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 Services 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 and the PPSC General Program Requirements.

To learn more about registering, contact Olivia Sevilla, assistant professor and PPSC coordinator, at oesevilla@apu.edu or (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2769.

Post-MSW Admission Requirements

Applicants to the post-MSW PPSC program who want to enroll for the summer and/or need to fulfill the field internship requirement must submit materials by March 1. Applicants who want to enroll in fall and/or have completed the field internship requirement must submit materials by June 1. Full admission requires that the MSW degree be posted by June 30.

Post-MSW PPSC applicants who have not completed PPSC fieldwork 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/adolescent behavioral health and diagnosis 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 the Basic Skills Requirement (as outlined by the CTC)

Note: The Certificate of Clearance and Basic Skills Requirement are program requirements, but not conditions for admission.

Note: Applicants needing 600 PPSC fieldwork hours will need to complete 8 units of fieldwork along with 6 units of coursework. Applicants who have already completed the required fieldwork can request to have hours verified for the credential, and be approved to complete only the 6 units of coursework.

Post-MSW PPSC Applicants Who Have Completed Field Requirements

Applicants who have already completed the required PPSC fieldwork hours can request to waive field placement. If a field placement waiver is granted, applicants will need to complete only 6 units of coursework.

Note: It is preferred that the required 600 PPSC hours be collected in the specialization year of the MSW program. Hours collected in the generalist, foundation year of the MSW program will be considered for the post-MSW PPSC program if the student has evidence of a specialization placement focused on working with children and families, and has completed a course with child/adolescent behavioral health and diagnosis content.

Candidates must also meet the following PPSC field placement requirements:

  • Of the 600 hours completed, 450 must be in school social work (SSW) activities, and 150 hours must be in child welfare and attendance (CWA) activities; these hours are approved by an approved supervisor1

  • Hours include activities in any two grade levels (PK-K, Elementary, Middle, High School) and with diverse populations

  • Certificate of Clearance must remain active through the entire credentialing process

Meeting the Basic Skills Requirement is not a condition of admission, but it must be completed before credential recommendation can be made.


PPSC supervisor must have an MSW (and have had it for at least 2 years), have an active Certificate of Clearance, and have an active PPSC credential in SSW and CWA.

Course Requirements

SOCW 540Educational Policy3
SOCW 563School Social Work3
Field Internship 1
SOCW 553Field V Clinical: School Social Work3
SOCW 554Field Seminar V Clinical: School Social Work1
SOCW 555Field VI Clinical: School Social Work3
SOCW 556Field Seminar VI Clinical: School Social Work1
Total Units14

Candidates can apply to have prior fieldwork hours verified by the program.

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. SSWPE 1: Ethical and Professional Behavior
  2. SSWPE 2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice
  3. SSWPE 3: Promote Social Justice and Equity
  4. SSWPE 4: Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice
  5. SSWPE 5: Engage in Policy Practice
  6. SSWPE 6: Engage with Students, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  7. SSWPE 7: Assess Students, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  8. SSWPE 8: Intervene Collaboratively with: Students, Families, Groups, Teachers, School Staff, Organizations, and the Community
  9. SSWPE 9: Evaluate Interventions with Students, Families, Groups, Teachers, School Staff, Organizations, and the Community
  10. SSWPE 10: Growth and Development