Learn how to support healthy and equity-oriented social-emotional learning (SEL) in your classrooms, schools, and organizations.

The Penn GSE Teaching and Leading Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Certificate program is designed for educators, administrators, and leaders looking to deepen their understanding of what equity-oriented SEL entails and integrate it into their professional practice. Over the course of this program, you will not only learn about SEL theory, but also engage in structured opportunities to translate theory into practice. Along the way, you will work closely with small groups of peers, allowing you to connect with and learn from a professional network that shares your commitment to this important work.

What Sets Us Apart

  Engage in an innovative curriculum from the Graduate School of Education
  Connect and learn with a network of peers who share your commitment to equitable SEL
  Gain actionable strategies to implement in your professional context

About the Program

In a world where technology overuse, depression and anxiety, and divisiveness are on the rise, healthy and equity-oriented social-emotional learning is more important than ever.  But where should educators begin?

Application Deadline

  • Priority Application Deadline: December 1, 2023
  • Standard Application Deadline: January 15, 2024

Program StartJanuary 31, 2024

Time Commitment9 sessions; 5:30-7:30 p.m. (ET)

Credits6 Continuing Education Credits
54 Pennsylvania ACT 48 Credits

CertificatePenn GSE Certificate in Teaching and Leading Social-Emotional Learning


  • Priority deadline rate: $2,200
  • Standard rate: $3,200

This program has a set of scholarships reserved for educators in the School District of Philadelphia. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please see the Scholarships section of the program registration form.

20% off program fee available for Penn GSE alumni,  Penn employees, or groups of 5+ from the same organization. Contact ProfessionalLearning@gse.upenn.edu for more information.

Programs for Working Professionals

Through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous work, the Penn GSE Teaching and Leading SEL Certificate program guides participants in exploring the theory and practice of this topic, addressing questions such as:

  • What is SEL, and how does it relate to equity?
  • How can I plan for SEL? What are some research-backed strategies for intentionally integrating it into my professional practice?
  • What is social-emotional modeling, and why does it matter?
  • Should and how can we measure SEL?

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Penn GSE faculty who specialize in SEL and teacher education, as well as from experienced and fellow practitioners who will serve as a community of practice for continued support and collaboration.

Before and after each virtual session, you will complete readings and assignments asynchronously on Penn GSE’s learning platform. All assignments will relate directly to your current work, allowing you to make meaningful and immediate connections and impact in your current role. During each session, you will work closely with small groups of fellow participants who share your SEL goals and professional context as you consider how you will apply the lessons learned in your classroom, school, district, or organization.


This program includes both live virtual sessions and asynchronous work to be completed between sessions.

Ideal Candidates

  • K-12 teachers and administrators
  • Instructional leaders (e.g., coaches, mentors, professional development leaders)
  • Higher education teachers and administrators
  • Individuals interested in supporting others' social-emotional growth

Session Dates and Times

Before and after each session, you will complete a set of readings, activities, and reflections to help you prepare and apply what you have learned.

DayDateTime (ET)
WednesdayJanuary 31, 2024 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
WednesdayFebruary 7, 2024 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
ThursdayFebruary 15, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
WednesdayFebruary 21, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
WednesdayFebruary 28, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
WednesdayMarch 6, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
ThursdayMarch 21, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
WednesdayApril 3, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.
ThursdayApril 11, 20245:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Learning Objectives

Throughout the Teaching and Leading Social-Emotional Learning certificate program, you will: 

  • Deepen your understanding of what SEL is and is not. Examine common myths about SEL and their implications for our classrooms, schools, organizations, and communities.
  • Practice conducting a social-emotional audit, which can help us identify some of the social and emotional lessons that we may be reinforcing through our teaching and leading practice without even realizing it.
  • Learn how to set SEL goals in a way that is critical, collaborative, clear, and compelling.
  • Explore the psychology behind modeling, learning from others, and intention-setting. Practice using an intention-setting protocol to support healthy social-emotional modeling in your own classroom, school, or organization.
  • Get familiar with foundational mental health principles, counseling frameworks, and strategies
  • Explore the connections between SEL, antiracism education, and restorative practices.
  • Dig into the debate around assessing SEL. Explore guiding principles for developing and implementing SEL assessments, and begin creating your own SEL rubric.

Continuing Education Credits - FAQs & Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of obtaining Continuing Education (CE) credits? - Having an official record of your participation in this program can add credibility to the work that you invest in completing it.  In some school districts, CE credits can be used to help educators advance along their pay scale. 
  • What style of grading does this program follow? - Programs that offer CE credits award "Pass/Fail" grading. 
  • Can I add CE credits after I get started in the program? - You must decide before you start the program if you will be participating as a learner who is completing the program for CE credentialing. You will not be able to opt in after the program starts. 
  • Can I receive partial credit or opt out of receiving CE credits after I start the program? - No, this program can not offer partial credit if a learner can not complete the program. However, a learner can unenroll from the program by the drop deadline and will be responsible for 100% of the program fee. 
  • Why might you not want CE credits? - If you choose to receive CE credits but do not successfully complete this program, you risk receiving an F on your permanent Penn transcript.

Continuing Education Credits Policy

Please read the policy below carefully to understand the important consequences that choosing to receive CE credits may have for your University of Pennsylvania transcript.  

As a participant in this Penn GSE  Certificate program, you are eligible to receive Continuing Education (CE) credits for successful completion of the program requirements.  Whether or not you choose to receive CE credits for your participation in this program, all program expectations, requirements, and costs are the same.  

If you choose to receive CE credits, this course will appear on your permanent Penn transcript. 

If you decide to unenroll from this program, you will have until the Add/Drop Deadline to do so without consequence for your transcript.  This course will no longer appear on your Penn transcript.  

If you decide to unenroll from this program after the Add/Drop Deadline, then this course will appear on your Penn transcript.  Courses dropped after the Add/Drop Deadline requires instructor approval and a 'W' will appear on your transcript in place of a grade.

If you decide to unenroll from this program after the Withdrawal Deadline, then this course will appear on your Penn transcript and you may earn an F.

If you choose to receive CE credits for your participation in this program but do not successfully complete it, then you may earn an F on your Penn transcript. 



Our Faculty

Penn GSE Faculty Taylor C. Hausburg
Teacher Program Lead, Penn GSE Center for Professional Learning
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Zachary Herrmann
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ed.L.D., Harvard University
Penn GSE Faculty Charlotte E. Jacobs
Director, Independent School Teaching Residency
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Tawanna Jones
Associate Director, Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program, Elementary and Middle Years Cohort
Ed.D., Widener University
Penn GSE Faculty Flavio Serapiao
Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, Penn GSE
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania


What Program Alumni Are Saying

"It has given me a whole new way to think about how to help my students learn.”

"The SETL training has been transformative and meaningful for my personal and professional growth… supporting my focus towards the promotion of cultures of care in school/education communities.”

"Honestly, this might have been the best PD I've ever attended.”