School Social Work Program

At A Glance

8 Months Program length
15 Semester credit hours*


Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), approved by TSPC

Two Paths

Offered as part of MSW program or as a stand-alone certificate - more


Hybrid-online; online beginning fall 2025 - more

Cost per Semester Credit Hour


Tuition Cost for Entire Program

No additional cost when taken as part of MSW; $11,910 (plus program fee) for stand-alone certificate**

* For students enrolled in the MSW program at the same time, these 15 hours are built into the required 62 credit hours (traditional MSW) or 32 credit hours (advanced standing MSW).

** All stated financial information is subject to change.

Help Students and Families Flourish

School social worker walks with student

All too often, children in need of mental health services don’t have access to care due to financial, societal or family barriers. The advocate they need is beyond their reach.

Enter the school social worker – a trained mental health professional who can:

In short, they fill the gap to make lasting positive change for children at a developmentally crucial age. Are you willing to fill the gap? 

Practical Training

Our School Social Work Licensure Preparation Program will give you the clinical assessment and intervention skills you’ll need to work with children and adolescents in a school setting. As part of your education, you’ll be trained in:

Upon successful completion of our program, you’ll meet all the requirements for recommendation to licensure with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission ( TSPC).

Choose Between Two Paths

Integrated MSW + School Social Work Program

You can complete the school social work program as a part of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at George Fox without taking any extra courses or taking longer to finish your master’s degree. If you don’t already have your MSW and want to be a school social worker, this is the way to go.

Stand-Alone School Social Work Program

If you already have an MSW from a CSWE-accredited university and want to become a school social worker, our stand-alone option is a better fit for you.

In just eight months, you can earn all requirements to prepare you for licensure as a school social worker in Oregon.

The path is ideal for people working in schools with an emergency or restricted school social work license or for social workers who want to start working in a school setting.

hybrid class


From now until fall 2025, courses are being offered in-person at George Fox University’s Portland Center at a variety of class times, including evenings, weekends, and during the day. Some online asynchronous (on your own schedule) courses are also offered. Not all courses are available in all of these formats.

Beginning in fall 2025 and beyond, the program will shift to an almost entirely online format. While most classes can be completed online asynchronously (on your own schedule), a few will require live online participation during evening hours. Additionally, students will need to attend courses at the Portland Center for a short residency occasionally, but no more than once per semester.


This course offers an orientation to social work practice in schools. It provides knowledge and skills for analyzing educational programs and policies for schools functioning under public and private settings. Students will learn about various approaches to the social work role in schools and school social work practices.

The course provides an overview of ecological systems in schools, critical policy issues impacting education, and relevant prevention and intervention strategies to promote the right to education of oppressed and special populations (including children and youth with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities, economic and geographical disadvantages, and diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds).

This course is split into two parts – knowledge of and interventions with child and family issues, and play therapy as an intervention modality. The first part of the course covers several aspects of working with children and their families, including child development, trust-based relational intervention, childhood disorders, divorce and adoption.

The play therapy section is a basic introduction to working with children as clients in a play therapy modality. The history of play therapy, the various theoretical approaches to play therapy, and some basic play therapy concepts will be learned and practiced. Students will learn how and why play therapy is a treatment modality for children. An emphasis on practice with marginalized populations is infused throughout the course.

This course provides an overview of theories and models of social work intervention with individuals, children and families. Students learn the philosophy and theoretical constructs of a variety of methods, as well as how and when to apply those methods.

Students develop knowledge and use of skills for the application of research-informed models of direct social work with individuals and families. Advanced practice skills are emphasized, with particular attention to engagement and intervention. This course is focused on practical application and is experiential.

*This course may be waived or transferred if the department determines that you have previously met the competencies taught in the course.

These courses are designed as a companion for the practicum placement and provides an opportunity for social work students to apply academic learning to advanced professional social work practice under the supervision of a qualified and experienced social work practitioner. It bridges classroom learning and the practice of social work through faculty coordination of the practicum experience and facilitation of the seminar sessions.  

These hours may be worked in your current place of employment if you are currently working in a school setting that meets TSPC qualifications. 

Steps to Becoming a Licensed Social Worker in Oregon

School social worker teaches class with student
  1. Complete a school social work licensure preparation program, like this one at George Fox University
  2. Complete the TSPC application and pay the associated fee
  3. Pass a fingerprint background check
  4. Submit an official copy of your MSW transcript to TSPC, either from George Fox or from your MSW-granting institution
  5. Submit proof of completing a TSPC-approved school social work licensure preparation program to TSPC, consisting of official transcripts and program completion report (PCR) from your school


Trisha Stickler

Trisha Stickler

Admissions Counselor, Master of Social Work Program