SEL

The credential in Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development is one of two credentials offered by the Academy for SEL in Schools., a collaboration of Rutgers University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.  Below, please find information on the Co-Directors of the Academy and the credentialing programs, and the primary instructors who will be teaching courses for the Instruction Credential.

maurice eliasMAURICE ELIAS, PH.D – PROGRAM CO-DIRECTOR

Co-Director, Academy for SEL; Professor of Psychology, Rutgers; Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab; Director, Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service

Maurice Elias is Professor, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, Director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, and Academic Director of The Collaborative, Rutgers’ Center for Community-Based Research and Service. He is Past President of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA and has received the SCRA Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, as well as APA’s National Psychological Consultants to Management Award, the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the John P. McGovern Medal from the American School Health Association, and the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.

Dr. Elias lectures nationally and internationally to educators and parents about students’ emotional intelligence, school success, and social-emotional and character development. A recent recipient of the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education, among Dr. Elias’ numerous books are ASCD’s Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving curricula for grades k-8, the new e-book, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (via Kindle and Nook) and a book for young children: Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children (www.researchpress.com, 2012). Maurice writes a blog for the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia Website.

 

patricia heindelPATRICIA HEINDEL, PH.D. - PROGRAM CO-DIRECTOR

Co-Director, Academy for SEL; Dean of Human and Social Development, College of Saint Elizabeth; Co-Project Leader of the Academy for Social Emotional Learning in Schools; Director, CSE Center for Human and Social Development; Co-Director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative, a partnership of the CSE Center and the Youth Empowerment Alliance of the United Way of Northern New Jersey

Patricia Heindel, Ph.D., co-project leader with Maurice Elias, Ph.D. of the Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools, is a professor of psychology and Dean of Human and Social Development at the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE). She is the Director of the CSE Center for Human and Social Development and the Center’s School Culture and Climate Assessment Lab. She is co-director of the School Culture and Climate Initiative delivered in partnership between the Center for Human and Social Development and the Youth Empowerment Alliance of the United Way of Northern New Jersey.

The Initiative (modeled on the Developing Safe and Civil School Project led by Maurice Elias) is currently partnering with over 50 schools in 12 districts in Northern New Jersey to assess and improve their cultures and climates. She served as Psychology Program Chair at CSE for 21 years before becoming Dean. In 2007, Dr. Heindel was recognized as Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Psychological Association. She has served as senior editor of the online Journal of the Behavioral and Social Sciences and is the editor of the CLEP test preparation manual in Developmental Psychology.

 

VICTORIA POEDUBICKY - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

Victoria Poedubicky Ed.S is a retired health educator and school counselor with 33 years experience from the Highland Park Public Schools. 20 of those years were dedicated to initiating, implementing and assessing the Social Decision Making/Problem Solving program through the health program, guidance counseling services, and school and district-wide initiatives as well as integration into the curriculum. She was instrumental in initiating, facilitating and supervising a Social Decision Making Lab, which is a teaching component assisting students in learning and strengthening social-emotional skills in a one-one or small group setting. Victoria has published several articles, provided workshops to parents and staff, taught a social-emotional learning course at Rutgers University, has served as a mentor to other teachers and counselors, and is a co-developer and instructor for the Online Direct Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development for Teachers and Support Staff at Rutgers University.

 

Erin-223x218ERIN BRUNO - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

Erin Bruno, MA, has been working in the field of Social and Emotional Learning, Conflict Resolution, and Anger Management for more than 20 years. 16 of those years have been spent working as the Lead Trainer for Rutgers University, University Behavioral Health Care’s Social Decision Making/Problem Solving Program (SDM/PS). Erin has presented and worked with many schools across the United States and assisted in the writing and publishing of the Social Decision Making and Problem Solving Curriculum. Erin has worked extensively with administrators, teachers, mental health professionals, parents and students in the field of Social and Emotional Learning and continues to be inspired by the dedicated people she has had the privilege to work with.

