CASEL Announces New Cohort of SEL Fellows to Support Young People Nationwide 


CHICAGO – Education leaders representing 44 school districts and regional offices of education will join a national fellowship focused on social and emotional learning (SEL), hosted by field leader CASEL.

Selected from an impressive pool of applicants, the 2023 cohort of the SEL Fellows Academy take part in a 10-month engagement to deepen their SEL leadership and build systemic implementation strategies in support of their students, educators, and communities. The 46 SEL Fellows in the 2023-2024 cohort represent 26 states that collectively serve more than 2.7 million students from preschool to high school. These districts range in size from 325 students up to some of the largest urban districts in the country. The full roster of the 2023 cohort can be found here.

A convergence of challenges amplified the spotlight on SEL, bringing with it a demand from educators for more guidance on how to advance SEL for millions of young people. Launched in 2020, the SEL Fellows Academy is a unique opportunity for education leaders in rural, suburban, and urban communities to build SEL expertise and develop action plans alongside a growing network of peers and CASEL experts. 

CASEL launched the first-of-its-kind SEL Fellows Academy to bring people together to share best practices and grow the implementation of social and emotional learning across the country. Two years later, we have seen how putting robust SEL implementation plans in place, building coalitions within and across districts, and implementing Fellows’ capstone projects has impacted communities across the country that serve millions of students,” said Karen VanAusdal, CASEL VP of Practice. “Our new cohort is an impressive group of committed leaders to join those ranks, and I can’t wait to see the great things they will put into place on behalf of the adults and young people in their communities.”

This new cohort joins 83 leaders from the first two cohorts of SEL Fellows, who serve more than four million students collectively. SEL Fellow alumni have shared about the impact of their experience, with 100% of the previous two cohorts reporting an eagerness to bring others into the work and engage more deeply. Each Fellow engages in a capstone project to elevate SEL across their community, for example: 

  • Melissa Pointer in Highline Public Schools (WA) led a Community Advisory Processbringing together students, staff, families and community members to learn about their hopes for SEL and ways that the district could build an SEL approach that is reflective of and representative of the community.
  • LaTrayl Adams in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (NC) hosted SEL fairs across her district to increase awareness and shared ownership of SEL across the district. At these fairs, students and staff had opportunities to engage in interactive activities related to the 5 core SEL competencies.
  • Santina Plottner from the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (KY) launched “SEL Within,” a vodcast series dedicated to SEL and how it can be woven into teaching and supporting students, educators, families and communities. 

For more than a decade, CASEL has been partnering with districts nationwide to study and scale high-quality SEL. The SEL Fellows Academy is an opportunity to support more leaders in addressing the social and emotional development of their students and educators and scale high-quality practice in their districts across the country.

ABOUT CASEL

CASEL is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that founded the field of social and emotional learning. Today, we collaborate with leading experts and districts, schools, and states nationwide to drive research, guide practice, and inform policy. 

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