Social & Emotional Learning programs for Higher Education
Social & Emotional Learning programs for Higher Education
It’s time to look at student success and wellness differently.
“Only one in ten students transfer or drop out of college because of academics.”
– Gates Millenium Scholars
There are plenty of tools out there to help students academically. But with 9 out of 10 students transferring or dropping out for NON-ACADEMIC REASONS, the old model of student support just doesn’t work anymore.
A radically new approach to student success and wellness in Higher Ed. For years, our Higher Ed clients would tell us, “by the time they are arriving on campus they are often not prepared to succeed.” This is not just a reference to academic preparedness. It’s also (and more so) a reference to social & emotional preparedness. Colleges often have a clear picture of a new student’s academic preparedness, but the other stuff? Not so much.
What is Social & Emotional Learning?
It’s the stuff that makes someone feel good about themselves and others around them.
- Recognizing emotions in self and others
- Regulating and managing strong emotions (positive and negative)
- Recognizing strengths and areas of need
- Listening and communicating accurately and clearly
- Taking others’ perspectives and sensing their emotions
- Respecting others and self and appreciating differences
- Identifying problems correctly
- Setting positive and realistic goals
- Problem solving, decision making, and planning
- Approaching others and building positive relationships
- Resisting negative peer pressure
- Cooperating, negotiating, and managing conflict nonviolently
- Working effectively in groups
- Help-seeking and help-giving
- Showing ethical and social responsibility
For most college students, this is the essential toolkit to their success. These factors of social & emotional learning affect everything a student does, how they perform academically, and how prepared they will be in the workforce.
That’s right- there is a direct, data-backed correlation to a student’s social & emotional wellness and their academic performance.
So if only 1 in 10 students transfer or drop out because of academics, why aren’t schools focusing more on the tools that affect ALL of a student’s outcomes? Because academic monitoring and intervention is easy.
Schools get alerts when a student is struggling academically, so they can try to intervene. The problem is, by the time issues manifest themselves in the form of poor grades, it’s already too late.
S360:SEL delivers success and wellness lessons- all web and mobile- to college students during their entire higher education lifecycle (to learn more about how we do this in K-12, click here). By better equipping students to handle the issues, pressures and responsibilities of college life, they’ll persist at greater rates and be better prepared for real life
Many research experts, including our own, are focused on how the 5 core competencies of SEL equip a student for success.
But in Higher Ed, there’s a model of student success that is outdated and ineffective. How do we know? While there are many studies (and many factors) that look at college student retention and graduation rates, here are some of the averages:
The average freshman to sophomore retention rate is only 75%. 1 in 4 students who begin as a freshman do not make it to their sophomore year.
The average graduation rate is 59%. A startling 41 out of 100 students who go to college never graduate.
Ironically, this would be a failing academic grade by any standard. Yet colleges and universities continue to approach the issue of student success the same way (and get the same results).
S360:SEL is a web and mobile program designed to meet students in their digital world. Professionally developed lessons are delivered to students throughout the year, better equipping them for success.
But beyond Social and Emotional Learning, there are three other factors that affect student outcomes: Grit, Perseverance and Tenacity.
firmness of character, indomitable spirit.
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.
the quality of being tenacious or holding fast. The quality of retaining something, especially an effort.
S360:SEL lessons cover a wide range of topics and issues (centered around the CASEL framework and other GPT (Grit, Perseverance and Tenacity) factors.
Let’s see how some of the SEL elements above convert to real life benefits:
- Mental heath and wellness (depression, stress, anxiety)
- Managing test-taking anxiety
- Balancing academics and social life
- Respecting yourself and others
- Racial tolerance
- LBGTQ tolerance and understanding
- Drug and alcohol awareness
- Gender equity and respect
- Study skills
- Digital citizenship
- Conflict resolution
- Mental focus
- Importance of grades
- Healthy relationships
- Getting involved (clubs/organizations)
- Bystander/upstander intervention
- Safety on and off campus
S360:SEL is a professionally developed library of lessons to help students navigate and master these and other issues. Also, it’s rich with features that engage students and provide meaningful, actionable insights for school administrators:
- Hundreds of lessons
- Scaffolded by year (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
- Lesson versions for cultural relevance
- Articles, videos and heuristics (interactive learning quizzes)
- Pre- and post assessments
- Pulse surveys (survey tool to assess student attitudes and school climate)
- Recursive Reflections (inspirational sound bites)
- Confidential Chat (student-to-support dialogue)
Also, there are other highly engaging features of S360:SEL designed to support students in every way:
UPeers: closed social community for your students, connecting them to each other and peer mentors.
Links to your resources: students don’t want to sift through your website to find what they need. Easy access to your resources gives them what they need.
Social Media Integration/curation: Designed to remind students they are part of a supportive community.
Program projection: bringing the digital S360:SEL program into the real world with display and monitor projections around campus.
S360:SEL was purposefully built to address the specific needs of students, and can be globally deployed (to all students) or targeted by audience:
All Students: focuses on the entire college student body, delivering success and wellness lessons and support to students throughout the year;
Student Athletes: helping them successfully navigate the challenges of being a collegiate-level athlete and student;
Greek life: delivers character development and good citizenship content to students in the Greek community, positioning them to make smart decisions and get the most out of Greek life;
Student Veterans: delivers success and wellness lessons to student veterans, addressing their specific needs and issues;
Other content versions for Adult learners, Online learners, Transfers and International students are also available.
Lessons can also be targeted to first-gen students.