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What is a Post-MSW PEL Program?


A Post-MSW PEL program is a non-degree program for master’s level social workers to obtain the course credits and internship experience to secure a professional educator license (PEL) for working as a school social worker in the state of Illinois. In this post we’ll answer some questions regarding post-MSW PEL programs. 

What is a PEL? 

A PEL is a professional educator license that is required for teachers, school support personnel, or administrators in the state of Illinois to have in order to work in a public or approved non-public program. Requirements typically include completing coursework and exams. 

How can I work in schools as a school social worker in the state of Illinois? 

In order to work as a school social worker, a social worker must have a Professional Educator License, with School Social Work Endorsement.  

Some social workers specialize in schools during their MSW program and complete their coursework and licensure requirements during that time. Therefore, they are eligible to apply for their PEL when they graduate with their MSW. 

Other social workers do not specialize in schools and if they are interested in becoming a licensed school social worker, they will have to complete additional coursework and a school-based internship. This is why some universities now offer a Post-MSW PEL Program. 

What is a Post-MSW PEL program? 

A Post-MSW Professional Educator License (PEL), School Social Worker Endorsement Program is a non-degree or certificate only program that prepares individuals who have already obtained an MSW to become licensed school social workers. The program curriculum prepares them for eligibility to obtain a PEL with School Social Worker Endorsement. 

What comprises a Post-MSW PEL program? 

The program typically comprises a 2-3 day per week school-based internship placement of at least 600 hours with field supervision and additional coursework. Depending on the school, it may be 2 or 3 classes spread out over the fall and spring semesters. Coursework consists of key topics in social work policy, exceptional children, reading content, and field instruction. 

How much does a Post-MSW PEL program cost? 

Paying for a Post-MSW PEL program and licensure application and fees is typically done out-of-pocket. Unlike paying for MSW programs, there is no ability to apply for FAFSA to get federal grants or student loans. The average cost of a Post-MSW PEL is between $6,000 and $11,000. 

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Hi, I’m Jessica! I’m a licensed clinical social worker, entrepreneur, and wellness expert with a passion for helping others thrive. Join me as I offer practical tips and resources for fellow students, professionals, and anyone seeking wisdom on improving their well-being.

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