 

 

Lauren-Hyman-KaplanWeb

LAUREN HYMAN KAPLAN - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

Lauren Hyman Kaplan, M.A, is a consultant, speaker, certified emotional intelligence coach and counselor in the field of social and emotional learning, emotional intelligence and bullying prevention. She is a former

teacher and school counselor with over 18 years of experience training and providing consulting to schools around the United States and the world. She conducts presentations, workshops and provides on-going consulting to schools and  parenting  organizations and teaches the New York State mandated Dignity for All Students and SAVE violence prevention workshops for educators . She was a Regional Implementation Director for the Developing Safe and Civil Schools Project at Rutgers University, funded by the NJ Department of Education. She is a certified consultant to the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, a Grant Reviewer for the US Department of Education and a certified Star Factor Emotional Intelligence Coach. Lauren is also the New York Network Leader for Six Seconds. She is an instructor at Bank Street College of Education and the co-author of the New York State "Interpersonal Violence Prevention Resource Guide for Parents and Educators." (New York State Department of Education, 2002). 

 

DR. JOANNE MACLENNAN - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

A certified teacher and guidance counselor with 30 years of classroom experience, Dr. MacLennan has been on the faculty of the Program in Counseling Psychology at the College of Saint Elizabeth since 2003. She was also a group counselor for victims of domestic violence at Morris County’s Jersey Battered Women’s Service before increasing her time as the college’s Social/Emotional Character Development Specialist. Dr. MacLennan is a member of the New Jersey Culture and Climate Coalition and is part of the professional development team of the Youth Empowerment Alliance at United Way of Northern New Jersey. Her workshop areas of expertise are helping teachers use emotional intelligence skills for student academic achievement and healthy emotional and social development, bully/victim prevention and girls’ relational bullying. Other audiences include guidance counselors and those in positions of educational leadership.

 

DR. LAUREN FULLMER - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

Dr. Lauren Fullmer has been working in the field of public education for nearly ten years. She has taught students in grades 1-5 in a school in northern New Jersey and most recently is a fifth grade teacher. In addition, she has three years of experience in higher education, teaching courses at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, as well as at the College of St. Elizabeth. Her research interests include social and emotional learning, as well as how to minimize the risk factors associated with divorce through the implementation of preventive programs for children.

 

JUDY NUSS - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

A long-time teacher and school leader, Judy has collaborated with Penn State University Prevention Research Center research teams implementing and evaluating implementation of evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs/strategies. As a CASEL
(Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) consultant over the last 8 years, Judy provided long-term consultation to large urban districts for the promotion of district-wide SEL. She has worked in Sacramento, Austin, Cleveland, and El Paso. Prior to working with CASEL, Judy led the district-wide implementation of SEL in Harrisburg School District, PA, as the Director of SEL, one of the first in that role in the country. Judy has authored parts of some evidence-based SEL programming (Peace First, Lions Quest) and has written about and facilitated professional learning for the promotion of educators’ social and emotional competence.

 

PATRICIA MEACHAM - PRIMARY COURSE FACILITATOR

Patricia Meacham, MBA is an instructor for The Academy for SEL in School. She is an alumnys of the SECD for Direct Instruction program. She is an adjunct faculty member of Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, the University of San Diego, School of Leadersgip and Education Sciences, Department of Learning and Teaching, and the USD Division of Professional and Continuing Education. Patricia has spent over a decade supporting a wide variety of schools and museum education programs for non-profits. Her work interests are social-emotional learning, character development, and the promotion of school-family partnerships for a positive school climate. Patricia has been part of several educational research teams that develop, evaluate, and facilitate social-emotional learning and character development courses, conferences, and programs. She works with developing educators, school and district teachers and leaders, as a consultant, presenter, and trainer. Patricia previously worked in the classroom as amiddle school and high school mathematics teacher and guest teacher for K-8 students with cognitive and physical learning challenges.

The Accelerated Program is only for those participants who have been initiating, teaching and assessing Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) program(s) successfully in their classroom, counseling groups, or after-school programs successfully for 5+ years in a consistent and intentional approach and can document this experience.  The Accelerated Program is NOT a fast track to completion.

Our Accelerated Track courses of study are as follows:

  • 401 - Accelerated Combined Course
  • 402 Accelerated Practicum Course

Although SEL 401 and 402 have been developed as fully online courses, they also emphasize a participatory approach, incorporating (SECD) philosophy, activities and strategies into the classroom, counseling, and after-school groups as well as for oneself as a learner.  There are unit completion due dates for assignments in order to: 

  1. Move students through each unit and the course together while also providing the flexibility of an online course
  2. Build and develop an SECD learning community and enhance Live Chat discussions.

