Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-School Counseling (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



A rise in student behaviors across the nation have forced educators to consider the most appropriate means for reducing impulsive, defiant, oppositional and aggressive student behaviors. Contrary to historical belief, zero tolerance policies and punitive measures that are reliant on office referrals and suspensions make students feel isolated from the school environment and perpetuate behavior. Growing empirical research supports an alternative solution, social-emotional learning programs, that are commonly focused on student competency development specific to self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Through the development of these social-emotional learning skills, students demonstrate improved attitudes, behaviors and academic achievement, as well as overall health and development that positively effect students in the school setting and beyond. In order to support students in SEL development, school leaders have started investing resources in social-emotional programs and curricula but have struggled to let data guide their selection of a resource that is most suited to their student population. Therefore, this project will not only provide a theoretical framework for social-emotional learning within schools as a solution to maladaptive behavior but will also outline a process for data-informed decision-making that school leaders can follow in order to explore and select a program or curricula for social-emotional learning that is most appropriate for their schools or districts.

Included in

Education Commons