Degree programs in School Social Work can provide learners with multiple skills for use in the field, including assisting with the development of individual education plans, stepping in when behavioral or emotional issues arise in students, and acting as a advocate for children that are experiencing environmental interference with their educational progress.
Common education-related problems that call upon School Social Worker include lowered or failing grades, low school attendance, and learning disabilities. These issues may require specialized educational services or home interventions to increase student performance.
Our team of educational experts has over a decade of experience researching educational programs and their resulting careers. Read through this helpful guide to learn more about the field of School Social Work and how you can become a part of it.
Online School Social Work Programs
As you research educational paths to this career area, you may find that educational training programs are available both in-person and online. Online degree programs may be some of the most popular with upcoming social work professionals due to the untouched convenience of their educational delivery.
Finding an Online Program
One of the most interesting aspects of degrees in School Social Work is that professionals are trained to combine aspects of a student's personal and educational life for optimum students progress. In order to achieve this, social workers in this area may meet with students and their families in the home and while at school.
Social workers in this field can be trained to help students obtain the support they need in education, mental health, and even within human services. This combination of support can hopefully allow children to engage in the learning environment without interruption.
What Do You Learn?
In online School Social Work degree programs, you can engage in learning through online classrooms, participate in virtual discussions, and even participate in live lectures via the internet. The flexible scheduling of online School Social Work programs makes it a great option for students that are working full time jobs or caring for a family.
The online learning environment can allow you to pursue higher education through convenient scheduling, part-time and full-time options, and the ability to complete assignments during the times of day that are most available to you.
Can You Still Get Licensed?
Online degree programs leading you into School Social Work can also provide you with the same level of licensure and career opportunities as its traditional counterpart. The reliability and validity of online programs can be verified through the accreditation process.
Most students considering online programs in School Social Work may also be interested in pursuing licensure within their state. Licensing can open up more employment opportunities in the educational setting and beyond.
Social Work Licensure
Finding an Online School Social Work Program
If you are interested in potentially becoming licensed after your degree program, you should choose an online degree program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This agency is the leading accreditation organization for bachelor's and master's degrees in social work.
The CSWE provides potential learners with resources pertaining to licensing within their state and reliability of online School Social Work programs. This agency also provides prospective students with a list of currently accredited online programs that can make the search for the perfect program more convenient for those interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Online Social Work Programs
Popular degree programs for upcoming School Social Workers includes the online Bachelor of Social Work at Campbellsville University in Kentucky and the online Master of Social Work at Colorado State University. These programs are just 2 of many currently offered to students intrigued by virtual learning.
Bachelors in School Social Work Degrees
The field of social work is unique in that it offers entry-level career options for graduates of both bachelor's and master's degree programs. Most students begin to pursue career opportunities after receiving their bachelor's degree, which can allow them to earn money during their master's learning experience.
What is the BSW in School Social Work?
The Bachelor of Social Work in School Social Work is a 4-year program that includes many of the entry-level concepts for social work professionals. At this point in your educational experience you may learn more about the psychological and sociological concepts that contribute to the need for social work professionals, as well as some of the developmental issues that are related to both biology and upbringing.
What Do You Learn in a School Social Work BSW?
In addition to social work specific courses, the bachelor's can also include a wide variety of general education courses throughout its duration. The combination of general ed and social work courses can allow you to generalize your knowledge to closely related fields and utilize general skills within your line of practice.
There are unique BSW programs that allow students to participate in supervised practica experiences throughout the learning experience. This step in the learning process can provide students with a realistic outlook on social problems and how different school systems address common educational blockades for affected students.
Steps After a BSW
Since the bachelor's is the first step for all students - regardless of intended outcome - this may be the most popular degree level for social work professionals in this field. Depending on the state that you live in, you may be required to obtain a license at the bachelor's level before providing services to students in need.
If licensing is required within your state, you are encouraged to seek out CSWE-accredited degree programs for your bachelor's degree. Accredited degree programs are currently the only type of options that are accepted for licensing in all states.
Masters in School Social Work Degrees
The master's degree is a popular option for upcoming School Social Workers since it can lead to more roles and responsibilities in the field. Your state may require licensing for social work positions at the master's level and may even possibly offer clinical licensing options for people that pursue 2-3 years worth of clinical training.
