School Social Work Certification

Department of Social Work
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
PO Box 139
School Social Work Certification

A child's success in school is dependent upon many factors other than academic ability. Family problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence, as well as child neglect, poverty, and high crime neighborhoods make concentrating and performing in school extremely difficult for children and youth. These children often have behavioral and academic problems. In addition, children with special needs, such as physical and learning disabilities need social services to be appropriately addressed.

A school social worker's job is to assess the causes of academic and behavioral problems of children and develop a plan to address those concerns. School social workers link family, school and community in order to meet the needs of the student. Working with children and families in crisis and assisting families of children with special needs are the primary function of the school social worker.

School social workers are employed by school systems in every state in the United States. It is possible to work in a large city with hundreds of schools and in a rural area where there may be one high school for the entire county. With the immigration of families with many cultures to the United States, knowledge of cultural diversity and practice issues is essential to being an effective school social worker in any setting.

To receive a certification in School Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University, you must complete requirements for the BSW degree and take the following courses:

FOED 2110 Educational Psychology
SPED 3010 Characteristics & Teaching of Diverse Learners
CDFS 4350 Parenting
SW 3250 School Social Work

You must also complete your two field placements in school settings. Upon completion of these requirements, the department will authorize application for licensure. The Teacher Licensing Office, in the College of Education, processes the application for licensure.

Professional organizations that support School Social Workers include, but are not limited to:

  • School Social Work Association of America (
  • Tennessee Association of School Social Workers (
  • National Association of Social Workers (

    For more information, please contact:
    Beverly English
    Coordinator of School Social Work