School Social Worker Program

The School Social Worker program prepares you for social work practice in school settings. School social workers collaborate with teachers and other professionals in schools and with families to maximize the educational experiences of students. School Social Workers use their specialized skills to assess and intervene with families and locate and utilize community resources to achieve the student’s educational goals. 

About the Program

The School Social Work program is licensed by the Ohio Department of Education through the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH). This program, and the certification of its graduates, involves close collaboration with CECH. The expected outcome of the program is the preparation of professional school social workers who can perform their unique role in conjunction with the traditional education and auxiliary professionals in the school system. This role encompasses the special knowledge and skills of school social workers, including social work assessment and intervention with students and families; locating and utilizing community resources, and facilitating the development and implementation of school, family, and community linkages. Graduates of the program provide a critical dimension to the shared goal of maximizing the educational experiences of students. 

Admission Requirements

The School Social Worker program is only open to students currently enrolled in the MSW Program who choose the children and families concentration. If you are interested in this program, apply to the MSW Program.

After admission to the program, please send an email of interest to Professor Xan Boone, Program Coordinator, at


The following are required in order to complete the program:

  • A field placement of at least ​540 hours of the 900 total hours of field experience as a school social worker intern. The MSW field criteria still applies.

    • Every effort will be made to arrange placements in public or chartered schools. Placement in a school with a contracting agency (such as a mental health or child welfare agency) may be accepted for school social work certification, if approved by UC’s School Social Worker Certification Program Coordinator.
    • Field instructors must be working as school social workers and meet the criteria for MSW Field Instructors
    • The placement will include a special school social worker field evaluation in addition to the regular field evaluation. 
    • There are a limited number of school social worker placements. The School of Social Work’s ability to provide these placements depends on the availability of qualified field instructors.
    • All public school placements will involve daytime hours.
    • College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services courses
      • SPED6001: Individuals with Exceptionalities
      • SPED6002: Engaging and Supporting Families with Members with Disabilities
      • EDST7001: Politics of Education OR EDST7021: Philosophy of Education
      • Note: CECH classes are held during the day. Most SPED classes are often available online. 
  • The following Social Work courses must be completed for a total of 15 elective credit hours:

    • SW7002: Child Mental Health
    • SW8003: Social Work Practice in the Schools (taken in the final fall semester)
  • Students must receive a grade of “B” or better to successfully complete the program.

Certification Requirements

In addition to their coursework, students must develop and submit a comprehensive portfolio containing classroom materials and field evaluations. Portfolios will reflect the ability of students to conceptually synthesize their academic and field experiences, as well as meet the major requirements for educational professionals. Prior to certification, some states require social worker applicants to take the PRAXIS II examination; the licensing boards for each state are able to provide social workers with more information. Please note: Students can take required courses or complete the field placement and still not qualify for licensure if their grades on assignments or evaluations are below the required standards.                                                       

Headshot of Xan Boone

Xan Boone

Program Coordinator