All correspondence and discussions will take place online via threaded discussions, comment and drop boxes and email with occasional synchronous discussions (Live Chats). You will be notified via email or within the course when synchronous discussions will take place. A headset for Live Chats is required. We recommend a KOSS SB45 Communications Headset or a KOSS CS100 USBn Communications Headset.

 

Find out if you are eligible for a course by visiting our Eligibility page.

 

Accelerated Track Program Courses Overview

401 - Accelerated Combined Course (2 CEU’s)

This course combines SEL 101 (Foundations) and 102 (Pedagogy and Practice) into one course.  The course has been constructed to take a minimum of 10 hours to complete yielding 2 professional development credit or continuing education unit (CEU).  Like the other courses, this course is organized into 10 weeks of activities (8 units) to be completed sequentially.   

$435.00

402 Accelerated Practicum Course (2 CEU’s)

Having completed the Accelerated combined Foundations, Pedagogy and Practice (SEL 401) course for a Social-Emotional and Character Development Certificate, participants will be given the opportunity to apply their extensive skills in a guided way to an extended case example, allowing a demonstration of mastery of the application of skills to an acual workshop presentation to staff.

Participants will learn how to use the virtual Professional Learning Community as a resource for implementation, as well as how to be a resource to others within the vPLC, particularly those newer to SECD. The Accelerated Practicum provides a format for assembling and submitting a portfolio of representative accomplishment during participants’ years of initiating, implementing and assessing Social-Emotional and Character Development within your classroom, skill and character building groups, and/or after-school programs.

Practicum students will also create/develop 1 or 2 day SECD staff development workshop for staff.   Upon the completion of the SEL 401 and 402 courses and the submission of the portfolio of accomplishment, participants will have earned 2 CEU’s and will receive a certificate from the sponsors, Rutgers University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.

$450.00 

For information about enrolling in the SEL Leadership Certificate Program please go to SELinSchools.org

For specific questions regarding SECD Online Certificate Courses/Programs for Instruction, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

pdfInstruction_in_SEL_Char_Flyer.pdf

The individuals below have served as advisors to all aspects of course development and credentialing, based on extensive experience with SEL. Character Education, and online learning.

Janet Patti, Hunter College, School of Education, Founding Member, CASEL Leadership Team, Director, NYC Leadership Development projects using SEL

Larry Leverett, Executive Director, Panasonic Educational Foundation, Former Supt. of Schools in Plainfield (NJ) and Greenwich (CT), former Assistant Commissioner for Urban Education (NJ)

Jacqueline Norris, Retired from positions as Dean, College of New Jersey, College of Education, Department Chairperson, Elementary Administration, Past Member, Blue Ribbon Panel, National Schools of Character, Character Education Partnership, Assistant Superintendent, Principal and Teacher in Piscataway Public Schools

Ed Dunkelblau, Director, Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Education (IL), Past Member, Blue Ribbon Panel, National Schools of Character, Character Education Partnership, Past Director of Training for CASEL, Consultant to CEP around implementation of High School SECD

Jim Vetter, Education Development Center, former Program Director for the Open Circle Program

Joan Duffell, Executive Director, Committee for Children, Developer, Second Step family of curricula internationally

Norris Haynes, Southern Connecticut State College, Director of the Center for Community Action Research, Graduate Program in School Psychology and Counseling, Past Program Researcher, Comer Project, Past Chairperson, AERA School Climate Interest Group, Founding Member, CASEL Leadership Team

Jessica Berlinski, Chief Learning Officer, Personalized Learning Games.com, designer of SEL/CD

Rebecca Irby, Former Technology Consultant to DSACS, now Founding Partner and Director of PEAC Institute | Peace Education & Art Communication, Rebecca and Ed Dunkelblau were primarily developers of the technical elements of the on-line course architecture and web site format for the Direct Instruction pilot courses at Rutgers

Victoria Blakeney, Former SEL Curriculum Coordinator, Anchorage Alaska Public Schools

Melissa A. Maras-Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology University of Missouri, expert on sustainable school-based interventions across professional groups

Joanne MacLennan, SECD Specialist, College of Saint Elizabeth, former school counselor, online course instructor

Natercia Rendeiro, Vice President of the NJ Social Workers Association and School Social Work Supervisor, Newark, New Jersey

