Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

Is this program open to all graduates of an accredited MSW program or just to graduates of Sacramento State?

Any social work professional with a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school may apply. 

I am graduating in the spring. May I apply to the program?

Yes, you may apply to the program. Proof of graduation is required with your application, e.g. signed letter from university stating expected graduation date or graduation evaluation signed by degree evaluator. Once your degree posts, you must submit an official transcript.

How much is tuition?

Each course is $425 per unit x 3 units = $1,275 per course. $1,275 per course x 2 courses = $2,550. Fees are due at the time of registration. You may register for one course at a time. Price is subject to change.

What other costs are associated with the program?

There is an additional field administrative/verification fee of $1275 that is due after acceptance into the program and before the summer courses begin. Price is subject to change. 

Once you complete the coursework and fieldwork and have applied for your clear credential, the Credentials Office will inform you about the state commission fees. 

Is financial aid available?

Unfortunately, PPSC students are not considered matriculated students; therefore, financial aid is not available. However, since the courses are offered for academic credit, you may apply for a private student loan through your bank or financial institution.

What if I have to miss a class?

You are expected to attend all classes and actively participate. Absences for medical reasons will require the verification of a health professional. Absences for non-urgent matters, including weddings, vacations, other professional conferences, or other non-medical circumstances are not excusable. 

May I take SWRK 238A this summer and SWRK 238B next summer?

You are expected to take both courses for the summer in which you apply. 

Fieldwork Questions

How many fieldwork hours are required?

The field placement must consist of 450 clock hours of school-based practice under supervision of a qualified person holding a PPS certification. The field placement must take place with at least two age groups (preschool, elementary school, middle school or high school) with a minimum of 100 clock hours at each setting, not to exclude district services and programs or alternative school settings. You must also complete a minimum of 100 hours with at least 10 pupils of an ethnic background different from yourself. These hours can be included in the required 450 clock hours.

May I accrue fieldwork hours before I begin taking the PPSC courses?

If you interned at a school during your MSW program or worked at one after you graduated with your MSW within the last seven years and your hours were supervised by a qualified person holding a PPS certification in California, your fieldwork hours may count. Fieldwork hours cannot be verified until after you are admitted to the program.

May I use fieldwork hours from my MSW program?

Yes, if you were supervised by a qualified person holding a PPS certification in California. If you are using fieldwork hours from your MSW program, we will only accept fieldwork hours from the second year field placement. Copies of your second year MSW field evaluations will need to be submitted with your fieldwork paperwork. We also do not accept fieldwork hours from BSW/BASW programs.

Does my field experience need to be completed before enrolling the program?

No, you can complete your fieldwork while taking the courses or after.

How much time do I have to complete fieldwork?

You must successfully complete your fieldwork hours within three years of enrolling in our program in order to be eligible to apply for the PPS certification. We recommend visiting the California Association of School Social Workers website and reviewing the sample school social worker job description

What are the duties expected at a field placement?

The primary roles of school social workers are to provide social work services in grades 12 and below, including preschool, and in programs organized primarily for adults. We recommend visiting the California Association of School Social Workers website and reviewing the sample school social worker job description.

Does Sacramento State place students?

If fieldwork hours are not complete, you should be in the process of obtaining a field placement or completing your fieldwork hours through employment or volunteer work in a public school setting. You are responsible for securing your own field placement.

Does my field instructor need to have a PPS certification in school social work?

A qualified person holding a PPS certification in school social work in California must provide field instruction supervision.

In rural areas only, if this person does not have a PPS certification in school social work, they must have their PPS in school psychology or school counseling and we ask that you find an MSW who is willing to supervise your fieldwork hours in addition to the PPS holder.

Do I need liability insurance?

You will need to check to make sure you are covered under your school district’s liability insurance for its personnel or volunteers. If you would like to obtain your own insurance, you can do so through NASW.

Do you accept out-of-state fieldwork hours?

Fieldwork hours must be completed in the state of California. We do not accept out-of-state fieldwork hours. No exceptions.

What are the requirements to be a field instructor?

Field instructors must:

  • All supervisors must have their PPSC in school social work. The only exception is in rural areas. Then the supervisor may have their PPSC in any field, but an additional person with their MSW must also sign off on your paperwork.
  • Have two years of post-PPS experience.
  • Meet weekly with you for one hour of individual supervision.
  • Work with you to develop a learning agreement.
  • Complete a field evaluation at the end of your field placement.

Credential Questions

When do I have to satisfy the basic skills requirement?

You may satisfy it at any time. Keep in mind that you must satisfy the basic skills requirement in order to obtain your clear credential. The Credentials Office at Sacramento State cannot process your credential application without it. Please visit the CTC Basic Skills Requirement webpage for a list of options to meet the requirement.

How long does it take to obtain the credential once I submit my application?

It will take at least 3 weeks. Once your application is received, the program coordinator will obtain approval from the Division of Social Work for you to apply for the clear credential. Once approved, the program coordinator will send all required documentation to the Credentials Office at Sacramento State, who will process your application for completeness and accuracy. They will go online and recommend you to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). You will then receive an email from the CTC requesting payment for the clear credential. It takes approximately 7 – 10 business days after you have been recommended to receive your clear credential online. You may check on the status of your clear credential on the CTC website