Date Capstone Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership


Leadership Education - Graduate Studies


Steven Baule




The purpose of this study was to describe the actions and perspectives of school leaders when implementing social emotional learning programs in their schools. Social emotional learning (SEL) has emerged as a topic for discussion and research in education. Schools all over the country are adopting programs and there is a need for research into how to implement them with fidelity. The main objectives were to understand what leaders value during implementation and what recommendations they have for future leaders implementing similar programs. This qualitative study used descriptive research methods to describe the phenomenon of SEL program implementation in one school district in rural Minnesota. The researcher designed an open-ended interview guide and interviewed a diverse group of school leaders in the district. Several key themes emerged including buy-in, resources, definitions, and school culture. The researcher connected the themes to previous literature and theoretical frameworks. Conclusions and implications were discussed in relation to the field of leadership in general. The research showed that school leaders are tasked with developing a strong school culture that is open to new innovations such as social emotional learning (SEL) programs.



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