School Social Work Area of Specialization
MSW students who choose this specialization take coursework that prepares them to do their advanced practicum in a school setting for one academic year. You will be required to pass the content area test for social work prior to entering your last semester of study. Students should apply for the Professional Educators License with a school social work endorsement in their last semester through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), allowing them to obtain employment as a School Social Worker. In this role, social workers will assist in assessing grade school, middle school, and/or high school children's needs, especially if the children are showing deficits in learning. Once those needs are clearly identified, the worker will collaboratively develop individualized education plans (IEPs) to meet these needs, and in most cases, will work with the student and his/her teachers and family members to make the student's educational experience more successful. The worker will also provide individual, group, and family counseling services and serve as a broker in locating needed services within the community. Classes specific to School Social Work include, but are not limited to:
- Classes specific to School Social Work include, but are not limited to:
- SWK 463 Social Work Practice in Schools
- SWK 461 School Policy
- SED 411 Survey of Special Education (taken through the Special Education department of the College of Education)
Special Considerations with this specialization:
- You will be required to successfully pass the Test of Academic Proficiency through the Illinois Certification Testing System prior to taking any classes in the advanced curriculum of the School Social Work specialization. You may submit ACT or SAT scores in lieu of the TAP.
- ACT Plus Writing: 22 composite score
a minimum 19 in Combined English/Writing
- SAT: 1030 composite score (critical reading + mathematics)
a minimum 450 in writing
- Official ACT/SAT scores need to be sent to The Director of MSW Student Services
- The composite ACT score must be at least 22 with the writing test and the SAT score must be a composite score of 1030 with critical reading and math. The ACT or SAT scores must be from within the last 10 years. You can find information about this test through: http://www.il.nesinc.com/
- Please click on the following link for detailed instructions on HOW to submit your ACT Plus Writing or SAT in lieu of the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP): https://education.illinoisstate.edu/teacher/licensures/#tabs-accord2 .
- You will be required to pass the content area test for school social work prior to entering your last semester of study. Information and registration for the content area test is available at: http://www.il.nesinc.com/
- Students should apply for the Professional Educators License with a school social work endorsement through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) at the end of their last semester allowing them to obtain employment as a School Social Worker. Once the spring semester is complete, students must arrange with the Registrar's Office to have a transcript sent to the Associate Director of Clinical Experiences in the College of Education, Campus Box 5440. This will trigger the Associate Director to send you the material necessary for your application.
- You may be required to travel to your School field placement.
- Students must wait until they are notified by ISU that they may apply for their Professional Educators License. Applying for your license without notification from ISU will result in a delay in receiving your license and could hold up your employment options with a school district.
Additional School Social Work Certification Requirements
Federal Background check
- Please complete your federal background check the summer before entering your school practicum (June or July).
- Please complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC). Click here for CBC requirements and locations.
Intent to Certify Form
School Social Work Plans of Study