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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Colorado School Social Work Licensure

Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Requirements:

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  • Master's degree or higher in social work from accepted institution of higher education
  • Documented evidence of completed coursework in areas of school and special education law, including content covering Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and the development of behavior intervention plans
  • Successful completion of supervised 900 clock-hour practicum in the field of social work which shall have been completed in a school, social service agency, mental health clinic or facility and/or hospital setting
  • Successful completion of at least one field experience with school age children/students
  • Successful completion of Colorado-approved content exam: Colorado Assessment for Licensed Clinical Social Workers or PLACE 47. Passing Score: 220.

The Role of the GSSW Registrar

  • The GSSW Registrar can complete your Approved Program Verification Form if you have met all curricular and practicum requirements. This document satisfies the first four requirements listed above and provides the institutional recommendation required by CDE. After completing Section C of this form, submit it to our office in person or via fax, email, or post:

Office of the Registrar: Graduate School of Social Work
2148 S. High Street Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-2843 Fax: 303-871-2845 (attention: Registrar)

  • Verifications take 7-10 days. Once complete, we will email the form back to you as a PDF so you can upload it to CDE's online application system.
  • Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this process!

Coursework Requirements - ADA , 504, IDEA


  • Complete One GSSW Approved School Social Work Class -  The following GSSW courses meet CDE's coursework requirements. If you have taken one of these classes you have met the curricular requirement, but GSSW strongly recommends that you take both courses, if possible.
    • SOWK 4712—Law of Family & Child Examines legal principles and procedures relevant to social work practice with families and children: structure and operation of American legal system, principles to follow in conducting legal research, basic principles of constitutional law and law related to juvenile delinquency, child protection, child adoption, education and domestic relations.  Covers legal aspects of social work practice including licensing, confidentiality, and professional liability.  Successful completion meets GSSW's and Colorado's requirement for certification as a school social worker.
    • SOWK 4715—School Social Work Interventions Designed to give students the ability to identify, understand and apply the varied roles of school social worker. Examines politics of education, the educational organizational structure, special education law and process, collaborative teamwork with school and community professionals and intersystem case coordination. Emphasis placed on meeting the needs of special education populations through assessment, intervention and evaluation and on preventive programs for children and youth at risk for school failure, truancy and dropping out. Successful completion meets GSSW's and Colorado's requirement for certification as a school social worker.


  • Submit Syllabus Verifying Completion of Equivalent Course at Another Accredited Institution - GSSW Alumni who have taken relevant coursework with another school may submit syllabus/syllabi for course/s along with the Approved Program Verification Form.
  • Please note, the syllabus must clearly indicate that the following topics were addressed:
    • ADA
    • 504
    • IDEA
  • It is additionally recommended (but not required) that you take the following clinical elective courses pertaining to children, youth and families:
    • SOWK 4500—Mental Health Interventions with Children
    • SOWK 4315—Building Resilience: Healthy Development in Childhood and Adolescence
    • SOWK 4412 – Practice Elements
    • SOWK 4713 – XXX

Haven't Taken a Course?

GSSW offers one or both of the classes above quarterly! Contact the GSSW Registrar for course availability and how to apply as a special status student. Students with an MSW are eligible for a 50% tuition discount for summer courses. You can submit your Program Verification Form along with your application for enrollment, or you can submit it later at your convenience.

Practicum Requirements - 900 supervised hours and experience with children


  • Complete at least 900 Hours of Supervised Social Work Practicum*
  • Complete at least 480 Hours of Supervised Field Practicum* with School-Age Children
    •  * or equivalent supervised work experience

Special Instructions

What GSSW needs in order to verify the above varies depending on circumstances. Below are the most common situations. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

  • Two-Year Alumni: If you attended GSSW after 2008 and at least one of your internships involved work with school age children/students, you will not need to submit any further documentation to meet this requirement.
  • Advanced Standing Alumni: If you attended GSSW after 2008 we can verify that you completed a minimum of 600 hours in your concentration field placement. To meet CDE's requirement of 900 hours, we will need a letter from a current or past supervisor vouching for an additional 300 hours of practicum or social work experience. If your placement at GSSW did not involve work with school age children/students, your letter should specifically attest to this experience.
  • Students in attendance prior to 2008: It is the student's responsibility to maintain their academic records, however GSSW retains students' paper files for ten years after graduation per university policy. Electronic recordkeeping began in 2010, but students that graduated prior to 2010 we will require a signed letter from a current or past supervisor
  • Other students: Please submit a letter from a current or past supervisor vouching for 900 hours. This supervisor can be someone you worked with as a volunteer, at an undergraduate internship, or a current or past employer. Please send letter to

Things to Note

  • If you are applying for a Provisional License, you will be required to have fingerprints taken for a background check. You will receive additional information with your application materials.
  • As of March 1, 2007, you must also submit proof of residence including a signed affidavit and a notarized copy of 1 of 7 approved forms of evidence of legal residence. Please contact the Colorado Department of Education directly if you have questions or concerns about this requirement.
  • Obtain application materials and a PLACE (Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators) registration bulletin from the Colorado State Department of Education (303-866-6628).
    • Complete the required PLACE assessments. You are required to complete the appropriate assessment for School Social Workers unless you are an LCSW, in which case this exam is waived or to have successfully completed the appropriate American Association of State Social Work Boards examination (Advanced or Clinical). A useful study guide is available on-line
  • As you complete the required PLACE assessments, your scores will be sent directly to the Colorado Department of Education. You are responsible for mailing the application materials, transcripts, fingerprint card and fees to the address above.

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