The call for school reform and improvement presents today’s educators with a great challenge. How do we strengthen basic skills, increase higher order thinking skills, warn about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, violence and other potentially lifechallenging situations while promoting appreciation and respect for diversity? Simply put, how do we prepare our children to be knowledgeable, responsible, caring and contributing members of a very pluralistic and global society?
And how do we do this in the face of budget crunches, and ever-changing federal and state mandates? What does not change is the essential importance of children’s Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for college, career, contribution, and life success. The 3 course program that lead to the certificate allows instructors 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 and after-school, service learning, and conflict resolution programs.
- Engage fellow educators and group leaders to be reflective in their practice and understand the relationship among selflearning, 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).
There are 2 certificate programs offered:
The first is a 3 course general program for those professionals with little or no experience and/or knowledge in Social-Emotional and Character Development.
Each of these three courses introduces and develops knowledge and skills in social and emotional and character development for those who will be the primary deliverer (i.e. educators, school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, antibullying, specialists, after-school program staff, etc) to all students prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Regardless of the Social-Emotional and/or Character Development program currently implemented in your school (if at all), participants in this credentialing program will acquire knowledge of: Self-awareness, Emotional Regulation, Social Awareness, Relationship Building and Decision Making, as well as the principles of Character Education. Participants will also develop lessons and/or action plans for implementation in their individual settings.
The second is a 2 course Accelerated program for those professionals with 5 or more years in initiating and implementing Social-Emotional and Character Development.
Each of the courses in this program is designed to help deepen the foundation and Pedagogy and Practice for a more experienced professional as well as serve as a spring board to document the past, present and future journey in Social-Emotional and Character Development.
Who should take these courses?
- School counselors
- School social workers
- School psychologists
- Antibullying specialists
- After-school program staff