Validation of Envision Your Future as a Social-Emotional Learning Intervention 

Jason Ravitz, Ph.D., President, Evaluation by Design LLC; Patty O’Sullivan, Ph.D. Director of Program Development, Envision Your Future, Inc. 

Envision your Future (EYF) is a social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum designed for middle school students. It includes a blueprint for students to identify goals, personal strengths, allies, and strategies for personal growth. Previous studies have found SEL measures are associated with “significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance” (Durlak et al., 2011, p. 474). An earlier 2017 EYF study did not meet recommended guidelines (Yoon et al., 2007) for inclusion in a database of approved interventions for CASEL, but offered evidence that participants could see behavioral benefits and academic gains in math and reading. 

Working with Evaluation by Design LLC, a research firm based in Richmond, CA, the current study involved 366 students in a rural New Mexico middle school, with delivery of the curriculum occurring in alternating periods for social studies teachers in grades 6-8. This study added a level of rigor by: a) measuring gains controlling on pre-scores (standardized residuals); b) using previously validated survey measures developed for EYF by Evaluation by Design LLC coupled with “well-being” measures from Panorama Education (2020); and, c) including quasi- experimental analyses to further explore findings. 

Students participated in the quasi-experimental study with half of the students serving as an experimental group (odd periods) and control group (even periods). There were 182 students in grades 6–8 in the control group and 184 students in grades 6–8 in the experimental group. Both groups of students took a pre-post survey in November and again in January. The experimental group engaged in the EYF lessons twice per week between the survey administrations (November 2021 – February, 2022). The lessons were led by the lead instructor for EYF, via Zoom video conferencing, with support from social studies teachers. 

Results indicate that students who engaged in the EYF curriculum saw significantly stronger academic performance based on school grades and reading test scores. For 8th grade in particular, those who had the EYF condition had better grades in Q2 controlling for Q1 in nearly every course (except Yearbook) and this difference was statistically significant for Algebra I (F1,24 = 14.5444, p < .001). Students in the EYF condition also performed significantly better on the Spring (Q2) reading standardized test scores (Effect Size = .27, p < .01), with the largest differences also for 8th graders, but positive trends in all grades. 

Quasi-experimental findings indicate EYF engagement was significantly and positively correlated to SEL survey indicators. The largest pre-post effect size differences were all positive indicators for EYF students (ranging from .35 to .24, p < .01). Engagement measures (speaking up and completing EYF tasks) were correlated to overall SEL outcomes (r = .44 and .33, p < .001, respectively) and pre-post gains in the overall SEL measures (r = .32, p < .001). 

These positive results replicated a 2020-21 “online pilot”, as schools returned to post- pandemic, in-person learning. Given the curriculum was still delivered via Zoom, rather than preferred in-person conditions, this study adds to evidence the curriculum can be effective for both academic and SEL outcomes. 


Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school based universal interventions. Child development82(1), 405- 432. 4625/Article_on_Enhancing_Social_and_Emotional_Development_in_Children.pdf 

Panorama Education (2020). User Guide: Panorama Social-Emotional Learning Survey. Boston, MA: Panorama Education. https://panorama-;

Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W. Y., Scarloss, B., & Shapley, K. L. (2007). Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement. Issues & answers. REL 2007-No. 033. Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (NJ1).

This study was funded by a generous grant from the Gift of Hope Foundation.