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Social Emotional Learning, PhD-ED

Social Emotional Learning Specialization

A great deal of research over the last several decades validates the importance of social and emotional skills. Research shows that classrooms function more effectively and student learning increases when children have the skills to focus their attention, manage negative emotions, navigate relationships with peers and adults, and persist in the face of difficulty. Social emotional learning (SEL) refers to the process of learning how to understand and manage emotions, express empathy, set goals, create positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. When applied in the classroom, SEL can help create a more supportive learning environment, enhance learning outcomes, and improve student behavior.

The Social Emotional Learning (SEL) specialization is focused on mid-career or advanced classroom teachers, school counselors or psychologists, and school/district administrators who desire a more intensive examination of the five core competencies identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL): self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness. From a practitioner’s perspective, you will examine how these competencies are applied across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities. While individuals outside of the K-12 school context would benefit from the specialization, the courses do use a K-12 lens.

In this specialization, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver social and emotional learning (SEL) programming directly to children, build whole-child nurturing learning communities, and be an advocate for the principles of culturally and developmentally appropriate SEL practice. Graduates of this program will be well positioned to become SEL leaders after three to five years of direct experience.

There are five core competencies covered in this specialization: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. These competencies are applied across three settings: classrooms (curriculum and instruction), schools (school-wide practices and policies), and homes and communities (family and community partnership).

Graduates teach (preK-12) and work as health educators in many settings such as local health departments, hospitals and clinics, business, and industry. In colleges, they also teach courses and conduct research.

Course information
  Credit Hours Courses Est. Time to Complete  
PhD-Ed 60 20 45 months View Course Catalog
*Credit hours and courses reflect new students meeting credit requirements and utilizing no transfer credits. Est. Time of Completion reflects new students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for the program.

Unmatched Flexibility
NCU offers weekly course starts, no scheduled lecture hours, no group assignments, weekly assignments, and the ability to schedule courses around your personal and professional obligations.

100% Doctoral Faculty
No matter the degree level you pursue, you can rest assured that you will be mentored by doctors in your field of study.

One to One Engagement
You won't have to fight for facetime as one of many within a classroom. At NCU, you'll have the opportunity to interact one to one with your professor, receiving personalized mentoring.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Program Learning Outcomes
  • Develop deep knowledge of educational systems, theories, and research in an area of expertise
  • Interpret theories, research, and ideas for different audiences through multiple methods of communication
  • Integrate ethical principles and professional standards for a specific discipline within the field
  • Conduct autonomous or collaborative research using high-level analytical skills
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge specific to a discipline within the field