School Social Work Certification

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions About School Social Work

                                                       Temporary Approval

1. What is School Social Work?

School social work is a specialized area of practice within the social work profession. School social workers act as liaisons between the school, home, and the community to aid in student success. Social workers in this field work directly with school administrators to provide leadership in forming discipline policies, assisting in mental health intervention, crisis management, and support services.

2. What are the State of Michigan requirements to become a School Social Worker?

  • Master of Social Work (MSW) degree
  • 500 hours of field education working with families and children OR 500 hours post-grad working with families and children.
  • Completion of seven courses required for School Social Work Certification.

3. What courses are required for School Certification?

A “B” grade or better in each course must be earned, NO SUBSTITUTES OR EXCEPTIONS!

  • SW 612: Social Policy: Families and Children
  • SW 670: Social Work Practice with Individuals
  • SW 672: Social Work Practice with Groups
  • SW 674: Social Work Practice with Families and Children
  • SW 677: Principles of Supervision
  • SW 678: Human Services Administration
  • SW 662: Substance Abuse and Social Work Practice
  • SW 664: Social Work Practice in Schools

4. Are there prerequisites for these courses?

Yes! Prerequisites for the courses mentioned above require successful completion of the MSW Program core foundation, which are: SW 600, SW 601, SW 603, SW 610 and SW 620.

5. Are there requirements for how I complete my Field Education Internship?

Yes! Field Placement Internships for those seeking the school social work certification must intern at a venue that serves families and children and/or a K-12 educational setting.

6. What do I need to know about Temporary School Social Work Approval?

Upon graduation and successful completion of the required coursework, verification of temporary approval for school social work will be provided if/when requested from the School Social Work Advisor. **Temporary Approval expires five (5) years from initial date of approval and can be renewed for an additional five years via completion of a GVSU refresher course offered by GVSU School of Social Work.

After ten (10) years, course work (SW 664 – School Social Work Practice in Schools) MUST be repeated to again obtain temporary school social work approval.

7. How do I obtain Temporary Approval (SW 310 Form)?

The SW 310 (written verification by GVSU School of Social Work that all requirements for temporary school social work approval have been met) will NOT be issues/granted until AFTER all course and internship requirements are satisfied. Only the university from which one receives their MSW degree can issue/grant the SW 310.
Upon successful completion of all course and internship requirements, graduates must request, in written form, a SSW 310 from the GVSU School of Social Work’s School Social Work Liaison. The U.S. mail address to which the SW 310 form is to be sent should be included in the written request. 

8. What should I do if I have an interest in temporary school social work approval?

  1. Consult with your advisor and inform her/him of your interest.
  2. Attend a scheduled advisement session with GVSU School of Social Work Liaison (Dr. Smith-Colton). Sessions will be announced via student listserv and on SSW website. Note: Two (2) advisement sessions will be scheduled per semester. Arrange to be present at one of them.
  3. Review and follow the curriculum for school social work approval.

9. What do I do post-graduation?

If you decide to obtain temporary school social work approval after graduating, but you did not complete the required courses, you must do so. Internship requirements must also be met.

Contact the GVSU School Social Work Liaison in writing and request a review of your transcript and resume to ascertain whether any of the post-graduate professional, continuing education, and/or work history is sufficient to waive some or all of your missing coursework. Be advised that SW 664 – Social Work Practice in Schools, is NOT a course that will be waived.