State Scan

The purpose of the CASEL State Scan is to assess the development of competencies, standards, and guidelines for social and emotional learning (SEL), preschool through high school, in all 50 states.

Click on each state to learn more about its efforts and for links to its policies and guidelines.

Download a PDF of the 2018 State Scorecard Scan here. View an infographic summarizing the findings of the State Scorecard Scan.


We began by reviewing the research literature to identify key components of high-quality SEL competencies, policies, and guidelines. Based on the literature, we identified the following components, which we used to assess SEL guidelines in each state:

  1. Clearly articulated goals, including free-standing and comprehensive criteria for SEL competency, can establish social and emotional development as a priority. High-quality, free-standing SEL criteria also include developmental benchmarks at different grade levels.
  2. Integration of SEL with learning goals in other subject areas promotes social and emotional development across all areas of instruction. In our previous review of SEL in the states (2011), we found that virtually all states have integrated at least some degree of social and emotional content into learning goals in other subject areas. However, this content is usually not comprehensive across all five SEL domains or is scattered and diffuse. Further, the content may not be consistent across subject areas or grade levels, and development of social-emotional skills may not be systematically and strategically supported. To ensure that SEL is prioritized, we recommend that there be free-standing goals or criteria for SEL.
  3. Guidance on how adults can support student social and emotional development through teaching practices is critically important. Guidance on how to create a positive learning environment and school climate is also essential.
  4. SEL is more likely to be effective when teachers have guidance on how to make instruction culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate.
  5. SEL is more likely to be effective when there are tools that support high-quality implementation.

To develop state-by-state scorecards, using documents available on the state’s department of education website, we reviewed guidelines for SEL at both the preschool and the K-12 levels to assess whether SEL guideline documents and resources contained these key components of high-quality SEL. We determined that all states had at least some integration of SEL in other subject areas (component #2), although, as noted above, the level of integration was often weak and inconsistent. However, we were not able to assess systematically whether states provided tools to support high-quality implementation (component #6), because that was beyond the scope of this project.

When we had questions, we contacted individuals within the state for clarification. We also gave each state’s department of education an opportunity to review our findings. In the interest of keeping our findings up to date, we also requested that state personnel contact us if new sets of guidelines or relevant resources were developed. Our results are presented in the map below and in the tables in the accompanying downloadable documents.

CASEL continues to review SEL guidelines in all 50 states, and we regularly update the information for the state scorecard. We make every effort to get responses to our queries from the individual states. However, because the SEL field is evolving very quickly, we cannot guarantee that all the information is current and accurate or all of the links work.

Please notify us at if there are updates we should know about in your state, if you would like to provide feedback, or if you find broken links or other problems.