Morristown, N.J. (February 7, 2014) – Professors from the College of Saint Elizabeth and Rutgers University have teamed up to launch a nationwide online learning program aimed at improving school environments and reducing bullying behavior. The Social-Emotion Learning (SEL) program, which will be implemented over a three-year period, is funded by a $600,000 grant from the NoVo Foundation. This implementation phase comes on the heels of last year's $250,000 grant from NoVo that funded the program's design.
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The nationwide program will provide online credential training for educators. It will give participants the SEL skills to help their students recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. This will then help create safe, nurturing environments that encourage academic success and emotional well-being for elementary and high school students.
Dr. Patricia Heindel, a CSE professor of psychology and area chair for human and social development, and Dr. Maurice Elias, professor of psychology at Rutgers University, are the recipients of the $600,000 grant from the NoVo Foundation and will lead the project's implementation.
The NoVo Foundation is dedicated to transforming global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. The SEL 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."
This unique credentialing program aims to tackle the issue of preparing educators and educational leaders to address children's socio-emotional skills and character development. Failure to adequately address students' emotional/non-cognitive barriers to learning is a sustaining factor in the achievement gap and no substantial and sustainable progress will take place unless this is redressed systematically and continuously.
Over the next three years, this project will scale up efforts around the nation to help educators and educational leaders improve learning environments. The credentialing program consists of two components: SEL Instruction and SEL Implementation Coordination, each of which is composed of two sets of courses.
Direct SEL Instruction (DI) introduces to educators, counselors, social workers, and after-school program staff the social emotional skills that students need to be successful. It develops skill in teaching strategies that improve students' social emotional skills, addresses harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and substance abuse prevention; and offers best practices for implementing social skills groups in and after school, service learning, and conflict resolution programs.
SEL Instructional Leader (IL) prepares school professional staff to train building-level colleagues in the competencies achieved by the DI credentialing program, appropriate for members of any school-based professional group, as well as after-school program providers.
School-Focused Coordination (SFC) prepares school leaders to coordinate SEL implementation efforts at the building level, with a focus placed on school climate, culture, values, leadership, and student voice/engagement.
District-Focused Coordination (DFC) is similar to SFC, but it is geared to individuals who coordinate SEL efforts across buildings in elementary, middle, and high schools in school districts.
Learn More About the Center for Human and Social Development
CSE Receives $250,000 Grant from NoVo Foundation to Develop SEL Program
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