Check out the Refreshed Units in Harmony Third Edition

Visit Now

Building Inclusive Environments Project: Integrating Academic, Social, and Emotional Skill Development


A Collaboration with Houston Independent School District, New York City Public Schools, San Antonio Independent School District, Harmony SEL/ National University, and American Institutes for Research


Frequently Asked Questions (Impact Study)


Why should my school want to participate in this study?

Teachers often say they believe in social and emotional learning (SEL) but it is hard to integrate into classroom practice given their current demands. Teachers can be unsure of what SEL-academic integration means or looks like. Research shows that SEL enhances academic learning, and in fact, can be embedded and integrated with intention.

Harmony SEL at National University is developing a new, innovative program model called “Harmony Integration” that guides teachers to integrate SEL seamlessly into academic instruction. Your 3rd-5th grade teachers will receive Harmony Integration, which includes implementation of Harmony SEL (Everyday Practices and Units, Lessons, & Activities) as a tool for academic instruction as well as professional learning, coaching, and useful tools and strategies that can be immediately used in their classrooms.

To support this work, K-2nd grade teachers, in addition to 3rd-5th grade teachers, within your school will be instrumental in informing the effectiveness of Harmony SEL.

How is my school’s current Harmony SEL program different from “Harmony Integration”?

  • Harmony SEL is the standard Harmony program that teachers already implement, including Everyday Practices (Meet Up and Buddy Up) 3-5 times per week, and Units, Lessons & Activities at least 1 time per week.
  • Harmony Integration includes implementation of Harmony SEL, plus teachers’ engagement in 10 hours of professional learning and coaching to build their capacity to transfer Harmony SEL into their academic instruction.

How long of a time commitment is needed for this study?

  • K-2nd grade teachers are asked to commit to a 1-year study of Harmony SEL in 2023-2024.
  • 3rd-5th grade teachers are asked to commit to a 3-year research study to compare Harmony SEL to Harmony Integration in the 2023-2024, 2024-2025, and 2025-2026 academic years.

What do teachers have to do?

We are trying to answer two research questions: (1) How does Harmony SEL implementation impact student outcomes (2023-2024)? and (2) How does Harmony Integration compare to Harmony SEL (2024-2025 and 2025-2026). To answer these questions, as shown in Figure 1, we are asking the following:

  • 2023-2024: All teachers (K-2nd and 3rd-5th) will implement Harmony SEL as they normally do and will complete data collection activities (i.e., 15–20-minute implementation surveys twice per year and select teachers will be invited to participate in one hour focus groups or observations; K-2nd grade students will complete a 15–20-minute direct assessment of SEL twice per year).
  • 2024-2025 and 2025-2026: Schools will be randomly assigned prior to the 2024-2025 academic year to receive “Harmony Integration” or continue using Harmony SEL. 3rd-5th grade teachers in schools randomly assigned to Harmony Integration will engage in 9 hours of professional learning in 2024-2025 and 1 hour of coaching in 2025-2026. Those in schools randomly assigned to Harmony SEL will continue to implement Harmony SEL as usual. In both Harmony Integration and Harmony SEL schools, all teachers will complete a 15–20-minute implementation survey twice per year and select teachers will be invited to participate in one-hour focus groups and/or observations. 3rd-5th grade students will complete a 20-minute self-report of their SEL twice per year.
  • 2026-2027: 3rd-5th grade teachers who implemented Harmony SEL will be invited to participate in the Harmony Integration professional learning. No data collection will occur.


Figure 1: Visual description of the Harmony SEL Impact Study

What incentives are available for teachers?

Incentives for teachers who participate in professional learning, coaching, and data collection activities will be provided.



For any questions or to share your school’s interest, please contact your District Lead and complete this interest form at  

For any additional information or if you have questions, please contact Nick Yoder, PhD, at


Read the press release: College of Education Awarded $4 Million in U.S. Department of Education Funding to Study Impact of Social and Emotional Learning


Learn more at and start implementing SEL with the Harmony Online Learning Portal.