What is the DESSA?

The Devereux Students Strengths Assessment (DESSA), is a standardized, strength-based measure of social-emotional competencies of children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Grounded in resilience theory, the DESSA provides user-friendly, practical tools that meet the highest professional standards. With the DESSA, parents, teachers, and out-of-school-time program staff can assess a child’s social-emotional skills related to school and life success.

Why Should I Use the DESSA?

  • Assess skills related to social-emotional competence, resilience, and academic success
  • Measure outcomes of social-emotional learning programs, and compliance with social-emotional learning standards at the child, class, school, and district level
  • Identify a child’s social-emotional strengths and needs for individualized education programs (IEPs)
  • Enhance teacher practice with unique interpretation tools found only in the DESSA and other Devereux assessments
  • User-friendly: No special training or certification required

Identify Student Strengths Using Social & Emotional Competencies

The DESSA-mini provides a Social & Emotional Total (SET) Score for screening and progress monitoring. The DESSA covers the following social-emotional competencies:

Cater to Your Program’s Needs with Our Three DESSA Options

Learn More with the DESSA 101

For more detailed information on the DESSA, including research studies and success stories, visit our DESSA 101 page.