Why SEL?


Social-emotional skills are the foundation for success in school and in life. From pre-school through high school, we must ensure that every Massachusetts student develops competencies such as self-management, collaboration, and responsible decision-making, in order to reach his or her full potential.

These skills are particularly important in helping children deal with trauma, anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues reportedly on the rise among Massachusetts students. SEL also helps prevent and respond to bullying and other inappropriate behaviors in and out of school.

Moreover, a growing number of employers are reporting among new hires a lack of the social-emotional skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Schools are increasingly recognizing the importance of preparing graduates not only with technical and academic knowledge but also with a broad range of personal skills that employers expect their employees to possess in order to thrive on the job.

This video from the Committee for Children helps define and outline the benefits of SEL:


In this podcast, Dr. Nick Covino, President of William James College, interviews John D’Auria, President of Teachers21, about social-emotional learning:


This whiteboard from the American Institutes for Research describes what SEL looks like from the perspective of a student:




See also the following information provided by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

SEL Defined

SEL Competencies

SEL Outcomes

Promoting Students’ SEL

FAQs about SEL