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Learn How to Create a Social and Emotional Learning Program

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has been shown to be essential to successful student learning and should be included in every school curriculum. But, understanding and creating an effective SEL program can be a challenge. Eight Steps for Strengthening Social and Emotional Learning in Your School District outlines a process for proposing, developing, and executing your own program. Supported by research and experts, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Explain the value of social and emotional learning
  • Put SEL front-and-center in your mission and vision
  • Collect and use evidence of SEL program effectiveness
  • Identify, evaluate and prioritize gaps
  • Implement SEL program initiatives
  • Facilitate professional learning for administration and faculty
  • Empower students through goal setting, improvement, and self-monitoring
  • Measure, monitor, and repeat 

Get your free eBook copy today!

ESSA Recommendations from ACT

As states now operate within the context of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ACT has updated our K–12 Policy Platform to offer our unique experience and research in education and workforce assessment to focus on the challenge of ensuring that all students are prepared for college and the workforce.   

As you develop your assessment plan for next year, keep these recommendations in mind:

  • Strengthen the commitment to preparing students for success beyond high school
  • Ensure that students’ education is holistic and addresses the needs of the “whole learner”
  • Collect, handle, and use assessment data responsibly, with special attention to maintaining its security and quality

See the Recommendations for ESSA

Learn from ACT Experts Who’ve Been in Your Shoes

Before joining ACT, many of our employees established careers in K12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce development. We asked them to share their experiences and insights from having been both an ACT customer and ACT employee.

Look for these videos throughout the year.

Question: What resources does ACT have for counselors?

Best Practices

Supporting the Whole Student

Start conversations, remove barriers, and open doors with ACT data.

Vicky Roller, a counselor at Newport High School in Oregon, felt that the standardized test her school used—the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBACC)—was falling short in certain areas when it came to supporting her 11th graders. Although SBACC satisfied the state’s requirement to measure students’ knowledge, it didn’t give students valuable feedback or help them with college and career planning.  

Read the story to find out how Vicky and the Lincoln School District improved student outcomes with ACT.

Professional Development

ACT Training and Professional Learning

ACT product training and professional learning for educators and career development professionals.

As you analyze your learners’ assessment data, one question often comes up: “Now what?” ACT Training and Professional Learning helps answer that question. Our sessions offer a variety of delivery modes—webinars, videos, workshops—that enable participants to choose training methods and timeframes that meet your needs.

Learn More About ACT Training and Professional Learning

Best of Both Worlds: Assessments that Help Every Student Succeed

How the ACT Can Be Used to Satisfy ESSA Requirements and Point Students toward College

Learn how the ACT is and can be used to satisfy ESSA requirements while also providing students with a college-reportable score.  

Watch the Webinar


College, Career, and Life Readiness Webinar

Assessments and resources to help you prepare students for college, career, and life

Join us on January 17 for this free webinar to learn how you and your elementary to high school students will benefit from assessing their abilities.

Register for the College, Career, and Life Readiness Webinar

Upcoming Dates

National ACT Test

Test Date: February 9, 2019 

Registration: January 11, 2019

Late Registration: January 18, 2019 

Register Now

ACT District Testing Program

Registration, Contract, and School List Deadline: January 18, 2019

ACT District Testing

ACT Aspire

Summative Spring Order Deadline:
January 31, 2018

ACT Aspire

Research Spotlight

How and Why to Measure School Climate

A positive school climate is foundational for building student social and emotional competencies.

New research from ACT examines how school climate (student perceptions of school safety and relationships with school personnel) varies by school characteristics (e.g., school size, poverty concentration), as well as how school climate affects academic performance, absenteeism, and suspension from school. According to the research, higher perceptions of school safety were related to lower risk of poor grades, suspension, and absences. 

Additional research shows that improving school climate yields many benefits, including: 

  • Improving academic achievement
  • Strengthening student behaviors
  • Reducing achievement gaps
  • Cultivating cultural competence
  • Growing student engagement

To learn more: 

Read Jonathan Martin’s blog postStart Strengthening SEL with School Climate  

Watch the recorded webinarSchool Characteristics, School Climate, & Student Outcomes: What’s the Connection?

PreACT and College Readiness

Schools that adopted PreACT® improved more on the ACT® test than schools that did not adopt PreACT.

Students can practice for the ACT test with PreACT. New research shows that schoolwide adoption improves ACT test scores. In fact, adoption was related to greater ACT score increases of: 

  • 0.38 in English
  • 0.17 in math
  • 0.20 in reading
  • 0.26 in science
  • 0.23 Composite

Within PreACT schools, there is also an increase in interest-major fit, and college score-sending behavior. Students who participated in the Educational Opportunity Service were more likely to send their ACT scores to at least four colleges and at least one out-of-state college. 

To learn more: 

Watch the Video. See the results.

Product Spotlight

Get Started with District Testing

Did you know that your district can offer an official test administration of the ACT at schools during regular school hours on a weekday?

Each year, state and local administrators from across the country tell ACT they have students who decide to go to college after receiving their ACT scores, thanks to district testing.   

Participating in ACT District testing provides your students with the opportunity to assess their academic skills and level of college readiness in a familiar environment. Having all students participate raises college awareness and exposure among all students, rather than only self-selected, college-bound students. For some students, the experience may help them realize they have the skills to perform college-level coursework.   

Learn More about District Testing 

New ACT Test Prep: ACT® Rapid Review™

A new suite of ACT Test preparation products provided by ACT and Kaplan.

The ACT® Rapid Review™ suite provides a range of test prep content and delivery options—including live, online instruction from expert instructors and more than 20 hours of on-demand video.

ACT Rapid Review