UPDATE: Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship
Below is an update to our article from last August 2022 on the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program:
The application for the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program is available to download now from the program page: https://www.isac.org/SSWScholarship
Due to the quantity of new student assistance programs launched in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) was unable to launch the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program prior to this academic year. ISAC does expect, after the initial implementation year, that the future years will run on a normal cycle with the application available each spring for the following academic year.
Although the fall 2022 semester has passed, students who apply now will be able to request funding for the full 2022–2023 academic year.
More About the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program
Signed into law by Governor Pritzker, the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program was one of NASW-IL's priority bills during the spring 2022 legislative session and was championed and sponsored by Illinois State Senator Ann Gillespie and State Representative Lindsey LaPointe. The law creates a scholarship program for social workers who have already completed their MSWs but need to go back to college to complete their PEL endorsement. The program was designed to encourage and reduce barriers to access for LSWs and LCSWs to work as social workers in Illinois preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. It also aims to increase the diversity in the profession to be more reflective of the diversity of Illinois students and the parents they will serve, providing minority students with greater access to positive minority role models. Each scholarship pays tuition and mandatory fee costs for an academic year (including summer) at Illinois public universities. A total of up to 250 scholarships may be awarded each year.
Help us push for more legislation like this that benefit Illinois social workers and our communities by joining/renewing your NASW membership today!
From the ISAC Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program page:
As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note. By receiving this scholarship, you must work as a social worker in an Illinois school. If this commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan, and you must repay the entire amount, plus interest.
To be eligible, you must fulfill the following:
hold a valid Illinois clinical social work license or social work license
have obtained a master’s degree in social work from an approved program
take courses to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Social Work
enroll or be accepted for enrollment, on a full- or part-time basis (at least 3 hours), at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University or Western Illinois University*
maintain satisfactory academic progress, as determined by your college
establish satisfactory repayment arrangements if you are in default on any federal student loan.
*As of August 31, 2022, the following schools do not have a post-graduate PEL program: Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, or Western Illinois University.
HOW TO APPLY
Once the application is available, it will be accessed via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the Student Portal. The online application has built-in edits to prevent errors, and we will send immediate confirmation to your e-mail address that your application has been received. If your application, including required documentation, is incomplete, you will receive a letter from ISAC explaining the reason(s) and advising how to resolve the issue. Qualified applicants will be sent a Notice of Eligibility letter from ISAC.
Deadline dates by which applications must be submitted, will be established for each term.
HOW FUNDS ARE DISBURSED
ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then – after the application deadline has passed for each term – submits a payment request on behalf of the student. ISAC processes the payment request and submits the information to the State Comptroller's Office. Dependent on the level of State of Illinois funding at the time of the request, the amount of time it takes for funds to arrive at the college can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.
Learn more: https://www.isac.org/SSWScholarship
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with over 120,000 members. The NASW-Illinois Chapter is one of the association's largest chapters representing over 20,000 licensed Illinois social workers and school social workers, with over 5,000 active members. NASW strives to advance social work careers, grow social work businesses, and protect the profession.