Social & Emotional Learning

Umoja helps students develop the behaviors, skills, attitudes and strategies crucial to academic success in high school and beyond.

To succeed in a globally competitive world, we know our students need to build a range of social and emotional skills that prepare them to successfully navigate high school, college and the professional world.

“Umoja does an exceptional job mobilizing teachers toward improved outcomes for students and building systems that support the social and emotional and postsecondary development of all students.”

Donald Fraynd, PhD, Former Chief Officer, Chicago Public Schools


A recent report from the Consortium on Chicago School Research concluded that, “Students who are equipped with effective learning strategies and possess academic mindsets of belonging, relevance, self-efficacy, and the valuing of effort are most likely to exhibit positive behaviors and the academic perseverance to succeed in their courses” (Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners, 2012). 

Umoja’s Social and Emotional Learning program impacts students and teachers: 90% of teachers from Umoja’s 2011/12 school partners agreed that their Umoja-supported Advisory program developed strong student-teacher relationships, and 60% of students agreed that advisories helped prepare them for their future. 


Umoja’s comprehensive curriculum develops the social-emotional capacity of students from freshman through senior year by using grade-specific courses and/or advisory programs. Customizing the curriculum to meet the particular needs and realities of each school partner, Umoja joins with schools to develop a student-centered culture where adults have the structures and capacity needed to support positive, meaningful student-teacher relationships. Through hands-on, culturally and socially relevant activities, students engage with their peers and teachers in their own social and emotional skill development.

Learn more about our curriculum
Learn more about becoming a school partner