What Do You Learn in a School MSW Program?
Once you have located a reliable and accredited online Master of Social Work program, you can begin your delve into advanced social work practice in the school setting. The course work for this program can include concepts that are relevant to normal and abnormal human behavior and how behavior correlates to the environment.
Online MSW in School Social Work Degrees
Online master's options can allow you to learn more about advanced social work practice with individuals and groups, as well as introduce concepts from mental health practice. The goal of this program is to create knowledgeable professionals that can combine aspects of individual health and mental health, human behavior, environment, and education in order to create an ideal balance for students in need.
Most online Master of Social Work programs take 2-3 years to complete and include a practicum or supervised work experience requirement. This added experience requirement can assist you in connecting the curriculum to practice and learning from experienced social workers in your field.
One of the most interesting aspects of the MSW program is that graduates can pursue different routes in their career after completing the degree requirements. In some states, MSW holders may be required to pursue licensing before working with the public, while other states require no licensing unless a clinical path is chosen.
MSW holders under the supervision of Licensed Clinical Social Workers can also provide mental health services to clients in the educational system. This can be an incredibly beneficial added service to students being served throughout your career.
Typical Master’s Coursework to Expect
After you have enrolled in an accredited and online Master of Social Work in School Social Work program, you can expect to participate in a variety of courses that can increase your skills an awareness in the educational environment. The course work for this degree program can include concepts related to social work practice in the educational field and beyond.
The goal of the courses within this program is to educate learners in depth within both subject areas. Social workers should have extensive knowledge into the function of the social work system as well as an understanding of educational provisions for children currently enrolled.
Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis is a common course found within the MSW curriculum. This course focuses on identifying mental health needs through the use of popular assessments, as well as administering diagnostic testing when needed in your employment setting.
Students engaged in this course may utilize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders to learn more about common and uncommon mental health disorders and their presenting symptoms. The skills learned through studying this manual can be beneficial in the educational setting and beyond.
Additional course work for this degree program can include courses in Social Work Practice. This course can assist learners in identifying appropriate methods of practice for individuals, families, and groups.
Working in the school system can make it necessary to have skills relevant to working one-on-one with individual students as well as with large groups or small families. Appropriate communication skills, active listening, and compassion may be some skills covered in this course.
School Social Work as a Career
Many students working towards a career in School Social Work may engage in generalist BSW or MSW degree programs to achieve their goal of obtaining a career in this field. The application of generalist concepts within specific school settings can allow professionals to assist students as they progress through their educational experience.
What School Social Workers Do
School Social Workers can provide students with needed assessments for both mental health and educational progression. The skills learned through diagnostic college courses can provide School Social Workers with the skills needed to perform common psychological and educational assessments when students present with various interfering symptoms.
In this area of social work, you may also work closely with children exhibiting special educational or environmental needs. Your role may include advocating for fair educational provisions, environmental accommodations, and fair treatment in the school setting.
Where School Social Workers Are Employed
Many School Social Workers in school systems across America may also specialize in work with children presenting severe behavioral issues. These professionals can partner with students as they work through alternative education classes or participate in behavior intervention plans established by behavior analysts.
School Social Workers may also utilize their group and family training to assist when children present with difficulties in their school and personal lives. School Social Workers can meet with children in their homes in order to assess living conditions and identify any needs beyond the educational setting.
What Specific Types of Jobs Are There For School Social Workers?
Pursuing higher education in School Social Work can open up employment opportunities inside and outside of the educational system. College students that pursue the generalist MSW with certification in School Social Work can apply for positions in school systems while holding the appropriate licensing as required by their state.
The most popular career option for School Social Workers can be found within public and private school systems. These professionals can look after the needs of students presenting with emotional, behavioral, or educational needs beyond what the standard curriculum can provide.
Child Advocacy Agencies
School Social Workers can also work for child advocacy agencies that work with families in need. This type of career is often found outside of the educational environment and can include visits both in the home and within the school environment.
State agencies such as the Department of Children’s Services or the Department of Children and Families may seek out School Social Workers to assist with the educational needs of children within state’s custody. Your role in this type of career may be to partner with case workers and educational providers to ensure that a child’s needs are being met.