Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Schools/PEL Track

Individuals who wish to practice social work in a public school in Illinois must possess a Professional Educator’s License (PEL). In order to qualify for licensure in Illinois, Loyola students in the Micro Practice in Schools Track receive specialized curriculum and training to fulfill Illinois’s requirements to become eligible for a PEL with an endorsement in School Social Work. Eligibility for the PEL is based on successful completion of the requirements of the Loyola School of Social Work, the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). These requirements include:


The following courses are required by Loyola and fulfill state requirements.

  • SOWK 609A (fall) and SOWK 609B (spring): Practicum in Schools is a two-semester course designed to teach the practices and policies of school social work. These courses are taken concurrently with the school-based internship.
  • CIEP 401: The Exceptional Child is offered through the School of Education and covers categories of special education
  • SWFI 632S: Integrative Seminar is an 8-week course that is taken concurrently with the specialized internship.


Students in the Micro Practice in Schools Track must secure an internship at a site that has been approved by Loyola as a PEL school. Students are directed to these sites through placement interviews conducted by Loyola. For the internship, students are required to follow the academic calendar of the school district in which they intern. To that end, the internship may not follow Loyola’s academic calendar year. Students must complete at least 600 internship hours in a traditional public school setting. The internship will also fulfill the Council of Social Work Education’s required competencies.

Content Exam

Students must pass a content exam in school social work (ISBE #238). Loyola will provide students with information about the exam as well as help students create an account on the ISBE website.  


Please contact our Director, Amy Greenberg at agreenberg2@luc.edu with further questions.