Engaging Schools offers occasional research papers that extend learning in the field.

Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in High School Classrooms  presents our classroom-based framework for using students’ mindsets as an entry point for teaching four broad student skill sets – self-awareness, self-management, social efficacy, and academic efficacy – in ways that are developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, and academically relevant to high school students. It includes a wide set of skills we call Learning and Life Competencies.

By Carol Miller Lieber and Michele Tissiere with Sarah Bialek, funded by the NoVo Foundation


Conditions and Considerations for Effective Development and Implementation of Personal Opportunity Plans by the Commonwealth, Districts, and Schools contributes to the movement to shift from standards-based to supports-based reform that provides necessary resources so that every student has the opportunity to learn, succeed in school, and craft a productive future with the support of counselors, teachers, and personal advocates. Personal Opportunity Plans (POPs) create a set of systems and structures for supporting students at every step along their path toward a satisfying and successful future.

By Carol Miller Lieber, produced with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, and the Schott Foundation for Public Education.


Increasing College Access through School-Based Models of Postsecondary Preparation, Planning, and Support grows out of Engaging Schools’ commitment to reducing educational disparities and facilitating equal access to quality instruction, supports, and opportunities for all secondary students. The authors explore the essential question of how we shift the paradigm of postsecondary access, especially in urban schools, from working intensively with some students to supporting and guiding the future aspirations of all the young people in their care. The paper posits four comprehensive school-based models for achieving postsecondary preparation, planning, and support for all students, and it identifies key policy changes that would support these models.

By Carol Miller Lieber, with contributions by Jennifer Allen, Martha Mullane, Kathleen Mullin, and Denise Wolk