Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Cavalier, Meghan

Second Reader

Erin Wanat;


The COVID-19 pandemic declared in March of 2020 disrupted the landscape of education and presented students and teachers with unforeseen impacts and obstacles. Notably, negative social and emotional issues arose as these changes drove students into isolation from peers and school staff amid concerns about the health of themselves and the people they love. Social emotional learning (SEL) supports academics, mental health, and healthy relationships (Rosenbalm, 2021). The pandemic caused a decline in each of these areas, as well as an increase in anxiety and depression among students, and limited the ability of educators to support social emotional learning. As anxiety and depression rose alarmingly in students, educators worried about how to support their mental and social health. Teachers had difficulty simply contacting students, regardless of the technological inequities, difficulties, and adaptations they were required to implement without standardized training on an incredibly short notice. As a result, educator morale, efficiency, and passion also waned. Despite these challenges, researchers have provided existing evidence-based solutions as well as general recommendations to implement stronger SEL programming to support students both during this crisis and in the future.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis