Certificate in
Social-Emotional Learning
& Character Development

For Instructors

An Online Certificate in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development Awarded by Rutgers University

Rutgers University and College of Saint Elizabeth are pleased to announce the implementation of series of online courses leading to a certificate in Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Character Development (CD) in schools and after-school programs.

This unique program is a non-credit (CEU-based) program that offers all educational staff, school mental health professionals, and those working in out-of-school programs the opportunity to enhance their professional development skills in the field of Social-Emotional and Character Development. 

General Track

The General program is composed of 3 courses completed in sequence (SEL101, SEL102, and SEL103), including relevant content related to fostering students’ Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) competencies, and creating a positive classroom climate, and a supervised practicum at one’s workplace. 

Accelerated Track

The Accelerated program is designed for those who have 5 or more years of successful delivery and implementation of SECD in their setting. It is a 2-course program, which culminates with a project to create a portfolio documenting each participant’s journey.


This 3-course professional certificate program helps participants to…

• Acquire a foundation of knowledge and research about the relationship between academic achievement and the development of Social-Emotional competencies.

• Build the SECD skills and mindsets students need to be successful socially and academically.

• Develop skill in pedagogical strategies to integrate SECD principles, skills and concepts into all aspects of teaching that will improve students’Social-Emotional skills, character, and academic learning-to-learn skills.

• Address harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and substance abuse prevention.

• Learn best practices for implementing social skills groups in school and out-of-school, as well as service learning and conflict resolution programs.

• Engage fellow educators and group leaders to be reflective in their practice and understand the relationship among self-learning, classroom practice and student learning and be willing to assess, adapt, change and continually reevaluate in an effort to tailor instruction to diverse and changing groups of learners.

• Demonstrate the ability to initiate and operate a Social-Emotional and Character Development oriented classroom or group (before, during or after-school).

• Become part of a virtual Professional Learning Community that will provide ongoing access to instructional support and implementation assistance and problem-solving. This enables participants to serve as instructional leaders and resources in their settings.

Learning Journey

This first course lays the foundation and is designed for the person (educators, mental health professionals, after-school personnel, etc) who will provide direct instruction of the Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) competencies in a classroom, small group or after-school setting. The focus is on the theoretical underpinnings of Social-Emotional and character development as well as the research behind it.

This course is the second of the three courses designed for those providing direct instruction of the Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) competencies in a classroom, small group or after-school setting. The focus in this course is on the actual methods and applications of best practices in the area of SECD.

The practicum is the third and final course in the program and is to be completed during one school year, lasting 15 weeks. The focus in the practicum is on the supervised and mentored initiation and implementation phases of an Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) program in a classroom, small group or after-school setting, utilizing the tools and information learned during the first two courses.

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