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CSE Spearheads Efforts to Improve School Environments

Morristown, N.J. (August 19, 2014) – In late July, 2014, the project team that is developing a nationwide online credentialing program for school leaders who wish to successfully implement social-emotional learning and character development programs in their schools met at the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE) in Morristown, N.J.

The goal for the day was to orient the team to the online systems, tools, and resources that will be used to deliver the course work and the virtual professional learning community for the program. The program, a joint effort by College of Saint Elizabeth and Rutgers University, will be phased in over the next three years and then will become an ongoing part of the continuing professional education offerings at the College of Saint Elizabeth. The current phase is funded by a grant from the NoVo Foundation.

Attending the planning day were: project co-leaders, Dr. Patricia Heindel of CSE and Dr. Maurice Elias of Rutgers University; workshop co-facilitators, Joe Cervantes of Bridgetheory (online teaching/learning expert) and Adrian Uribarri of Bask Lang (marketing and communication consultant); members of the CSE Academic Computing and Media Services staff, some members of our expert team of curriculum developers, and Melanie Conti, the co-director of the CSE School Culture and Climate Assessment Lab.

This nationwide program will provide online credential training for educators. It will provide participants with knowledge of the latest innovations in developing students’ social-emotional skills school-wide to help them recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. This will then help create safe, nurturing school culture and climates that encourages academic success and emotional well-being for elementary, middle, and high school students.

The NoVo Foundation is dedicated to transforming global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. This credentialing project aligns directly with NoVo Foundation's commitment to help nurture a new generation with the skills and motivation to build a more equitable, cooperative, and just world.

"The NoVo Foundation's mission dovetails beautifully with the mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth," says Dr. Heindel. "Since it first opened its doors in 1899, CSE has been dedicated to fostering just and ethical relationships and developing leaders in a spirit of service and social responsibility. This grant and partnership with Rutgers University allows us to continue this tradition and establish CSE as a center of excellence in preparing school leaders who can successfully address children's social emotional skills development, create a school culture and climate that sits on a foundation of shared values, and ultimately make schools more safe and civil."

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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