Certificate In Social-Emotional Learning Leadership

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 Leadership 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.


Strengthen your school and your career…

Earn a certificate in school leadership for social-emotional learning and character development.

Certificate Overview

The Certificate in School Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development is a 3-course, post-baccalaureate certificate program that prepares school leaders to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) initiatives and promote a positive culture and climate in their schools. 

The certificate includes a foundational course, a leadership-centered course, and a project-based practicum, which is supported by an experienced mentor. 

The program is designed to give participants the knowledge and skills to coordinate SEL implementation efforts in their own schools, with emphasis on school climate, culture, values, leadership, student voice and engagement, and SEL skills development. Effectively organizing these initiatives requires a high degree of support and preparation. 

In addition to the mentor-supported practicum, the online professional learning community is designed to provide participants with ongoing support, resources and inspiration for as long as they need it.

This certificate can enhance your employability and advancement capability by adding Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), Character Development (CD), and School Culture and Climate (SCC) to your leadership skills portfolio. These specialty areas are increasingly being recognized as the center of student performance, college and career preparation, a positive working environment, and successful implementation of the Common Core and related academic mandates.

These skills are essential features of multiple domains of educator evaluation systems, whether locally created or based on Danielson or other frameworks. While many individuals have experience working in these areas, the certificate formalizes this knowledge and provides an ongoing source of professional consultation and education through the online professional learning community.

This certificate is ideal for a broad range of education professionals and school leaders. You do not need to be in a formal position of leadership to gain value from this certificate program. It provides valuable tools and strategies that will benefit a variety of professional capacities, including:

  • Principals and Assistant Principals
  • Administrators (Central Office and District Level)
  • Anti-Bullying Coordinators (District Level)
  • Anti-Bullying Specialists (School Level)
  • Teachers Aspiring to Leadership Positions
  • Curriculum Coordinators
  • Student Support Personnel
  • School Counselors and Psychologists
  • Social Workers and Student Assistance Counselors
  • Deans of Discipline
    Supervisors (Discipline, Health, Life Skills, School Climate, Violence, Drug and Alcohol, Tobacco, etc.)

Learning Journey

A research-based foundation in the basic components of School Culture and Climate (SCC) is introduced along with pioneering examples of successful SCC implementation in school settings. Participants will evaluate and develop their own social-emotional “EQ” skills to prepare for leadership in strategic change within their school or district. Participants will identify, practice and apply strategies to explain the concepts and approaches of SEL in a broader educational context to various audiences. The course will culminate in assessing and presenting what is required to improve the participant’s own school culture and climate and what strategies can be used most effectively to promote schools of character.

Theory is turned into practice as participants learn and implement techniques to discern the various competing efforts in a school to promote SEL, character development, and a positive culture/climate.

Participants will learn the procedures for creating and leading an infrastructure in a school to initiate, guide, manage, and sustain positive changes in SEL, CD, and SCC. Participants will evaluate strategies to adapt to changes in mandates and other local conditions.

The culminating project will include incorporating current research and best practices in SEL, CD and SCC to develop and implement a strategic implementation plan for creating wide adoption among various school and community constituencies.

This expert-supervised, project-based practicum course will provide the support, guidance and mentorship of an experienced practitioner in the areas of social-emotional learning, school culture and climate, and character education.

Participants are guided by experienced school leaders with significant experience in implementing and managing school-wide SEL, SCC and CD initiatives. The online learning community will provide a network of peer participants who are working on parallel SEL-related projects, throughout the United States and abroad.

As a participant in this program, you will be part of a worldwide community dedicated to improving the lives of children by leading schools that strive to be models in innovative education and academic best practices.

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