The University of Chicago: Graduate Studies

Social Worker Endorsement Certificate Program (Type 73) Instructions

Instructions for applying to the Post-Masters School Social Worker Endorsement Certificate Program (Type 73)

All applications for admission to the Post-Masters School Social Worker Endorsement Certificate Program (Type 73) at SSA must be received by March 15, 2019. Only complete applications are reviewed.

Unofficial transcripts, unofficial test scores, resume/CV and the candidate's statement can be uploaded at the time you fill out your application.  You will request letters of recommendation through the online application and we will receive them directly through the same system. If you are offered admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts and official test scores. Official test scores and official transcripts can be sent to us directly from testing agencies and institutions.

1.Transcripts. You must provide official transcripts from every institution where you've taken 3 or more courses unless these courses and their grades appear on your home institution transcript. We accept electronic delivery of official transcripts provided by your university; the designated receiver should be Admissions Specialist, Sarina Carrillo at You may upload clean and legible scanned or digitized unofficial transcripts in support of your application and they must be accompanied by the institutional grading and credit system information (most commonly found on the reverse side of paper transcripts). For applicants to the Post Masters School Social Work Endorsement Program, please be advised that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires that all courses taken as part of a master’s program in social work receive grades of “C” or better.  This includes courses taken prior to matriculation at SSA.

2.Candidate Statement.  Applicants to the Post-Masters School Social Work Endorsement program must submit a three page, double-spaced statement addressing a) Describe your interest in school social work, relevant experience and how you see the program fitting with your educational and career goals.  Please address how you anticipate accommodating the program requirements of two courses and 600 hours of externship in a public school setting.  For applicants who have not worked in clinical social work capacities, please describe how you would transition from your prior experience and learning to a clinical setting.  b) Read the below dispositions for Education Unit candidates at the University of Chicago. Select 1-2 of the dispositions and reflect on why those qualities might be important for a school-based social worker.  Cite examples of a time or times when you have exhibited (or not exhibited) those dispositions and what you learned from the experience.  

3.  Letters of Recommendation. We require two letters of recommendation.  References should be qualified to discuss your aptitude for both graduate study and social work.  Applicants who are or recently have been employed must include at least one reference from an employment supervisor.  Ask your professional references to speak to your analytic and critical thinking skills.

4.  Resume/Curriculum Vitae. Applicants must submit a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae. You can upload this document directly to your online application.

5. Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) exam. Applicants must have taken and passed the TAP exam (formerly the Basic Skills test) or submit qualifying ACT or SAT scores in lieu of the TAP prior to application to this program. Applicants must also create an account on the Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) and email their Individual Education Information Number (IEIN) to SSA’s Admissions Office at An admissions decision cannot be made until your official test scores are received by ISBE.

Dispositions for Education Unit Candidates at The University of Chicago
The Education Unit expects the behavior of its candidates to be driven by the following seven dispositions:

1. Persistence. Successful professionals find ways to persevere in the face of challenges. Candidates are committed to initiating and carrying out all necessary learning objectives, activities, and projects to promote high standards of learning for their students, even when learning conditions are not optimal.

2. Capacity for flexible and innovative problem solving. Candidates value using multiple perspectives to analyze challenges, and are able to employ a number of strategies when addressing and solving problems.

3. Belief in potential for growth. Candidates believe that students, families, colleagues, and they themselves all have the potential to develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Candidates hold high expectations for their own and their students’ performance, and foster growth by emphasizing strengths, rather than deficits.

4. Self-awareness. Candidates value introspection and reflection, and examine their relationships and interactions with students, families, and colleagues with the goal of continually improving their practice. Their self-examination includes an understanding of how their perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors impact the classroom, school, and community.

5. Respect for difference. Candidates appreciate the broad range of backgrounds, abilities, and experiences that shape students’ approaches to learning, and use that understanding to create opportunities that adapt to diverse populations of learners. Candidates bring to their work a willingness to explore and negotiate differences of perspective. They can effectively and respectfully respond to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and genders in a manner that affirms and protects the dignity of every individual.

6.  Humility.  Candidates approach their work with an understanding that they have as much to learn as they have to teach. They bring a spirit of openness and collaboration to their work, recognizing that the best solutions to problems involve the participation of multiple stakeholders. Because candidates fundamentally respect that parents, students, and colleagues are the authors of their own lives, they strive to understand each person’s unique story by listening and observing with the thoughtful engagement of a learner.

7. Accountability. Candidates take responsibility for their own success and ownership of their mistakes. Rather than assign blame for problems and setbacks, they assume responsibility for their situation, focus on finding solutions, and take positive action. Candidates are able to receive and respond to constructive feedback professionally with an eye toward continually improving their own performance.