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Short-Term Licensure Approvals For School Shortages

Obtaining licensure for LSWs and LCSWs working in schools due to personnel shortages.


The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allows post-MSW social workers to seek admittance into the Short-Term Approval process if they meet the requirements.

Short-Term Approval

Short-Term Approval Type Requirements to be Issued Approval Requirements for the Approval License/Endorsement
School Social Worker (valid for 3 fiscal years) Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) Complete a School Social Worker Approved Program
Professional Certification from IDFPR or National Certification in Social Work 1 year of experience on the STA plus a proficient or higher evaluation rating will waive internship requirements
Pass the School Social Worker Content Test
Submit ISBE Form 83- 86

PEL Short-Term Licensure Requirements

Application Steps

Before application to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work:

The application must include:

  • Evidence of LSW or LCSW licensure
  • A copy of the completed ISBE form 83-86 (see above)
  • Provide evidence that supervisor has a PEL and 2 years post-masters experience in school social work. If you do not have access to supervision from someone with the above criteria, see below
  • Evidence of passing the PEL in School Social Work content exam

After application:

  • School of Social Work will confirm with the UIUC Council on Teacher Education that the student’s ELIS account shows that the applicant has approval
  • Applicants will meet with the School of Social Work Representative to verify that the current work experience meets the criteria for a PEL, and create a plan for addressing any deficiencies in the workplace
  • Applicants will meet with School of Social Work Representative to create a plan for appropriate PEL supervision if employment supervisor does not meet the criteria
  • An acceptance decision will be made

To complete the Short-Term Approval process, enrolled students must meet the following requirements:

  • SOCW 507: School Social Work Practice
  • SOCW 519: Educational Policy
  • One year of work experience under a Short-Term Approval
  • Evidence of a proficient or higher evaluation rating from employer
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