education webpage. It provides all students access to high-quality, rigorous career-focused programs that result in attainment of credentials with labor market value. Access the webpage.
  • Wisconsin Career and Technical Education webpage. Just as some of the models of delivering content may be challenging to engage students, CTE’s real-life approach offers an option that boosts participation. Access the webpage.
  • Wisconsin Connecting the Dots: Between SEL, Employability Skills, and a Graduate Profile Video. The presentation on Wisconsin’s work to identify employability skills, discover intersections with SEL, and begin to envision a graduate profile for the state. (March 2021). Watch the video.
  • Wisconsin Academic & Career Planning (ACP) webpage. The page includes tools to equip students and their families to make more informed choices about postsecondary education, training, careers for life after high school. Access the webpage.
  • Wisconsin Academic & Career Planning Handout. The handout that summarizes ACP Plan Guiding Questions, relevant links, and connection to SEL. (April 2020). Download the handout.

Character Education and Development

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Character education and development is a process designed to promote citizenship, civic principles and values, and ethical behavior. It aligns with social and emotional development.

  • Kansas State Department of Education – Social, Emotional, And Character Development Model Standards: In 2012, Kansas was the second state in the country to adopt learning standards for SEL, and the first to also integrate character development with SEL. The state-specific framework organizes the five core SEL competencies in the CASEL framework into three domains: character development (including responsible decision-making and problem solving); personal development (including self-awareness and self-management); and social development (including social awareness and interpersonal skills). (July 2018). Download the report.
  • New Jersey State Board of Education – Social and Emotional Learning Competencies and Sub Competencies: The state’s department of education promotes social and emotional learning by fostering the healthy development of young people and a positive school climate. The state’s SEL competencies connect to character development, career-ready practices, and school climate. (August 2017). Download the brief.

Mental Health and Wellness

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Mental health and well-being are foundational to social and emotional adjustment and competence. Trauma and other adverse childhood experiences (ACES) can negatively affect mental health as well as academic, social, and emotional development.

Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • SEL District Resource Center. The digital platform has several resources from Boston, California, New York City, and elsewhere. View the resources.
  • The Guide to Schoolwide SEL. The digital platform has several resources related to trauma and multi-tier systems of support. Search “trauma.” View the resources.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • Responding to Trauma through Policies that Create Supportive Learning Environments. Child Trends. The brief explores how state officials create policies to build learning environments that effectively support students with a history of trauma. (January 2019). Download the brief.

Resources from States and School Districts

  • Kansas State Department of Education – School Counseling State Standards. The state’s SEL standards are aligned with and designed to support mental health and trauma-sensitive schools. View the webpage.
  • Michigan Department of Education – Pandemic Return to School Toolkit. The state’s SEL competencies are found on the department’s mental health page, and explicitly connect to mental health/trauma. View the toolkit.
  • New York State Education Department – Social and Emotional Learning. Essential for Learning. Essential for Life. The state’s SEL resources to support implementation of the benchmarks connect to mental health. Download the report.
  • North Dakota – NDMTSS Social Emotional Learning Goals. The state’s SEL competencies connect to mental health and trauma as SEL has been declared one of the five trauma-informed practices for schools. The state also is aligning its SEL-related work to trauma-informed practices, specifically by establishing equitable learning environments. View the webpage.
  • Tennessee Department of Education. K-12 Social and Personal Competencies Resource Guide. The state’s competencies link to state initiatives for postsecondary life for students and trauma-informed care. (November 2017). Download the report.
  • Washington Department of Education – Addressing Social Emotional Learning in Washington’s K-12 Public Schools. The state’s SEL standards and benchmarks align with mental health and trauma through a report. (October 2016). Download the report.
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction – Social and Emotional Learning Competencies. The state’s SEL competencies connect to mental health. Download the report.

Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

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Multi Tiered systems of support (MTSS), formerly called response to intervention or RTI, recognizes that academic and behavioral functioning are intertwined. MTSS is a systemic approach designed to identify and coordinate evidence-based interventions. SEL programs and approaches are often seen as an important component of universal approaches within MTSS, because they are designed to promote positive academic and behavioral outcomes in all students.

Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • SEL and MTSS Toolkit. Developed in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR). the toolkit shares key learnings from our SEL and MTSS community of practice with nine states in the CSI: Alabama, Hawai’i, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. It provides guidance for integrating SEL within MTSS to advance equity and create safe, supportive learning environments grounded in positive relationships. (July 2021) Download the toolkit. 
  • SEL District Resource Center. The digital platform has several resources related to MTSS. View the resources.
  • The Guide to Schoolwide SEL. The digital platform provides detailed guidance on this integration. View the webpage.

Resources from Other Organizations

  • Implementing SEL with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and How SEL Supports Your MTSS Efforts. Committee for Children. The two-part blog shows how one veteran educator “navigated misunderstandings and concerns regarding implementing them [SEL and MTSS] together. (July 2018). Read the blow.

Resources from States and School Districts

  • Kansas State Department of Education – School Counseling State Standards. The state’s SEL standards are aligned with and support MTSS. View the webpage.
  • New York State Education Department – Social and Emotional Learning. Essential for Learning. Essential for Life. The state’s SEL resources to support implementation of the benchmarks connect to MTSS. Download the report.
  • North Dakota – NDMTSS Social Emotional Learning Goals. The state’s SEL competencies reflect a strong MTSS orientation, as they were developed by the regional education associations responsible for the expansion of the state’s NDMTSS framework. View the webpage.
  • Tennessee Department of Education. K-12 Social and Personal Competencies Resource Guide. The state’s SEL competencies align with MTSS and are presented as an optional component of a multitiered system of supports.(November 2017). Download the report.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

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The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools and other agencies. PBIS improves social, emotional, and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups.

  • Kansas State Department of Education – School Counseling State Standards. The state’s SEL standards are aligned with and designed to support PBIS. View the webpage. 
  • New York State Education Department – Social and Emotional Learning. Essential for Learning. Essential for Life. The state’s SEL resources to support implementation of the SEL benchmarks connect to PBIS. Download the report.

Whole Child

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Whole child is a coordinated approach to education and public health that works to ensure that each child will be “healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.” Thanks in part to ESSA, many states are organizing to reflect a whole child approach, as well as equity and cultural responsiveness, in their educational systems.

Resources from CASEL

Feel free to download, customize, and use with attribution, e.g., “Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and used with permission.”

  • SEL District Resource Center. The digital platform identifies several external resources related to whole child. View the resources.

Resources from States and School Districts

  • Illinois State Board of Education – SEL Standards. The state’s SEL standards and instructional supports are presented within the context of whole child more broadly. View the webpage.
  • Michigan Department of Education – Early Childhood to Grade 12 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies and Indicators. The state introduces its SEL competencies by noting, “In combination with the Michigan Health Education Standards, SEL competencies help support a well-rounded education that teaches to the whole child.” (2017). Download the report.
  • New York State Education Department – Social and Emotional Learning. Essential for Learning. Essential for Life. The state’s resources to support implementation of the SEL benchmarks connect to whole child frameworks, as noted in this guidance document. Download the report.
  • Tennessee Department of Education – Incorporating Social and Personal Competencies Into Classroom Instruction and Educator Effectiveness A Toolkit for Tennessee Teachers and Administrators. The state’s SEL competencies address the whole child. (July 2015). Download the report.
  • Washington Department of Education – Addressing Social Emotional Learning in Washington’s K-12 Public Schools. The state’s SEL standards and benchmarks align with the whole child approach. (October 2016). Download the report. 

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