Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Carol Philips


The problem this study addresses is the extent to which social-emotional learning programming is effectively implemented. Since social-emotional learning programming has emerged as a significant aspect of U.S. education, man states have included social-emotional standards and programming as an essential part of the curriculum. Researchers have found that effective reform includes not only emphasis on academic and standardized test scores, but also on social-emotional influences. As a school reform initiative, a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program is being implemented at a Midwestern high school. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive interview study was to explore the perceived effectiveness of the implementation. The conceptual framework was drawn from Fullan's 6 assertions that serve as a guide to monitor school success when implementing education reforms. The study's guiding questions concerned teachers' perceived supports and challenges in the process of implementation, as well as any perceived role changes they experienced during the process. Eight high school teachers who had taught the SEL classes were interviewed. Data were transcribed, coded for themes using Hatch's typology, and thematically analyzed. The key findings included that participants were supported by the counselors and their peers. However, they encountered implementation challenges including the class schedule, lack of student buy-in, and the need for ongoing supports to facilitate social emotional learning. This study contributes to social change by informing school leaders of best practices necessary to ensure the implementation and sustainability of SEL practices. Social-emotional learning initiatives that implemented with fidelity can improve both the academic and personal success of students.