SOCIAL SKILLS: A Foundation for Learning


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Michael Sedler



According to research by Labor and Industry, a lack of social skills is the major reason people are fired from jobs. Though most educators agree and understand the significance of this area, the educational field has not provided adequate training or preparation for the majority of its employees. This class will allow you the opportunity to gain valuable strategies in teaching social skills and self-esteem. Many methods presented can be utilized immediately in a school without sacrificing valuable content time. In addition, specific curriculums will be examined and explored for use within a school. This information will prove valuable to all educators.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

     1. Listed key social skills necessary ito an optimal school experience.
     2. Analyzed and developed a program of presentation for each of these skills.
     3. Provided strategies to other educators in areas of increasing self-esteem in students.
     4. Effectively integrate skill building concepts into every day curriculum.
     5. Implemented a social skills program in a classroom, group, or other setting.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Each student will choose their own textbook for this course which allows for personal areas of focus within the course information.  At the end of the course manual is a bibliography of potential books.  However, feel free to pick one not on the the list that is compatible with this course. 

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at There is no charge of the manual. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Social Skills...". It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay to order a book from the bibliography or one of your own choosing. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read the entire manual and send a one page summary of what you hope to learn in this class. Everyone taking the class, including in groups, must complete this assignment. Download the current manual from my website.

Assignment #2: Read Your Chosen Book.

Read a book from the bibliography or one of student's choice. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 

Critique the book based on personal experiences.  Write a 2-3 page paper.

Assignment #3: Pete’s Day or Sarah’s Birthday Party.

Do social skills activity (Pete's Day, p. 44 or Sarah's birthday party, p. 45) with a class. Write a 1-2 page synopsis.

Assignment #4: Develop a Program.

Choose One student. Develop a social skills program as outlined on page 33. Choose one specific skill for focus and implement the plan.  Send the plan and write a one page summary of implementation.

To maintain privacy, please do not refer to students in your paper by their actual name, but rather use
an alias or designation such as "Student A"

Assignment #5: Observe a Classroom.

Observe another classroom. If during a non school time, observe a social atmosphere like a park, athletic field, or playground.  Make note of social skills deficits and strengths. Share with a fellow educator.
Write a one (1) page summary of your observations.

Assignment #6: Develop a Guideline Format.

Read the "Discussion Guidelines" worksheet (p. 35). Develop your own "guideline format" or use the one in the manual.  Implement it within a setting.  Write a one (1) page summary on how things went.

Assignment #7: Complete Manual Worksheets.

Complete assignments for:

1.  Steps to Follow in Teaching Social Skills Groups (p. 15-16)
2.  Social Skills Promoting Positive Behavior (p. 17-18)

(write a 1-2 page summary of each of these pages)



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #8: Implement Whole Class Program.

Develop one "whole" classroom plan and implement it. Make necessary modifications. See the sample in the
manual (p. 34).  Write a synopsis of this plan, 1-2 pages.

Assignment #9: Lesson Development.

Assignment #A:

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.


Assignment #B: 

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

Assignment #10: (500 Level only).

In addition to the 400 level assignments complete one (1) of the following options:

Option A)  Mentor another individual in the concepts of this class. Have them share two or three key concepts that they would like to implement within their work or social setting.  Develop a plan for the implementation of these ideas.  (1-2 pages).


Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Minimum of 15 slides.  Save this as a pdf.


Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with instructor prior approval.


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, M.S.W., D. Min., brings over 40 year of educational experience as a special education director, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.   He provides consultation and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses. He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification. Mike has worked with children of all ages, specifically with children exhibiting behavioral challenges, mental health concerns, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In addition, he taught general education classes in the elementary school and middle school arenas.   All of Mikeʼs classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found success in implementing Mikeʼs clear and concise approaches. All of his course material may be immediately implemented into a school or a home.


SOCIAL SKILLS: A Foundation for Learning

You may choose a book from this list or one of your own choosing that is compatible with this course.  Please let the instructor know if you choose a book that is not on this list.

Barron, Laurie, and Kinney, Patti.  We Belong, 50 Strategies to Create Community and Revolutionize Classroom Management, ASCD, 2021,  (Grades P-12).

Bunting, Bryce and Baldwin, Amy.  Promoting Belonging, Growth Mindsets, and Resilience To Foster Student Success.  National Resource Center, 2020.  

Childs, Camille and Jones, Bryan.  Feelings and Dealings.  Ofunlo Inc (dba- game on family),   2019. This social emotional storybook supports emotional health & connections. (P-3). 

Griff, Krystal.  Social Skills Group Workbook.  Independently Published, 2024.  Designed for students in special education or who need more SEL tools.  (5th – 12th).

Gruen, Shimon.  Get Along With Everyone. CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2017.  Skills we need to get along with others (P-12).

Kanold, Timothy & Tina Boogren. Emotional Wellness: A Guide for Sustaining Physical, Mental, Emotional and Social Well-Being. 2022. Solution Tree, Wellness Solutions.

Ruyle, Mike, Libby Child & Nancy Dome. The School Wellness Wheel: A Framework for Addressing Trauma, Culture and Mastery to Raise Student Achievement. 2022, Marzano Resources.

S., Zoe.  Social Skills for Teens.  Independently Published, 2022.  Tactics and exercises to help teens with social skills.  (7-12).

Tierney, Jeff.  Teaching Social Skills to Yourth.  Boys Town Press, 2022.  An easy to follow guide to teach life skills and prosocial skills.  (P-12).

Winfrey, Dorothy.  Social Skills Games for Elementary and Middle School Kids.  Independently Published, 2022.  Games and activities for students to learn skills (P-8).