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School Social Work Certification


young girl student at desk in classroom

 

School Social Work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student support services team. They are instrumental in furthering the purpose of the schools - to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district's ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving that mission. 

In order to be a certified school social worker in North Carolina, one has to complete a bachelor's or master's degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program with additional specialized preparation in school social work. Within these school social work education programs, several standards are studied such as the foundations of school social work practice, assessment and evaluation, cultural diversity, consultative and collaborative relationships and understanding of the role of advocacy and facilitation. Also required are intervention strategies to support student development, discernment of statutes and case law and completion of a school social work internship comprising of a minimum of 400 contact hours in a school setting.

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School social workers are expected to apply their professional training in schools in order to support student success. Through specialized school social work programs that strengthen the home/school/community partnership and address barriers to student learning, school social workers serve as catalysts in promoting student wellbeing and successful completion of school.

The program at Western Carolina University offers the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction approved School Social Work course online each summer and has the option of the additional education course being offered either online or face-to-face at WCU.

Certificate Requirements and How to Apply:

WCU will recommend students to NC DPI for M-level licensure in school social work if they successfully complete WCU’s MSW degree program, including the School Social Work curriculum. As you apply for the license, be sure to route it to Western Carolina University. Complete instructions can be found at: teacherlicensure.wcu.edu.

If you have earned your MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program, WCU’s online licensure-only program may be a good fit for you. Successful program completion results in a recommendation for the School Social Work license at the master’s level. If you are employed as a School Social Worker in a public-school setting, WCU can help you clear the provisional license and recommend for the initial license after completion of outlined coursework (total of 2 courses).

Your first step is to apply as a graduate distance education student at WCU Graduate School The program is Certificate: School Social Work Certification - Online. You must be admitted to the university before you can register for classes.

Upon completion of coursework, you will apply through the NC DPI online portal to clear your provisional license. The NC DPI portal is linked from WCU’s Teacher Licensure website, teacherlicensure.wcu.edu. Be sure to route your application to Western Carolina University and attach official electronic copies of your WCU transcript showing the completed coursework.

Your first step is to apply as a graduate distance education student at WCU Graduate School. The program is Certificate: School Social Work Certification - RALC – Online.. You must be admitted to the university before you can register for classes.

Upon completion of coursework, you will apply through the NC DPI online portal to clear your provisional license. The NC DPI portal is linked from WCU’s Teacher Licensure website, teacherlicensure.wcu.edu. Be sure to route your application to Western Carolina University and attach official electronic copies of your WCU transcript showing the completed coursework.

  Course Number Course Title Typically Offered

1.

SOCW 528

School Social Work: Policy and Practice

Online, Summer

       
2. SPED 684 OR Social and Emotional Needs of Exceptional Learners Online, Spring
  SPED 504 OR Educational Programs for Students with Behavioral Disorders Online, Fall
  SPED 620 OR Education in a Diverse Society Online, Fall & Spring
  SPED 505 OR Educational Programs for Students with Learning Disorders Online, Summer
  SPED 639 Teaching Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Classrooms Online, Summer, Fall & Spring

Kristina Lind - Associate Professor, School Social Work Certificate Coordinator
College of Health and Human Sciences - Department of Social Work
Email: klind@wcu.edu

or

Rachel Wike - Coordinator of Education Admissions & Licensure Officer
College of Education and Allied Professions
Email: rwike@wcu.edu

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