The School Social Work Certificate is still recognized by the Ohio Department of Education. However, in January 2022 the Ohio regulations changed, making it easier for social workers to get hired by school districts. This happened because of the increased mental health problems across many students exacerbated by the impact of the Covid pandemic. Completing the School Social Work Certificate may still be a smart professional choice (easily meeting the new standards, curriculum in important areas, and marketing yourself to get the school position(s) you may want), but current law/rule does not require it in Ohio.
Today, to qualify for a social worker position in an Ohio school district you need the following:
- Have your LSW from the state Counselor, Social Worker, and Family/Marriage Therapist Board by passing the ASWB exam and background check.
- Complete your MSW degree with a clinical specialization track (advanced generalist specialization will not work).
- Have one of the following:
- One year of successful experience in a public, private, or chartered school under a professional license (that would not be the LSW);
- OR one year of social work experience under a current license issued by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Family/Marriage Therapist Board (that is SWK);
- OR a graduate level social work practicum in a public, private, or chartered school (that would be completed during your MSW program).
- Additional course work specific to school social work practice.
If you have numbers 1-3 satisfied, that leaves your question with number 4. The Ohio Department of Education is not helpful for they are not specifying under the current rules/regulations exactly what this means. Does it count with 1, 2, or courses? Unclear. But it may be reasonable to presume you can argue that “additional course work” is a course (or two).
The School Social Work Certificate will consist of 15 credit hours, 12 of which consist of core courses. A required clinical practicum will constitute the other 3 hours. Students currently enrolled in the MSW may take SWK 612 to fulfill both the requirements of the certificate and, in part, the MSW.
These courses are required to complete the certificate.
• EDB 604 - Social Issues & Education
• ESE 500 - Introduction to Special Education
• ESE 512 - Collaboration & Partnerships Among Parent & Professionals In Special Education
• SWK 692- Social Work in Educational Settings
Students who are currently enrolled in the MSW program may take SWK 612 to fulfill the certificate requirements.
Students who are post-MSW must take SWK 712 to fulfill the certificate requirements.
• SWK 612 - Clinical Practicum I or
• SWK 712 - Advanced Clinical Practicum I