William Neigher, Vice President, System Development and Chief Strategy Officer,
Atlantic Health System

Barry Barbarasch, NJ Association of School Psychologists and Hamilton Twp. Public Schools

J. Barry Mascari, NJ School Counselors Association and Kean University; former SEL Coordinator, Clifton Township Public Schools

Carol Churgin, Association of Student Assistance Professionals, NJ and Newark Public Schools, Parent Coordinator

Elizabeth Warner, Community Impact Manager, Education/Youth Empowerment Alliance (YEA), United Way of Northern New Jersey, Co-Director, CSE/YEA School Culture and Climate Initiative of Northern New Jersey and Morris County School Support Network

Philip Brown, Former Director, NJ Center for Social and Character Development and Founder, NJ Alliance for Social-Emotional and Character Development, Consultant, National School Climate Center

Eligibility to Enroll in the General Track Program

What is the criteria to enroll in the 101 course?

  • You must either:
    • hold an undergraduate degree (Bachelor's or Associate's degree) or higher, or
    • be currently enrolled in a college/university (60 credits or more).

What is the criteria to enroll in the 102 course?

  • Successful completion of the 101 Course (to be corroborated with the course instructor).

What is the criteria to enroll in the General Practicum (103 course)?

  • Successful completion of SEL 101 and 102 sequentially (corroborated with instructor).
    • submission of copies of courses 101 and 102 certificates of completion
    • detailed action plan as described in course 102
  • Have access to a computer that can access our Canvas site.
  • Submit a signed letter on letterhead from a school principal, director or supervisor acknowledging you would be participating in the practicum and will support you as you deliver your action plan directly to students. Send your signed letter in PDF format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This letter is only to notify your principal/supervisor that you will be implementing your detailed action plan with your students.  They will NOT have to act in the role of your practicum supervisor.
  • We recommended that you first submit the appropriate documentation and wait for confirmation and notification of acceptance via email or phone before registering for this course. Otherwise, you may be deregistered.

What is the criteria to enroll in the General Alternate Practicum (003 course)?

  • Successful completion of SEL 101 and 102 face-to-face live version sequentially corroborated with:
    • submission of copies of courses 101 and 102 certificates of completion
    • detailed action plan as described in course 102
  • Submit a signed letter on letterhead from a school principal, director or supervisor acknowledging you would be participating in the practicum and will support you as you deliver your action plan directly to students. Send your signed letter in PDF format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This letter is only to notify your principal/supervisor that you will be implementing your detailed action plan with your students.  They will NOT have to act in the role of your practicum supervisor.
  • We recommended that you first submit the appropriate documentation and wait for confirmation and notification of acceptance via email or phone before registering for this course. Otherwise, you may be deregistered.

 

Eligibility to Enroll in the Accelerated Track Program

What is the criteria to enroll in the Accelerated Program (401 course)?

  • You must either:
    • hold an undergraduate degree (Bachelor's or Associate's degree) or higher, or
    • be currently enrolled in a college/university (60 credits or more).
  • Currently employed as someone who provides direct instruction to students.
  • Have successfully initiated and implemented Social-Emotional and character development programming successfully in your classroom, counseling sessions or after-school program for 5+ years directly to students and can document this experience.
  • Submit a signed letter on letterhead from a school principal, director or supervisor acknowledging your 5+ years SECD instruction experience and that you are applying to take the courses.  This is NOT a letter of personal recommendation. Send your signed letter in PDF format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This letter is only to notify your principal/supervisor that you will be implementing your detailed action plan with your students.  They will NOT have to act in the role of your practicum supervisor. This is NOT a letter of personal recommendation.
  • We recommended that you first submit the appropriate documentation and wait for confirmation and notification of acceptance via email or phone before registering for this course. Otherwise, you may be deregistered.
  • Submit a resume/CV that also includes all SECD instruction experiences prior to registration.
  • Send documentation of SECD experience (letter and resume/CV) for review to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The criteria to enroll in the Accelerated Practicum Course (402 course) are as follows:

  • Successful completion of the Accelerated Course (SEL 401, to be corroborated with the course instructor).

 

REGISTER

Samples of syllabi can be found on the Syllabus Archive page.
A listing of courses offered this semester can be found on the Course Schedule page.