College of Health Sciences and Human Services

PPS Credential

Pupil Personnel Services Credential (School Social Work Credential)

School social work is a specialized area of practice within the MSW program at CSUMB. The Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) also known as the School Social Work Credential, 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 PPS Credential 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
  • 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 an advanced 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 is 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.

A PPS/SSW candidate must be supervised by someone who holds a PPS credential in School Social Work, or an MSW with another PPS credential, and a minimum of two years post MSW experience. In those instances where the supervisor of record does not have a PPS/SSW credential in School Social Work, the approved university program will ensure that the SSW Performance Expectations are reinforced and incorporated into the field experience. In addition, a valid CWA authorization is required in those settings where the candidate will accrue hours and experience toward the CWA authorization.

Application Documents:

  • Current resume
  • Previous unofficial transcripts
  • Admission to the MSW Program
  • 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
  • Take note the CBEST or Basic Skills Requirement is not required at the time of application.
  • Fingerprint and backgrounds checks at CSU Monterey Bay Police Department or alternative live scan locations.
  • Certificate of Clearance issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Staff and faculty will review all applications holistically. 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 are taken into consideration. An in-person interview may be required.

The application window for admission to the 2023 - 2024 academic year opens October 1st and closes February 1st. 

Applications need to be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on January 31st.


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 the 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 promoted 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 PPS Coordinator with any further questions.