Evaluation of the Second Step Program in an Urban Elementary School

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Department of Counselor Education and Human Services


Advisor: Sawyer Hunley


The present study evaluated the impact of Second Step, a school-based program that promotes the growth of students' social-emotional competence and self-regulation skills. The program uses social-emotional learning strategies to build important skills such as building friendships, managing emotions, solving problems, and facing peer pressure. Utilizing a mixed methods design, the Second Step program was evaluated in an urban public school in Southwestern Ohio for the present study. Behavior rating scales, semi- structured interviews, and observations were employed to evaluate the impact of the program and investigate the value placed on social-emotional learning (SEL) by staff in this school. Participants reported high value placed on SEL and that participating in the program improved peer relationships, self-awareness, and overall social skills in students. Suggestions are made for future research and recommendations for the implementation of school-based SEL programs in urban settings are also discussed.


Educational Psychology, Education, Special Education, social-emotional learning, social-emotional competence, Second Step, urban, elementary

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Copyright © 2019, author