Enhancing Outcomes of an Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Program with a School Support Model

Start Date: 2014
Funders: i3 Program/U.S. Department of Education and the NoVo Foundation

Project Overview

Project Description, including Project Activities

Non-cognitive skills promote engagement in learning, relationships with teachers and peers, and long-term academic success. Nurturing these skills in students is a pathway to higher academic achievement, especially for low-performing schools. Evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs such as PATHS promote these skills in students but are often implemented poorly and without planning or integration with other school activities. The CASEL SchoolKit is a school-wide support intervention that includes multiple strategies to build capacity and support for SEL programs such as PATHS and to integrate and coordinate them into all aspects of the school’s functioning.

Summary of Project Objectives and Expected Outcomes

This project is seeking to improve student SEL skills, engagement, and academic performance by combining PATHS and the CASEL Schoolkit. A randomized clinical trial is being used to test the effectiveness of the combination of the SchoolKit against PATHS implemented under standard conditions. In combining SchoolKit with PATHS, we expect high-quality PATHS implementation, more positive classroom and school climates, and improvements in student SEL and achievement. The project is being conducted in Chicago, one of the lowest-performing districts in the nation. All 28 participating schools are implementing the PATHS curriculum for two years; fourteen schools have been randomized to receive the standard PATHS training and support model while 14 have been randomized to receive a combination of PATHS and the SchoolKit intervention. Students in grades K–3 will participate in the project but outcomes will be assessed for students in grades 1 & 2 after each year of PATHS exposure and at one-year follow-up.

Project Partners

Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University
CASEL, University of Illinois at Chicago
American Institutes for Research
Chicago Public Schools
NoVo Foundation

Project Team/Penn State

Mark T. Greenberg, Ph.D.

Founding Director, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, and Professor of Human Development and Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
Email

Celene Domitrovich, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University

For More Information

Mark T. Greenberg, Ph.D.

Founding Director, Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, and Professor of Human Development and Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
Email