SEL Pilot: A Closer Look at What's Happening in Saint Paul

HSA Cohort 2016-2017

Photo: The 2016-2017 SEL Pilot Cohort

Wilder Foundation’s Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is a multicultural leadership program for high school youth participating in Sprockets’ SEL Pilot using the Holistic Student Assessment (HSA)[1]. YLI Program Director Nou Yang along with YLI staff, Eric Ly and Nell Goepel are building their own knowledge about SEL and identifying a common language to talk about it as a team and with youth in their program.

In addition to building knowledge and communication skills around SEL, YLI is using data from the Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) to better understand how their program specifically contributes to the SEL growth in program participants.  The HSA data they received showed improvement in SEL skills and attributes among youth program participants over the course of the year. This year, the YLI team is exploring what specifically they are doing (e.g. program activities, adult or youth relationships, etc.) in their programs with young people, which actually support this positive growth.

The YLI team is using this new data to inform future work and programming with young people in Saint Paul, and look forward to tracking their continued progress with young people.

The SEL Pilot is a joint initiative of Sprockets and PEAR Institute of Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. Together their work has focused on improving the knowledge and skills of youth work professionals around SEL and provided opportunities to improve program and service delivery and collaborate through a learning community of practitioners.

Submitted by Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn


[1] Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) is a data-driven tool to promote socio-emotional development in youth people in school and afterschool settings. The self-report tool provides program staff, administrators and educators with a socio-emotional portrait of the unique strengths and challenges of each young person and can be used to differentiate responses and support for youth in programs. PEAR Overview of Holistic Student Assessment (HSA), 2015.