Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards were adopted by the state of Illinois in 2004. Local SEL policy was adopted by District 1234 in 2010. This policy advocacy work presents how findings from a district’s SEL Audit helped a team of administrators identify areas for growth and advocate for compliance of existing state and local SEL policy. This work documents how a district went from no SEL programming, to the creation of an SEL Task Force, the powering of SEL standards, and the planning for systemic implementation of SEL. According to research (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011), students who participated in SEL programming demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance (11 percentile point gain in achievement). Further research (Zakrzewski, 2013) proposes that the benefits of SEL programming is not only intended for students, it has a profound positive impact on teachers that embrace SEL tenets. These findings are only a sample of the growing empirical data that bolsters the positive impact of SEL programming in our schools. By learning more about SEL and the benefits of SEL programming, educators, policymakers, and the greater community can join together to advocate for social and emotional well-being in our nation’s schools.

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