Prepare to provide direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students' academic and social success.

Our school social work program prepares students to obtain a Professional Educator License (PEL) with the endorsement needed for social work positions in Illinois public schools K-12. Applicants must be currently enrolled in our MSW program or have already earned an MSW from another CSWE-accredited program.

Application Requirements

All students must successfully complete:

  1. The Dominican University School of Social Work application process, which includes:
    • Personal statement
    • Resume
    • Two letters of recommendation (one academic and one professional)
    • Transcripts

     Apply Online

  2. Content-area tests. A candidate shall pass the content-area test prior to beginning the last semester or term of his or her internship.

Please note: Students applying for the Professional Educator License can be admitted into the MSW program but will not be considered a School Social Work candidate until all required exams are submitted with passing scores.

Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Requirement

(formerly known as the Illinois Certification Testing System)

Each person in the state of Illinois who is seeking a Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work must pass the School Social Work Content exam to receive licensure.

Internship
  1. Work with the Director of Field Placement to explore options for placements.
  2. Criminal background investigation. 
    All schools require background checks. Schools may require their own background check. Check with your placement site for their specific requirements. Some schools will not accept Dominican's criminal background check.

Dominican University
School of Education
Parmer Hall, Suite 412
7900 W. Division Ave.
River Forest, Illinois 60305

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work instructions (pdf)

Current Students

Current students are required to take the following school social work courses in addition to the general curriculum:

  • SPED 522 Characteristics of Exceptional Children (elective) – 3 hours
  • SWK 664 Social Work Practice in the Public School (elective) – 3 hours. Please note: Social Work Practice in the Public Schools must be taken concurrently with your field placement.
  • SWK 610 Advanced Social Work Practice with Families (School Social Work focus) – 3 hours
  • Students must acquire a B- or better in all courses except field and practice, which require a B or better grade
  • Based on requirements from the state of Illinois, students who have a C- or lower in any course cannot obtain their Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work. However, students may choose to retake any course with a grade below B- at their expense.
Post-MSW Students

If you already have an MSW degree, you will be required to take the following courses:

  • SPED 522 Characteristics of Exceptional Children – 3 hours
  • SWK 664 Social Work Practice in the Public School – 3 hours
  • Students must acquire a B- or better in all courses except field and practice, which require a B or better grade
  • Based on requirements from the state of Illinois, students who have a C- or lower in any course cannot obtain their Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work. However, students may choose to retake any course with a grade below B- at their expense.

INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Current MSW students
  • Complete your first-year supervised field internship with a minimum of 480 contact hours. (Supervisor must have a master’s degree or higher.)
  • Complete your second-year supervised internship with a minimum of 600 contact hours in a P–12 school setting for the academic year (two semesters) through June. Supervisor must possess a master’s degree or higher and have a Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work (formerly Type 73 Certificate)
Post-MSW Students
  • Perform a minimum of 600 contact hours in a K-12 school setting for the academic year (two semesters) through June. Post-MSW students are highly valued and sought after. Most schools are willing to negotiate a lessening of hours during the week for the post-MSW student. Some schools have specialized placements for post-MSW students (reduced hours).
  • Your supervisor must possess a master’s degree or higher in school social work and hold a Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work (formerly Type 73 Certificate)
  • Your internship schedule will be agreed upon by the host school and Dominican’s director of field placement.

Please Note

  • Students must acquire a B- or better in all courses except field and practice, which require a B or better grade
  • Based on the state of Illinois, students who have a C- or lower in any course will not be eligible for the Professional Educator License endorsed in school social work
  • Content-area test: A candidate shall pass the content-area test prior to beginning the last semester or term of his or her internship.
Getting the Certificate

Upon successful completion of the required courses, school internship and criminal background check, all candidates must pass the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) 184 School Social Worker Test.

Once the student passes the 184, the student must contact Carina Homann Santa Maria, the Director of Field Placement. The Director of Field Placement will send a letter to Dominican's Certification Officer, informing her that the student successfully completed all requirements. The Director of Field Placement will also provide the student with Dominican's Certification Officer's contact information. The student must follow up with the Certification Officer to complete the process.