Social and Emotional Learning Specialization | University of Portland

Social and Emotional Learning Specialization

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of education. SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Effectively implemented SEL at the classroom, school and community levels has the potential to advance educational equity and promote the academic, social and emotional development of all children.

The Social and Emotional Learning Specialization at University of Portland is designed to give educators the foundational knowledge and skills to implement effective SEL in K-12 schools.

This specialty is “added value” on an Oregon-issued teaching license, indicating that the educator has demonstrated exceptional knowledge, skills and dispositions in SEL pedagogy and practice. The Social and Emotional Learning Specialization meets standards set by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). 

Enroll in Our Social and Emotional Learning Specialty 3-Course Series

Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) approved "Specialty in SEL" on teaching license.

Course 1: ED 341/501 Fall & Summer
Foundations of Social and Emotional Learning in Schools
This course focuses on how positive social and emotional development can be cultivated through promoting positive school and classroom climates as well as helping students develop skills in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Content focuses on theory and research related to social and emotional development drawing on knowledge from multiple fields including psychology, neuroscience, sociology and education. This class also considers the intersectionality between SEL and equity in our schools. Students will gain an understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy in SEL and the importance of promoting adult SEL as well as student SEL in schools. *Note: this class is a prerequisite for ED 342/511 and ED 343/512.

Course 2: ED 342/511 Spring
Social and Emotional Learning Programs,  Practices & Implementation Science
(Formally: Social and Emotional Learning Programs and Practices)
This course focuses on social and emotional learning (SEL) in K-12. Students will learn about a variety of SEL programs that schools use and will become familiar with the state and national policy strategies around SEL. They will be introduced to implementation science and assessment strategies as the foundation for continuous improvement in SEL. Students will become familiar with primary research on SEL through speakers and do field experience focused on SEL implementation at a local school.
Note: ED 341/501 is a prerequisite for this course

Course 3: ED 343/512 Fall
Educator Resilience & Flourishing
(Formally: Continuous Improvement in SEL Implementation)
Students will gain foundational understanding of research on educator stress, burnout, and attrition as well as educator well-being and flourishing. They will explore their own resilience through social, emotional, and cultural competency development as a foundation to lead this work in their professional lives. Students will also develop approaches to engaging with a diversity of stake holders –parents, teachers, administrators, district leaders – about social, emotional and cultural skill development.
Note: ED 341/501 is a prerequisite for this course

Courses can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. Students do not have to be enrolled in a UP program to take this series of courses. All SEL courses are offered in-person.

Want More Information?
Deirdre Hon, MEd, PhD
Associate Professor
503.943.7164 or 1.800.543.3633