School of Social Work - Continuing Education
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School Social Work
State of Michigan Approvals

In Michigan, school social workers must hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and have successfully completed specific specialized training in helping students within the context of local schools. There is an explicit and detailed specific process for becoming approved as a school social worker in the state of Michigan. Candidates interested in becoming a School Social Worker must meet the requirements set forth by Michigan State University as per the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). There are three steps to becoming a fully approved school social worker:

This information (current as of March 2014) is also set out in an MDE pdf document.

The Department of Education Administrative Rules for School Social Workers (pdf) can be downloaded HERE.


TEMPORARY APPROVAL POLICY & CRITERIA

  1. The candidate must possess a master’s degree from a graduate school of social work program approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). This includes a minimum 500-clock-hour supervised social work practicum.
  2. The candidate must have received a recommendation for temporary approval from a Michigan school of social work training program by obtaining an SSW-310 form.
  3. Temporary approval is granted to the requesting school district or intermediate school district (ISD) for a time period of not more than one school year.
  4. A request for approval must be received by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE) during the school year (July 1 to June 30) in which the effective date applies.
  5. Temporary approval is granted from the beginning of the school year in which the request was initiated or the candidate’s date of employment as a school social worker, whichever is later. Approval is granted any time throughout the school year for which the approval is effective, but no later than June 30.
  6. A previously approved school social worker who has not been employed by a public school in Michigan for five or more consecutive years shall seek recommendation from a Michigan institution of higher education to obtain re-approval from the MDE, OSE as a condition of reemployment.
  7. Temporary approval is transferable from one school district to the next.

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CONTINUING TEMPORARY APPROVAL POLICY & CRITERIA

  1. A candidate for continuing temporary approval must have received temporary or continuing temporary approval as a school social worker in the previous school year.
  2. Continuing temporary approval is granted to the requesting school district or intermediate school district (ISD) for a time period of not more than one school year.
  3. The employer must request continuing temporary approval for each consecutive year the candidate continues to be employed as a school social worker but has not completed the required one school year of full time successful employment under the direction of a fully approved school social worker.
  4. A request for approval must be received by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE) during the school year (July 1 to June 30) in which the effective date applies.
  5. A previously approved school social worker who has not been employed by a public school in Michigan for five or more consecutive years shall seek recommendation from a Michigan institution of higher education to obtain re-approval from the MDE, OSE as a condition of reemployment.
  6. Continuing temporary approval is transferable from one school district to the next.

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FULL APPROVAL POLICY & CRITERIA

  1. The candidate must have a master’s degree from a graduate school of social work program approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).
  2. The candidate must have received school social worker temporary and continuing approval prior to applying for full approval. The required one year of full time successful employment must be completed while working as a school social worker under temporary or continuing approval.
  3. A request for approval must be received by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE) during the school year (July 1 to June 30) in which the effective date applies.
  4. Full approval is granted from the beginning of the school year in which the request was initiated or from the date that the candidate completed one school year of full time successful employment under the direction of a fully approved school social worker, whichever is later.
  5. Full approval does not expire as long as the candidate remains employed as a school social worker. A previously approved school social worker who has not been employed by a public school in Michigan for five or more consecutive years shall seek recommendation from a Michigan institution of higher education to obtain re-approval from the MDE, OSE as a condition of reemployment.
  6. Full approval is transferable from one school district to the next.

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