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Generalist Placements

In the first-year placement, students work with individuals, families, groups and communities to build skills in engagement, assessment, case management, psychoeducation, and resource referrals. They have opportunities to engage with research, policy, and advocacy-building efforts at the micro, mezzo and macro levels.


Placements may include:

  • Housing Forward
  • Bellwood Public Library
  • Access Living
  • World Relief

 School Social Work

The School Social Work track offers coursework that prepares students to qualify for the Professional Educator License in Illinois. School social work certification requires completion of rigorous coursework mandated and approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  SSW students take three courses specific to school social work practice and policy, included coursework on exceptional children where they learn skills such as: resource brokering; addressing school climate; advocacy; collaborating and consulting with school staff; implementing school wide and other multi-level interventions; trauma-informed mental health; addressing racial inequities and needs of English Language Learners; informing, and providing special education services including Individual Education Plans (IEPs), among many others. 


Placements may include:

  • Any K-12 public school as approved by Illinois State Board of Education
    • Chicago Public Schools
    • Bensenville School District 2
    • Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89
    • Proviso High Schools
    • Waukegan School District 60

Children, Youth and Families

The Children, Youth and Families track offers students an opportunity to work and engage with children and their families. Focusing on the policy and history of child welfare including child welfare laws and initiatives that shape social workers role in working with children and families in and out of the system, this track prepares students to be culturally sensitive practitioners and advocates. Through course preparation of two required child welfare electives, students will be eligible to take the following exams Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths, Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol and Child placement Worker as well receive their Child Welfare Employee License.  SWK 511 and 551 are prerequisites for this track 


Placements may include:

  • Any agency that works with children, adolescents, youth in transition and/or their families. Examples may include but are not limited to: 
    • Foster Care Agencies (Contracted with DCFS) 
    • Community Agencies with DCFS contract 

Sample Agencies: 

  • Department of Children and Family Services
  • Catholic Charities
  • Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
  • Metropolitan Family Services
  • Shelter, Inc.

Health and Well-Being

In the Health and Well-being track students will learn about factors that impact health and well-being across the life course. This track prepares students to take a person-centered approach to health, work collaboratively as a member of an interdisciplinary health care team, and to participate in advocacy for access to equitable health care resources for underserved communities.


Placements may include:

  • Hospital Placements
  • Clinic Placements 
  • Community Mental Health Organizations/Agencies  
  • Therapy Services 
  • Homelessness Services 
  • Substance Abuse Treatment 
  • Domestic Violence Organizations/Agencies 
  • Family-centered services 
  • Sample Agencies: 
    • Sarah’s Inn
    • Thresholds
    • Riveredge Hospital
    • Cook County Health
    • Lake County Health Department


In the Military Social Work track, students will learn about military-specific mental health issues and treatment, military culture and command structures, and policies and programs for military personnel, veterans, and their families. Students will study innovative, evidence-based treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicide ideation and traumatic brain injury. Students will come to understand the services available to veterans and their families at a local, state and federal level and the role social work plays in and outside of the military.


Placements may include:

  • VA Hospitals
  • Homelessness Services that specifically serve Vets and military members 
  • Services for families of military members 
  • Any organization that serves predominantly vets and their families


Sample Agencies: 

  • Edward Hines VA Hospital
  • Veterans Path to Hope
  • Kids Rank
  • Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans
  • RUSH Road Home Program

Global Social Work: Working with Immigrants and Refugee Populations 

The Global track offers coursework that prepares students to work with immigrant, refugee and Indigenous populations locally, nationally and/or globally. Students will be engaged in content that addresses the historical and theoretical process of migration, positionality and critical consciousness, and global issues as they relate to the well- being of communities and societies. Students in this track will work with immigrant refugees and/or Indigenous populations in areas such as resettlement, policy initiatives, trauma informed services and other issues related to the unique needs of the populations serviced. 


Placements may include (global, national and local): 

  • International Placements (as approved by Global Social Work Committee) 
  • Macro social work placements
  • Policy placements 
  • Services for immigrants and refugees

Sample Agencies: 

  • Mujeres Latinas en Accion
  • Arab American Family Services
  • Heartland Alliance
  • Bethany House of Hospitality
  • El Hogar del Nino

Ageing, Adulthood and Gerontology 

In the Ageing, Adulthood, and Gerontology track students will learn about aging across the middle and later years. This includes a national and global understanding of how the rising number of older adults impacts individuals, families, systems and society. Students choose two of the following course options: Global Aging–reviews normal aging from a biopsychosocial person in environment lens as well as aging across the world; Successful Aging in Communities of care–explores Age Friendly Communities and different living environments for older adults; Advanced Social Work with Older Adults–this course focuses on assessment and intervention with older adults and also with caregivers/families.


Placements may include:

  • Nursing Homes
  • Rehab placements 
  • Hospice 
  • Older adult services 
  • Therapeutic services
  • Hospital placements serving older adult population

Sample Agencies:

  • Age Options
  • Aging Care Connections
  • North Shore Senior Center
  • Eldercare Lake County
  • JourneyCare