Measuring The Impact of SEL Programming Through SEL Skills Assessment

Measuring the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programming is crucial to ensuring it is actually making a difference in your students’ lives. When students have strong SEL skills, they can perform stronger academically. But how can you determine whether your SEL program is achieving its goals?  

What are SEL Skills? 

First, we must understand what SEL skills are and how to measure them. According to CASEL, having SEL skills means having the ability to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve goals, build and maintain relationships, and make responsible decisions1. Having a plan that outlines how you measure the implementation of programs to grow students’ skill sets ensures the fidelity of your district’s work. The plan should include clear SEL standards— check your state Department of Education; many are starting to put out SEL standards you can leverage. With an understanding of the goals of program implementation, districts can better train educators and staff to teach these skills.  

SEL Competencies and Program Fidelity 

Program fidelity is key to a successful SEL initiative. When we can recognize that social and emotional skill acquisition varies among students, we can support targeted and differentiated instruction. Educators and staff play a significant role in contributing to student outcomes by delivering high-quality SEL instruction. When SEL is implemented consistently and measured, we can use data to drive future decision-making. Prioritizing program fidelity means providing students with opportunities to grow their skill sets by leveraging SEL competencies they already have strengths in. This promotes continuous improvement that not only enhances your program outcomes but, more importantly, your students’ ability to achieve goals over time.  

SEL Assessment: Next Steps 

SEL assessment may be the right next step for you if you’ve had a program in place but haven’t been able to assess or progress monitor your students’ skill acquisition. A high-quality SEL assessment that is evidence-based, and data-driven helps districts clearly understand what measures are met and what areas of skill they need to focus on. 

Measuring what’s working and what’s not when it comes to SEL program ensures that your educators’ time is well spent. You also gain valuable insights into your students’ progress and growth. By focusing on SEL skills, districts improve school climate by embedding content delivery not only into academics but into explicit times dedicated to this work. 

Are you looking to measure your SEL curriculum’s effectiveness? We’re here to help! 

You may already have an SEL curriculum in place that focuses on fostering these skills, but are you measuring the program’s impact? Fill out the form below to get in contact with a member of our Partnership team, who will serve as your guide for scaling your SEL program. 


1 CASEL. (2023, March 3). What is the CASEL framework?

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