UNI's Social and Emotional Learning Conference returns April 19

UNI's Social and Emotional Learning Conference returns April 19

Social and Emotional Learning Conference - Save the date: April 19, 2024

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – A director of school mental health in Minneapolis and a renowned children’s author and illustrator are the featured speakers for the third Social and Emotional Learning Conference at the University of Northern Iowa on April 19.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) encompasses a “whole person” outlook as part of learning in the classroom. It entails competencies in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making and relationship skills. 

More than 20 additional topics are covered in breakout sessions covering content meant to provide faculty, students and practicing professionals – including teachers, social workers and school psychologists – the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of social and emotional learning competencies, trauma-sensitive practices and supporting student mental well-being-regulatory behaviors.

Mark Sander, senior licensed psychologist for Hennepin County and director of school mental health for the county and Minneapolis Schools, will address “Creating Trauma-Informed and Healing-Centered Schools” in his keynote address. He also will lead a breakout session entitled: "Supporting Staff Well-Being and Health: Lessons Learned from 16 School Districts.” 

“Dr. Sander is a national leader in school mental health from the Midwest,” says Nicole Skaar, a College of Education professor in school psychology and a member of the planning committee. “He has been navigating the complex partnerships needed to bring mental health systems and services to schools. I am excited to bring his expertise on school mental health systems and trauma-informed practice to our audience.” 

Todd Parr, known for his inclusive storytelling within more than 60 children’s books, will share “Be Who You Are,” in his keynote address. He will also lead a “fireside chat” during the conference. 

 The on-campus event is free to UNI faculty, staff and students. Practicing professionals can register for the full day event for $60. A virtual option for the two keynote sessions is available for $30. See full schedule and registration information at coe.uni.edu/SELConference.

The conference is sponsored by the College of Education and Ken Budke, DDS, through support to the UNI Foundation.