Project CATALYZE: The Impact of CARE + PATHS on Students’ Success

Kids engagaging with their teacher in the classroom

Successful implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs is challenging in low-performing schools due to the stressors associated with low-resourced neighborhoods. These factors can lead to high levels of classroom stress that can impair learning readiness.

Project CATALYZE will examine whether a well-tested SEL program called the PATHS Curriculum is more effective when teachers receive the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) professional development program, shown to improve teachers’ social and emotional skills, classroom interactions and student engagement.

CASTL researchers will recruit 40 low-performing elementary schools from a pool of 250 schools to participate in the project. All first- through third-grade students will receive the PATHS SEL program delivered by their teachers. Half of the schools will be randomly assigned to also have their teachers receive the CARE program in addition to the PATHS program. The study will follow students into their next year when the study will add the fourth-grade teachers.

The researchers hypothesize that building teachers’ capacity with the CARE Program will:

  • Enhance teachers’ SEL skills and well-being
  • Increase the quality of PATHS curriculum implementation and classroom interactions
  • Improve students’ SEL skills, engagement, motivation and academic achievement

Project Status: October 2019 – September 2024

Funding Source: US Department of Education, Education Innovation Research

Principal Investigator: Patricia Jennings


  • Publications & Presentations


    Schussler, D. L., DeWeese, A., Rasheed, D., DeMauro, A. A., Doyle-Fosco, S., Brown, J. L., Greenberg, M. T. & Jennings, P. A. (2019). The relationship between adopting mindfulness practice and reperceiving: A qualitative investigation of the CARE for Teachers program. Mindfulness.

    Jennings, P. A., Doyle, S., Yoonkyung, O., Doyle, S., Rasheed, D., Frank, J. L., & Brown, J. L. (2019). Follow-up impacts of the CARE for Teachers professional development program on teachers' social and emotional competence. Journal of School Psychology.

    Schussler, D. L., DeWeese, A., Rasheed, D., DeMauro, A. A., Brown, J. L., Greenberg, M. T., & Jennings, P. A. (2018). Stress and release: Case studies of teacher resilience following a mindfulness-based intervention. American Journal of Education, 125, 1-28.

    Doyle, S., Jennings, P. A., Brown, J. L., DeWeese, A., Rasheed, D., Frank, J. L., Turksma, C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2018). Exploring the relationship between implementation quality and uptake of the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) for Teachers Program. Mindfulness.

    Jennings, P. A., Brown, J. L., Frank, J. L., Doyle, S., Oh, Y., Davis, R., Rasheed, D., DeWeese, A., DeMauro*, A. A., Cham, H., & Greenberg, M. T. (2017). Impacts of the CARE for Teachers program on teachers’ social and emotional competence and classroom interactions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109, 1010-1028

    Schussler, D. L., Jennings, P. A., Sharp, J. E., & Frank, J. L. (2016). Improving teacher awareness and well-being through CARE: A qualitative analysis of the underlying mechanisms. Mindfulness, 7, 130–142.

    Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving classroom learning environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a randomized controlled trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28, 374-390.


    Riggs, N. R., Greenberg, M. T., Kusche, C. A., & Pentz, M. A. (2006). The mediational role of neurocognition in the behavioral outcomes of a social-emotional prevention program in elementary school students: Effects of the PATHS Curriculum. Prevention Science, 7, 91-102.

    Greenberg, M. T., & Kusche, C. A. (2006). Building social and emotional competence: The PATHS Curriculum. In S. R. Jimerson & M. J. Furlong (Eds.), Handbook of school violence and school safety: From research to practice (pp. 395-412). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Domitrovich, C. E., Cortes, R. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2007). Improving young children’s social and emotional competence: A randomized trial of the Preschool PATHS Curriculum. Journal of Primary Prevention, 28, 67-91.

    Bierman, K. L., Domitrovich, C. E., Nix, R. L., Gest, S. D., Welsh, J. A., Greenberg, M.T., Blair, C., Nelson, K. & Gill, S. (2008). Promoting academic and social-emotional school readiness: The Head Start REDI Program. Child Development, 79,1802-1817.

    Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2010).The effects of a multi-year randomized clinical trial of a universal social-emotional learning program: The role of student and school characteristics. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 156-168. DOI: 10.1037/a0018607