Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Elizabeth Minor, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Harrington Gibson, Ed. D

Third Advisor

Renee Gugel, Ed. D


In kindergarten, students begin formalized school without the fundamental social and emotional competencies needed to learn in a group. Young children are not self-managing and have difficulty regulating how they learn in school. Social and emotional learning programs support student SEL skills in schools. In this study, Sky Harbor’s implementation of the Second Step Program was evaluated. An analysis of Unit 3: Emotional Management was conducted to determine if students are using Second Step skills and the impact. Data collection included academic achievement scores, Second Step formative assessment scores, and School-Wide Information Systems (SWIS) data. This study has demonstrated SEL has a positive impact onstudent achievement. Social and emotional competencies and skills are as essential as reading, writing, and math, if not more. Educators must be immersed in professional development activities that include understanding their SEL competencies, recognizing benchmarks for skills, and designing targeted instruction for students’ needs.

Available for download on Monday, June 09, 2025