Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd, Donald Good, Stacy Edwards


This quantitative, nonexperimental study addressed the gap between research-established benefits and outcomes of social-emotional learning implementation as compared to actual instances of implementation. It has been suggested that social-emotional learning as a systemic initiative is necessary for school health (Elias et al., 2013). Additionally, most educators relay some confidence in the importance of social-emotional learning; however, around half report actual implementation within their school (Atwell & Bridgeland, 2019).

Focusing on social-emotional learning as a whole as well as the specificity of use of CASEL SELect programs, the research questions of this study explored differences between implementation and usage, length of implementation, poverty classification, student growth composite (as measure by TVAAS composite), and attendance in elementary schools in Tennessee. There were two significant findings in this study. First, Tennessee elementary schools using a social-emotional learning program that is not CASEL SELect were found to have significantly higher attendance than schools using a CASEL SELect program. Additionally, Tennessee elementary schools classified as Title I were found to be more likely to use a CASEL SELect program than a program that is not CASEL SELect.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.