School Social Work Credential

School social work is a specialized area of practice within the MSW program at CSUMB. The School Social Work Credential, formally known as the Pupil Personnel Services Credential or PPSC, prepares candidates to be effective school leaders, change agents, problem solvers, counselors, consultants, & advocates for children and youth.

The PPSC, issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, authorizes individuals to provide school services as social workers. The PPSC is typically a requirement for social work employment in California Pre-K-12 public schools. The School Social Work Program offers a focused curriculum in school social work practice to prepare graduates to support the case management and mental health needs of students in our public schools, from preschool to grade 12. Candidates will receive specialized training to work with English Learners (ELs) and Migrant students in high-poverty schools.

CSUMB students walking on campus

Child Welfare and Attendance Credential

The Child Welfare and Attendance Credential (CWA) is an add-on specialized credential that PPSC candidates may pursue. Issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, it authorizes individuals to provide school services as child welfare and attendance regulators. This credential is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge, skills and practical experience to successfully advocate for youth, with a special emphasis on at-risk and under-achieving youth with attendance barriers.

Essential Roles of the School Social Worker

  • Developing & enhancing a positive school climate
  • Building & facilitating effective student support structures i.e. Student Success Teams (SSTs), Student Assistance Programs (SAPs)
  • Providing mental health & crisis services to students and families
  • Developing effective programs based on students’ needs
  • Developing effective programs based on students’ needs
  • Providing classroom & student behavior support to teachers and administrators

Coursework and Field Requirements

Candidates in the School Social Work Program must meet all the core requirements for the MSW degree and complete designated electives and additional required courses.

School social work credential candidates must successfully complete 1,000 hours of field experience (a combination of both first and second year MSW field placements). Candidates must have a second year field placement in a school-based setting with a minimum of 450 hours completed under the supervision of a credentialed practitioner. A minimum of 100 hours are to be completed with at least 10 pupils of an ethnic background different from that of the candidate. The school field assignment is provided in at least two age groups (preschool, elementary, middle, high school) with a minimum of 100 clock hours at each setting.

Application Requirements

  • Current resume
  • Previous transcripts
  • Admission to the MSW Program
  • Completion of the supplemental School Social Work application (download below).
  • Satisfaction of the Basic Skills Requirement, customarily achieved by successfully completing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or equivalent test. Students can study for the CBEST with test preparation. This test must be successfully completed by the application priority deadline of February 1st.
  • Fingerprint and backgrounds checks at CSU Monterey Bay Police Department or alternative live scan locations.
  • Certificate of Clearance issued by the Commision on Teacher Credentialing. This certificate must be officially issued by the application priority deadline of February 1st.

Staff and faculty will review all applications holistically. Taken into consideration are an applicant's GPA, writing strength, demonstration of professional social work values/experiences, and a statement of interest specific to their professional or personal experience in K-12 schools. An in-person interview may be required.

Applications for admission to the academic year 2019-2020 will be received by our priority deadline of February 1, 2019.

Two-year program students need to apply while completing their MSW application. Three-year program students need apply after their first semester in the MSW program. Fifteen candidates will be admitted for each year’s cohort.

School Social Work Application

School Social Work Application (for current MSW candidates)

Upon Completion of the PPSC

Individuals will be able to assess home, school, personal, and community factors that may affect a student’s learning. It gives the opportunity to identify and provide intervention strategies for children and their families, including counseling, case management, and crisis intervention. It will allow individuals to consult with teachers, administrators, and other school staff regarding social and emotional needs of students. Individuals will be able to coordinate family, school, and community resources.

Upon Completion of the CWA

Individuals will be able to access appropriate services from both public and private providers, including law enforcement and social services. It authorizes individuals to provide staff development to school personnel regarding state and federal laws pertaining to due process, child welfare, and attendance laws. It will address school policies and procedures that inhibit academic success. It gives individuals access to implement strategies to improve student attendance and participation in school-wide reform efforts. It allows individuals to have a promote understanding and appreciation of those factors that affect the attendance of culturally-diverse student populations.

Career Outlook

School social work is one of the fastest growing areas of social work practice. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts a 19% growth rate for social workers between 2012 and 2022, faster than the average for all professions. Within California and especially within the Monterey Country tri-county area, there has been an increasing demand for social workers in schools.

Contact Information

Please contact the School Social Work Project Coordinator with any further questions.


Phone: 831-582-4216