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‘We’ve Been Doing This for Years’: What SEL Means to ACT

Contrary to popular belief, ACT has been talking about social and emotional (SEL) skills for some time now. For instance, ACT’s Holistic Framework was first established in 2015 and has enjoyed wide coverage and further research since. It consists of four broad domains: core academic skills, cross-cutting capabilities, behavioral skills, and education and career navigation skills.

SEL programs can take many forms, but in practice, SEL comes down to a few simple skills that help people work more effectively, whether that work involves working alone or on a team. SEL can be neatly summarized by the Big 5 framework. The Big 5 (5 Factor Model) is a personality framework that consists of five skills: conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness, and extraversion.

Let me explain…



The buzz and popularity of SEL has left some people concerned about measuring these types of skills. However, measuring these skills is the first step toward helping students and giving them the tools they need to succeed.



SEL skills are important throughout life and can and should be taught. Share these videos to end the myths about teaching and measuring SEL. Learn more at the links below:


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ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Grounded in 60 years of research, ACT is a trusted leader in college and career readiness solutions. Each year, ACT serves millions of students, job seekers, schools, government agencies and employers in the US and around the world with learning resources, assessments, research and credentials designed to help them succeed from elementary school through career.

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