Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work

Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work

The UMass Global Social Work Department offers curriculum in school social work practice, leading to eligibility for a recommendation for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work (PPSC-SSW), which is issued by the State of California, Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  The PPSC-SSW is typically a requirement for employment as a school social worker in California, K-12 public schools. 

The PPSC-SSW courses educate master’s-level social workers to assist public schools in achieving their educational and developmental missions.  There are specific courses focused on school social work which provide candidates with the added knowledge, skills, and values necessary to meet the performance expectations of the state. Candidates who elect to take the school social work credentialing courses learn intervention skills to address the problems of school children and their families. Academic and field education experiences focus on serving disadvantaged and at-risk students and their families in an informed and self-reflective manner.

Graduates with a PPSC-SSW understand the services available to vulnerable children and their families through the primary public service systems in the community, in addition to regular and special education. We emphasize collaborative and interdisciplinary modes of practice that include direct service with school children, their parents and caretakers; collaboration with teachers, administrators and other support personnel; linkage and advocacy with other resource providers; program evaluation; and participation in interdisciplinary educational teams.

This program is pending California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approval.

Requirements for the PPSC-SSW

This program meets CTC minimum requirements for the PPSC-SSW. PPSC-SSW candidates must complete a post-baccalaureate program of study consisting of a minimum of 45 semester units in an approved professional preparation program specializing in school social work, including a practicum with school-aged children. UMass Global's fully accredited MSW program and associated curriculum in school social work practice as shown immediately below satisfy this requirement for the PPSC-SSW credential.

In addition to successfully completing all requirements for the MSW degree, candidates seeking the PPSC-SSW credential must complete the following courses as part of their program of study.

SOWK 631Social Work Practice with Adolescents3
SOWK 660Social Work Policy in School Settings3
SOWK 661Social Work Practice in School Settings3
** MSW AG/AS students must also complete:
SOWK 655Substance Abuse3
SOWK 657Mental Health and Mental Illness3

Admission to the PPSC-SSW program is restricted to current UMass Global MSW students. The courses above must be completed in the UMass Global, MSW Program in order to be eligible for a PPSC-SSW credential recommendation from UMass Global. No transfer credit or waivers are granted for any of these courses. For more detailed information please read the CTC's Pupil Personnel Services: School Social Work Preconditions, Program Standards, and Performance Expectations.

Field Practicum in School Social Work

PPSC-SSW candidates must complete a minimum of 1000 hours of field experience that includes at least 600 hours of school-based field placement in public pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, district level and alternative schools. Candidates must work in multiple public school levels and the distribution of hours will be decided in collaboration with the candidate, field supervisor, and university supervisor.

UMass Global MSW candidates satisfy the field experience requirement through a combination of both first and second year MSW field placements. MSW students pursuing the PPSC-SSW will need to have a second year field placement in a school-based setting. This arrangement is most meaningful in terms of synchronizing required academic course work with field experiences.

PPSC-SSW candidates should have a broad base of experiences including but not limited to: families and students identified as eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals, English Language Learners, Homeless, Foster Youth, Students in need of Special Education and Section 504 plans, students who have been expelled from school, sexual minority youth (LGBTQ+), and students with mental health needs. School-based field placements intended to satisfy the field practice experience requirement for the PPSC-SSW will provide credential-seeking candidates with direct contact with students and families that is sufficient to demonstrate competency in all of the School Social Work Performance Expectations.

Field Practice Supervision Requirements

A PPSC-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 addition, a valid Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) authorization is required in those settings where the candidate will accrue hours and experience toward the CWA authorization. PPSC-SSW candidates must meet with their field supervisor for a minimum of one (1) hour of individual supervision per week.

Before beginning any school-based field placement used to satisfy the PPSC-SSW field practice experience requirement, credential-seeking candidates must obtain a Certificate of Clearance (or hold another valid certificate or permit) issued by the CTC. The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued to an individual who has completed the required fingerprint and background check processes.

Obtaining a Certificate of Clearance is a two-step process:
  1. The student must complete the CTC-specific LiveScan fingerprinting. This step MUST be completed before moving to step two.
  2. The student applies for the Certificate of Clearance online through the CTC Online System. Individuals who have received fingerprint clearance from a school district, other California state agencies, or in other states are NOT exempt from this requirement and must complete the fingerprinting process for the CTC. This means students must complete the Lives can process specifically for the CTC, even if they have already done it for another agency. Exceptions are granted only to individuals who have already completed the fingerprinting process and have been issued a valid document by the CTC. These individuals are not required to obtain another Certificate of Clearance. Certificate of Clearance are valid for five years.

Specialization in Child Welfare and Attendance

UMass Global's curriculum in school social work practice addresses requirements for both the PPSS credential and the CWA Authorization. Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) is a student support service intended to help address complicated issues regarding student attendance or behavior problems. The PPSC-SSW credential program includes the CWA Authorization, which requires a minimum of 150 clock hours of supervised school-based field experience engaging in supervised practice in the following areas: student attendance, student enrollment and discipline, educational records, parent engagement, and legal and ethical compliance related to pupil services (this is part of the 600 hours discussed above).

Meet the Basic Skills Requirement

All applicants for a PPSC-SSW credential must complete the state’s Basic Skills Requirement in order to be eligible for a credential recommendation. The basic skills requirement may also be required as a condition of employment in some school districts. All credential candidates MUST provide a copy of the examination score report used to verify completion of the Basic Skills Requirement prior to requesting an online credential recommendation from UMass Global (generally upon completion of the program).  For more information on how to complete this requirement please see the CTC’s Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information.

Obtain a Recommendation from a CTC-approved PPSC-SSW Preparation Program

PPSC-SSW credential candidates must apply to be recommended to the CTC by UMass Global.  Upon verification that all requirements have been satisfied, UMass Global submits credential recommendations on behalf of eligible candidates online directly to CTC.

Declaring PPSC-SSW for Current MSW Candidates

Current MSW Candidates must declare their intent to pursue the PPSC-SSW credential by visiting the Social Work webpage in the student area of MyUMass Global and following the instructions.  For further information, they may contact the School Social Work coordinator at schoolsw@umassglobal.edu.