Celebrating 20 Years

For 20 years CASEL has helped transform the lives of preschool through high school students, their families, and their communities. By advancing social and emotional learning research, expanding evidence-based practice, and promoting sound educational policies, CASEL prepares young people for success in school and in their lives.


CASEL is founded following a series of meetings with researchers, practitioners, and child advocates to discuss the implications of social and emotional learning (SEL) for education.

CASEL co-founder and board chairman Tim Shriver.




CASEL moves to the University of Illinois at Chicago under the leadership of Roger P. Weissberg.





The groundbreaking book Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators defines SEL and demonstrates its significance for the education of all students.





CASEL co-sponsors two special issues of the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation on prevention program implementation and assessment.


CASEL changes its name from Collaborative to Advance Social and Emotional Learning to Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learninga significant change that reflects the intimate link between academic learning and SEL.

CASEL organizes a national meeting of school district superintendents on how to advance SEL among educational leaders.


The Illinois Advisory Council is formed to promote legislation that would enable Illinois to establish social and emotional learning standards as part of the state's learning standards.


CASEL publishes the first comprehensive review of school-based social and emotional learning programs, Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader's guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs.


Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say? compiles a wide body of research that establishes the importance and effectiveness of SEL and its connection to academic learning.

Illinois becomes the first state in the country to adopt SEL standards for preschool through twelfth grade.


CASEL becomes a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

CASEL publishes the Sustainable Schoolwide SEL Implementation Guide and Toolkit to provide essential tools and resources for SEL implementation in schools.


Joseph E. Zins

Joseph E. Zins

The first Joseph E. Zins Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning is presented at the 2007 CASEL Forum to honor Joe Zins, a professor and pioneer in the field of SEL.

The first CASEL Forum on SEL brings together prominent leaders in the fields of education, scientific research, public policy, and philanthropy.






Photo at right: Filmmaker George Lucas of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (center) with two of CASEL’s co-founders, Eileen Rockefeller Growald (l.) and Daniel Goleman (r.) at the 2007 CASEL Forum.



The first federal Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act is introduced by Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-Mich.), Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), and Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio).

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), a co-sponsor of the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act, continues to be a leader for SEL in Congress and in his home district.




In partnership with NoVo Foundation CASEL launches a first-of-its-kind national initiative, the Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) to implement systemic SEL in eight large urban districts across the country.

CASEL publishes A Meta-Analysis of After-School Programs that Seek to Promote Personal and Social Skills in Children and Adolescents, a review of SEL in after-school programs.


CASEL's major study The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions is published in Child Development. This is a landmark report for CASEL and the field that links SEL to an 11-percentile gain in academic achievement.

Mary Utne O'Brien

Mary Utne O'Brien

CASEL awards its first Mary Utne O'Brien Award for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-Based Practice of Social and Emotional Learning to honor former CASEL executive director Mary Utne O'Brien and her vision for high-quality SEL practice nationwide.




Photo at right: CASEL Board of Directors Vice Chair Ann Nerad (r.) presents the Mary Utne O'Brien Award to Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R.-Ill.) at the CASEL Forum in Washington, D.C.





CASEL releases the 2013 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning ProgramsPreschool and Elementary School Edition, identifying high-quality evidence-based programs that successfully promote SEL in schools.






The Missing Piece: A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools reveals that teachers across the country understand that SEL is critical to education and want quality SEL for their students.





CASEL leadership expands! Karen Niemi becomes CASEL’s new President and CEO, and Roger Weissberg becomes CASEL’s Chief Knowledge Officer.

CASEL’s State Scan of Social and Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool through High School assesses the development of SEL standards in all 50 states.

Photo at right: Eileen Rockefeller Growald presents CASEL’s Board Chair Tim Shriver, CEO Karen Niemi, and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett with “Talking Hearts” at an event celebrating school-based SEL in Chicago.