Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance Services

Help meet the need for professional social workers equipped to serve children and adolescents in schools.

Help meet the need for professional social workers equipped to serve children and adolescents in schools. Azusa Pacific’s Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) in School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance program will advance your skills with a practice specialization that provides a competitive edge for employment in social work services within P-12 school settings.

Designed as a complement to the MSW degree program, this credential combines a solid theoretical base and evidence-informed practice models related to school social work and child welfare and attendance. Through relevant coursework and fieldwork opportunities, you will learn how to support children, parents, and school personnel while shaping a responsive environment to help children succeed academically and thrive emotionally.

  • MSW Students: This credential option is available for APU MSW students pursuing the clinical practice specialization.
  • MSW Degree Holders: Individuals who already hold an MSW degree and have appropriate experience may also qualify for the credential program.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

To apply for the PPSC program, you must be enrolled in or planning to enroll in APU’s Master of Social Work program, or have already completed an MSW degree.

Current MSW Student Admission Requirements

The PPSC program is open to all students enrolled in the 60-unit APU MSW program who have successfully completed foundation-level curriculum, are enrolled in the Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families specialization, and complete the PPSC program requirements as outlined below:

For more information, refer to the PPSC Auxiliary Student Handbook (PDF) and the PPSC General Program Requirements (PDF).

To learn more about registering, contact Karen Maynard, director of student services, at kmaynard@apu.edu or (626) 857-2400.

Post-MSW Admission Requirements

Post-MSW PPSC applicants must meet the following admissions requirements:

  • Hold an MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program, with advanced coursework focused on clinical or direct practice; or have two years of post-MSW practice experience with children, youth, and families
  • Provide verification of completion of a course with child psychopathology content, or evidence of 2 years of work experience with children and families
  • Complete the PPSC application
  • Provide official transcripts, along with syllabi and course descriptions as needed, to provide proof of prerequisite coursework completed
  • Obtain a Certificate of Clearance through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website
  • Provide evidence of meeting basic skills requirements (as outlined by the CTC)

Note: The Certificate of Clearance and basic skills requirements are program requirements, but not conditions for admission.

Note: Applicants who have already completed the required fieldwork hours can apply to have hours verified for the credential and completed coursework only. Applicants who still need the required hours will also need to complete field internship requirements.

Course Requirements

SOCW 540Educational Policy3
SOCW 563School Social Work3
Field Internship 1
SOCW 534Field Seminar III1
SOCW 539Field III-Clinical Practice3
SOCW 544Field Seminar IV1
SOCW 548Field IV - Clinical Practice3
Total Units14

Equipping School Social Work Leaders

Coming from a Christian-based perspective, the PPS credential faculty are committed to preparing a workforce that can advocate for and meet needs within the community and school system. During the credential program, you will:

  • Learn to conduct biopsychosocial assessments, intervene in crises, identify community resources and linkages, and participate in interprofessional collaboration and consultation.
  • Study alongside faculty who are active practitioners of school social work.
  • For those completing the credential with the MSW, participate in fieldwork opportunities in diverse school settings to put learning into practice.
  • Benefit from potential opportunities to disseminate research at local, regional, or national conferences with faculty.

This credential option builds on the MSW program’s mission to develop competent advanced social work practitioners who integrate the knowledge, values, and skills of social work to advance social justice and provide services to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities within the school setting.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Understand factors that contribute to successful learning.
  2. Understand and apply ways in which pupil development, well being, and learning can be enhanced by family school collaboration.
  3. Apply knowledge and models of systematic and collaborative school safety planning to support a safe and secure learning environment for pupils.
  4. Apply knowledge and skills of best practices to assess and reduce school violence.
  5. Identify methods of addressing the needs of witnesses, victims and perpetrators of violence as related to improved behavior and enhanced teaching and learning.
  6. Apply knowledge of learning theories, as well as factors that influence learning and teaching such as cognition, memory, attention skills, perceptual-sensory processes, emotional state, motivation, organizational skills, gender, cultural differences, and linguistic differences.
  7. Evaluate the appropriateness of instructional strategies and activities used to teach concepts to pupils, which create positive learning environments and take into account learning assets and deficits.
  8. Identify and apply models of supervision used to mentor candidates in field placements to promote professional growth and skill development.
  9. Recognize the important role that supervisors play in pre-professional training of future PPSC school social workers.
  10. Understand the collaborative goal of pupil success and well-being, and the role of the school social worker to work in partnerships to fully develop pupils, schools, family resources and community linkages.
  11. Apply knowledge and understanding of the history, philosophy and trends in Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Programs and the role of school social worker.
  12. Apply knowledge the professional role of the CWA Supervisor as a student advocate in relation to Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Programs.
  13. Demonstrate knowledge and application of laws related to child welfare and attendance.
  14. Apply knowledge and understanding of leadership and management of child welfare and attendance programs.
  15. Gain knowledge of skill in establishing communication system for child welfare and attendance programs.
  16. Gain knowledge of funding sources for child welfare and attendance programs.
  17. Will be knowledgeable of case management strategies to improve attendance and CWA compliance.
  18. Demonstrate knowledge and skill to develop, utilize, and maintain inter- and intra-agency collaboration and partnerships.
  19. Understand the organizational culture and politics of public school and related systems particularly as they relate to the role of student advocate and the professional role of the child welfare and attendance supervisor.
  20. Skills pertaining to the assessment and amelioration of barriers to learning.
  21. Skills to apply alternative education pathways to improve and reduce barriers to learning.