Factors Affecting Academic Success for African American High School Students

As public schools in the United States face new challenges, researchers and educators continually seek ways to serve the needs of their students. Of particular concern is the achievement gap separating the academic success of African American and white students. Due to innumerable factors, this gap persists, and educators continue to explore ways to address it. One approach that has been identified is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programming, which is designed to support and foster students’ emotional and social health and competence. SEL programming has been found to produce improved academic performance with African American high school students. This review explores the factors that affect SEL program implementation in general and with this population in particular. While schools face various obstacles to implementing these programs, the research indicates that the benefits can offset the challenges, and that pursuing effective SEL implementation is highly recommended.

Alex Moen
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