The School Social Work specialization gives you the skills and experience to help students when they need it the most.
You will spend one academic year in a school setting practicum placement. This experience gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with teachers and families. Together, you will help create individualized education plans (IEPs) to address students’ needs. You will also provide counseling services for individuals, groups, and families. Sometimes students need resources outside of their school. In these situations, you will serve as an advocate for their needs.
Illinois State Board of Education requires all students pursuing the School Social Work specialization to pass the Illinois social work content exam to be eligible for the Professional Educator’s License with a School Social Work endorsement. The content exam must be passed by the end of the fall semester during your specialist practicum placement to be eligible to advance into the spring semester of your specialist practicum placement.
Our program prepares you for completion of this content exam and eligibility for the Professional Educator’s License with a School Social Work endorsement. This is the credential required in Illinois to obtain employment as a school social worker.
For Advanced Standing students, School Social Work is only offered as a two year option.
Practicum Placement Requirements
The Generalist Practicum focuses on the development of general practice competencies in an agency-based setting. The Generalist Practicum requires a minimum of 400 hours over 12 weeks during a summer semester, averaging 33-35 hours per week, in conjunction with one concurrent course, the Generalist Practicum Seminar, which is taught in-person. The Generalist Practicum is only required for students completing the full program; Advanced Standing students do not complete the Generalist Practicum.
The Specialist Practicum builds competence for specialist practice within a local education agency. The Specialist Practicum requires a minimum of 700 hours over two consecutive semesters (fall and spring; 16 weeks each semesters), averaging 22-25 hours per week, in conjunction with concurrent Specialist Practicum Seminar and Practice Evaluation (research) courses, which are taught in-person each semester. All students, including full program and Advanced Standing, complete a specialist practicum placement during the final year of the program.
Sample Plans of Study
View these sample plans of study to get an overview of your courses and time in the School Social Work specialization.