The College of Social Work Master of Social Work Program offers a Specialization in School Social Work. Through this specialty students are trained to assess and provide interventions for the social, emotional, familial, cultural, community, and cognitive barriers to achievement and school adjustment. They gain the specific knowledge, skills and experience needed to practice social work in elementary and secondary school settings. The College of Social Work collaborates with the College of Education to ensure that students follow the approved curriculum and meet the required standards for School Social Work Certification.
Primary Objectives of the School Social Work Specialization are to:
- provide coursework on the practice and policy issues of public education, the inter-relational factors among schools, families and the community and the legal issues affecting high-risk and special student populations
- provide learning opportunities that enable students to gain experience in school settings
- enable graduates to meet the newly adopted (May 2003) Education Professional Standards Board's certification requirements to become Certified School Social Workers in Kentucky
The School Social Work Specialization is integrated within the social work master's curriculum (either 60 hour or 38-hour program) with students taking one additional three (3) credit hour course. Regular or advanced standing students enrolled in either the Community and Social Development or Clinical Social Work Concentrations can pursue the School Social Work Specialization.
Students may also earn a Graduate Certificate in School Social Work by meeting the same requirements for the certificate issued by the Education Professional Standards Board. The application needed for both is on line, see below.
The Coordinator for School Social Work Specialization serves as the student advisor for this program.
Flo Lankster, MSW
Office: (859) 257-8233
Fax: (859) 323-1030
625 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
Courses required for School Social Work Specialization are as follows:
- SW 616 Social Work Practice in a School Setting (3 credit hours) (currently offered only in summer semester)
SW580 Topical Seminar in Social Work: Mental Health Assessment and Interventions with children and adolescents
- EDS 516 Principles of Behavior Management and Instruction (3 credit hours) (offered in the College of Education)
- SW 740 or 741*Field Education Practicum in a school setting for two consecutivesemesters, fall/spring (8 credit hours). *those holding the MSW may be exempt from this requirement
Students must submit a completed portfolio prior to applying for School Social Work Certification.
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in SSW requirements
Students seeking Kentucky School Social Work Certification must complete a curriculum guide with the school social work specialization coordinator and submit a portfolio at the completion of the specialization requirements. Students are then referred to the College of Education Office of Academic Services and Certification for approval to apply for Certification to the Education Professional Standards Board.
SW 616 Social Work Practice in a School Setting (3 credit hours)
A presentation and examination of school social work practice. Emphasis will be placed on roles, competencies and skills necessary for effective service provision. The differences in services to children in schools will be contrasted with those in primary social service settings. Focus will also be given to the impact of school legislation and regulations on the choice of populations served and programs provided.
SW580 - Topical Seminar in Social Work: Mental Health Assessment and Interventions with children and adolescents (3credit hours)
Designed to enhance professional judgment and clinical decision-making concerning child and adolescent clients. This course provides knowledge and skills for assessment and intervention concerning a broad range of biopsychosocial disorders, including situational precipitated conditions or disorders and those that are typically observed at school. An integrative, comparative, and analytic approach is used to explore the relationship between these conditions and the matrix created by biology, society, culture and environment, and to apply this knowledge to assessment and treatment.
EDS 516 Principles of Behavior Management and Instruction (3 credit )
Basic principles of applied behavior analysis and modification which employ social learning theory and operant conditioning models are taught. Emphasis is placed on designing individualized learning environments, selecting and implementing behavior management strategies, writing behavior objectives and performing task analyses.
SW 740 or 741 Field Education Practicum in a school setting for two consecutive semesters, fall/spring (8 credit hours)
SW740 Mental Health Concentration Practicum (School setting)
This field-based course prepares students to practice as social workers at the advanced level in an area of concentration. Students perform a variety of tasks including assessment, case management, psycho-education as well as individual, family and /or Community-based interventions. This placement of experiential learning is for 300 hours including weekly seminars. Must be repeated to eight hours.
SW 741 Family/Community Concentration Practicum (School Setting)
This field-based course under faculty direction prepares students to practice as social workers at the advanced level. Students provide services to individuals, groups, families, neighborhoods and community. Students perform a variety of tasks including assessments case management, psycho- education, family and community based interventions.
Admission to the College of Social Work MSW Program is the first step to gaining acceptance to the School Social Work Specialization.
Full-time Advanced Standing Students must apply for admission to the SSW Specialization by submitting an application to the SSW Coordinator as soon as they are accepted into the MSW Program and no later than Aug. 1st
Part-time Advanced Standing Students must apply by submitting an application by March 1, prior to their first summer semester.
All Regular Program students must apply by submitting an application to the SSW Coordinator by March 1st of their foundation year.
Those holding the MSW from a CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) accredited program may apply at anytime. Information (pdf)
Those seeking the Rank I: Information (pdf)
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