The School Social Work Program is a School-based Program of Study. You must be accepted first to SSA and then by the individual Program of Study. SSA students apply during the winter of their first year.


Designed for students in the Clinical Practice concentration, the School Social Work Program offers a specialized curriculum leading to Type 73 Certification that enables students to become effective practitioners within the context of the public school system. Students build the knowledge, skills, values, and experience applicable to work in a variety of school settings.

In addition to the requirements of the clinical practice concentration, students in the School Social Work Program are required to take two courses specifically designed for their specialization and their choice of one of three electives focusing on urban education.

Students interested in the Type 73 School Social Work Program must pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) before applying to the program of study. Upon completion of the program of study and the passing of the ISBE School Social Worker content-area exam, students are prepared to obtain the Type 73 Certification, required to practice social work in most school settings in Illinois.

Financial Aid

Stipends may be available to students in the School Social Work Program. For School Social Work students the size and availability of stipends will vary by school district.

Applications for each School-based Program are available every year in January, and students are notified of their acceptance into the program and, if applicable, their stipend award, prior to the end of the Winter quarter. Additional scholarship and fellowship opportunities are also available for students in their second year of study.

Field Placement

Fieldwork is a critical component of each of the School-based Programs. Students work in a variety of urban and suburban settings and have opportunities to develop relationships with students, families, school staff and the community-at-large. The scope of work may include working directly with children, collaborating with teachers, developing systems of support that impact school structures, and connecting the school with local resources to promote academic success as well as healthy social and emotional development.

Career Opportunities

SSA alumni are at the forefront of education. With strong problem solving, multidisciplinary, and interpersonal skills, they are working at the intersection of social work and education at a variety of practice and policy levels. Our alumni work in both practice and policy positions in public schools, private schools, and community schools.

Alumni of SSA’s School-based Programs are uniquely prepared to promote student learning and well-being, address academic and non-academic barriers to learning, develop comprehensive and cohesive academic and social supports, and understand and apply diverse frameworks for evidence-based practice and program development.

Contact Information

Jennifer Meade
Director, School Social Work Program

Read more about School Social Work student Zehua Cui here.

Elizabeth LeRoy

Elizabeth LeRoy, AM candidate '15

“SSA has a lot to offer incoming students. The University has many resources for professional development as well that further enhance the coursework and fieldwork at SSA.”