SEL Certificate

Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development Certificate Program


SECD Online Course Overview 

Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development

Earn a Certificate for Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development

Rutgers University is 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 program which offers all educational staff, school mental health professionals, and those working in after-school programs the opportunity to enhance their professional development skills in the field of Social-Emotional and Character Development. The General track program is composed of 3 courses, each addressing a different level of participation and delivery perspective of Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) competencies.  The Accelerated track program is for those who have 5+ years of experience in the field successfully initiating and implementing Social-Emotional and Character Development to students in their setting.  It is a 2-course program which will result in creating a portfolio documenting this journey.  The certification in Instruction in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development is one of two certifications offered by the Academy for SEL in Schools (, a collaboration of Rutgers University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Academy Certificate Programs

For Classroom Teachers and other in-school and out-of-school professionals working directly with children: We are offering a Certificate in Instruction of Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development Interventions, with a focus on the classroom, small-group, and after-school contexts. Other information can be found on this page and throughout this site, registration can be found here.

For School Leaders: The Certificate in School Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development adds Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), Character Development (CD), and School Culture and Climate (SCC) to your portfolio of leadership skills. Registration and other information can be found at

Academy Overview

Academy Video Overview


Every professional working in schools should possess all the skills and attitudes needed to promote the social-emotional and character development of all children-- all meaning all-- in those schools, and should be prepared to make positive, constructive contributions to school climate and adult communities of learners in schools.

SEL in Action

SELMaurice    CASEL5    Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.47.37 AM

CEP    Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 12.09.34 PM-min    11PrinciplesOfCharacter


Our Pledge to You

The story begins with a belief that every child deserves to attend a school that is inspiring, challenging, supportive, safe and healthy, engaging, and build on mutual respect.

Every child needs competencies for success beyond the test score—skills for the tests of life, a life of college, career, contribution, and caring.

Someone has to take responsibility for schools to become cohesive and coherent places to accomplish the above goals.  These courses and this credentialing program are designed to prepare you for that responsibility, but we don’t expect you to succeed on your own.  You are entering into a community of mutual support and consultative assistance, a virtual Professional Learning Community, that will be at your side as you move forward.  Within your country and around the world, people sharing the vision and goal want to move beyond the dream and into reality.  By teaching the mind and encouraging the heart—in each other, as well as in our students—we can be successful.

That is our unique pledge to you—you will be prepared to implement a wide range of social-emotional and character-based programs to your students, and you will also be joining others whose collective experience, wisdom, creativity, and problem-solving skills toward a shared goal will make each of us and all of us better. We are all instructors and students in the service of improving the lives and futures of all children entering schools.   


Key Themes

  • Every child is deserving
  • Every child requires specific competencies for future success
  • We need educators in school and after school who are prepared to make this happen
  • Those educators need a community of support, collaboration, and practical ideas
  • This program specifically provides that community and a shared vision

From work with over 1,000 schools in the United States and internationally, we have learned how to inspire and support others in implementing social-emotional and character competence and improving school culture and climate. Our Certification Program in Instruction provides you with that inspiration, support, and skills in three stages

The General Track Program

  • 101 – SEL - Foundations of Social-Emotional and Character Development.  For more information General Track Foundations 101
  • 102 – SEL - Pedagogy and Practice, the common instructional and implementation methods that underlie all SEL and character development programs.  For more information General Track Pedagogy and Practice 102
  • 103 – SEL -  Practicum, the supervised and mentored experience in your work setting that solidifies and integrates your learning in 101 and 102 and connects you to an online Professional Learning Community of support, both during the course and in an ongoing way once you have earned the credential.  For more information General Track Practicum 103
  • 003 – SEL - Alternate Practicum, is only for those participants who have taken the face to face Live version of the SECD Online Courses.  The Alternate Practicum is the supervised and mentored experience in your work setting that solidifies and integrates your learning in 101 and 102 and connects you to an online Professional Learning Community of support, both during the course and in an ongoing way once you have earned the credential.

The Accelerated Program

  • SEL 401 and 402 - for individuals with extensive SEL and character education experience in the area of SECD instruction who desire a formal credential.  5+ years in SECD in formalized direct instruction is required and needs to be noted in your resume/CV.  Other requirements for acceptance are noted by clicking on the link noted (SEL 401 and 402).

Your effectiveness as an educator, and your ability to guide students toward success in school and careers, and both access to and completion of college, depends as much on students’ character and social-emotional competencies and the climate of the school as it does on how well your standards-based academic curriculum is carried out.  Professional evaluations of anyone working in schools require them to have sound character and contribute positively to their work environments. 

You can wait until social-emotional and character development is mandated or you can prepare yourself now.  The children would prefer you not wait.



Payment can be made using a credit card by clicking on the register button below. 

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