School Social Work
Professional Educators License (PEL)

Expand Your Career Potential with this Special Sequence of Courses.

Note: Starting Fall 2021.

You’ve always been driven to help others. To help improve the lives of people wherever you can. Now, you can help students in grades K-12 by becoming a School Social Worker. Our faculty are ideally situated to help you prepare to sit for this special licensure. They work closely with local school districts on various projects, which means you’ll have the opportunity to participate in unique work and learn through experience.

What’s more, our small class sizes provide the opportunity for more personal interaction with faculty and we enjoy many school-focused professional programs across the university. This means you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with an array of professionals interested in supporting the school system.

Why Become a School Social Worker?

  • Job flexibility. School Social Workers can work in schools or elsewhere. However, those without school licensure cannot work in schools.
  • School Social Workers are currently in demand.
  • School Social Workers hold a level of specialization that is unique to the practice area, allowing for strong interdisciplinary work with educators.

Requirements for the School Social Work Professional Educators License (PEL)

In order to sit for the School Social Work license, you’ll need to take the following three courses, as well as meet these criteria:

  • Successfully graduate from an accredited Master’s of Social Work (MSW) program
  • Successfully complete a year-long internship in a school setting with supervision from a school social worker with a current PEL
  • Adhere to additional state requirements (State requirements may change. Please check the ISBE website for the most current information.)

Required Coursework

SCWK 616: Social Work in Schools
In this course, students will learn the skills and content needed to become a school social worker. Students become familiar with the diverse student populations to whom they may provide services in school settings while simultaneously examining the social and political context of the education system in the United States through the social work perspective.

SCWK 617/618: School Social Work Field Placement Seminar I & II
In this course, students integrate an analytic understanding of the role of school social workers with the course content and field placement experiences they are acquiring. This course focuses specifically on the roles of social workers in the school setting, including the provision of direct service, consultation, advocacy, program development, evaluation, and more.

SPED 557: Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities
This course explores and develops strategies used to promote both the academic and social success of all students by developing a commitment to collaborative practices between special education and general education, and learn how to utilize research-based instructional strategies that create inclusive learning communities for all students.

For more information, please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at (815) 836-5722 or grad@lewisu.edu.