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Fostering Social & Emotional Learning in Connecticut Schools - Registration Closed


Tuesday, June 27, 2017


8:00 am - 4:30 pm


CCSU Main Campus, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT, Constitution Room, Memorial Hall





Student Fee:

$45 for students

Advisory Board Fee:

$45 for members

Course Description

Why Social & Emotional Learning?

The benefits of teaching a structured social and emotional learning curriculum are numerous. Students participating in SEL programs have been shown to outpace their peers academically on a number of measures. These students have fewer suspensions and better overall student attendance (Dymnicki, 2007); earn higher grade point averages (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004); and outperform non-SEL trained peers on standardized tests (Payton et al., 2008).  Research also shows that students participating in SEL programs are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, e.g., violence or substance abuse, which interfere with learning (Hawkins et al., 1997).


Teachers, classroom environments, and school climate can also be positively affected by SEL training. At present, most educational professionals are not fully prepared to address the social-emotional learning needs of students (Hargreaves, 1998). Indeed, the social-emotional competence of educators is an often overlooked variable with regard to the creation of effective, supportive learning environments (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Jones, Bouffard, & Weissbourd, 2013). Through our SEL Summer Colloquium the School of Education & Professional Studies seeks to support educators as they address the social-emotional learning needs of their students. 


Why CCSU? Why Now?

In the Spring of 2015, CCSU was declared a “university of compassion” by the Charter for Compassion. This followed a year-long campaign in which departments and student organizations across campus committed to the idea of weaving compassion into the fabric of university life. The campaign culminated in a unanimous endorsement by the Faculty Senate, which recommended appointment of a Presidential Committee to ensure that compassion will remain a dynamic force both on campus and in outreach to our communities.


As a university of compassion, CCSU has a long history of commitment to social justice and to excellence in the preparation of school/community-based professionals. Recent tragic events in Connecticut and throughout the nation have shown us that our public schools are not immune to violence within their walls. These sobering events underscore the need to infuse social and emotional learning in our schools’ curricula. We believe that a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach—working hand in hand with CT educators—is the most effective way to address this need.   


And so, connecting our campus with our communities is the first and most natural step as the School of Education & Professional Studies (SEPS) launches this professional development initiative. Through our SEL Summer Colloquium and other trainings, SEPS aims to help school administrators, teachers, counselors, and other school-based professionals create “Pro-Social” classrooms—emotionally healthy environments that set the stage for positive social, emotional, and academic outcomes (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). 


Master of Ceremonies/Facilitator of Wrap-up Discussion

Dr. James Malley, Professor Emeritus and Former Chair,
Dept. of Counselor Education & Family Therapy


8:00 - 8:30  am

Registration & Refreshments

8:30 - 8:45  am

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Dr. Zulma Toro, CCSU President

8:45 - 9:45  am

Morning Keynote: The Science of Violence & Compassion
Dr. Jeremy Richman, Founder of the Avielle Foundation

9:45 - 10:00 am


10:00 - 11:00 am

Implementation of Social/Emotional Learning: Putting Theory into Practice

Maritza Soto-Gomez

Theme Facilitator, Breakthrough Magnet School, Hartford, CT

11:05 - 12:05 pm

Overview of State Planning Around Social & Emotional Learning 

Joanne White 

CT State Department of Education, Academic Affairs

12:05 - 12:35 pm


12:45 - 1:45 pm

Afternoon Keynote: Choose Love Instead of Anger

Scarlett Lewis, Founder, The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement

1:45 - 2:45 pm

Fostering Measurable SEL Competencies Through the MindUp Evidence-Based Curriculum

Dr. Patricia Charles, Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools
Cheryl Gonzalez, Principal, Woodrow Wilson Middle School
Dr. Peg Donohue, Asst. Professor, Counselor Education, CCSU
Dr. Reginald W. Holt, Asst. Professor, Counselor Education, CCSU

2:45 - 3:45 pm

Data-Driven Decision Making: Tips & Tools for Assessing Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Dr. Catherine Griffith, Asst. Professor, School Counselor Education
University of  Massachusetts - Amherst

3:45 - 4:15 pm

Wrap-Up Forum: Facilitated Q & A for discussion


Fees: The conference fee is $95/person; the student registration fee is $45. 



Instructor Information


Registration Closed – Course Full