Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

School Mental Health Advanced Practice Certificate

This post-master’s certificate program equips mental health professionals to better impact positive psychosocial development of their student clients. Primary takeaways from the program will include: advanced training in fostering collaboration between schools and families, implementing strength-based interventions in schools, advocating for whole-school interventions, and becoming more data driven and evidence informed as School-Based Mental Health Practitioners (SBMHP). The learning goals for the SMHAPP are:

  • To help SBMHPs further assist student clients in succeeding academically by teaching SBMHP evidence-informed methods to foster positive psychosocial development of their students.
  • To enhance the overall sense of well being in school communities by strengthening SBMHP collaborations between students, families, faculty and communities, including the delivery of effective interventions across all three tiers of the RTI and PBIS models.
  • To train SBMHPs to implement strength-based interventions in their practice, specifically interventions rooted in solution-focused brief therapy models and some of the ongoing solution-focused research being carried out at the FSPP.
  • To reshape school practice by training school based mental health professionals to provide more systemic, whole school interventions and efficiently meet students’ needs.
  • To provide a cutting-edge program for school based mental health professionals to learn how to become more data-driven and evidence-informed in their school mental health practice.   

 Check Out Our Online Information Session Presentation!

Learn More About the SMHAPP Program

Dr. Michael Kelly

This program consists of 15 credit hours, including two synchronous courses, two asynchronous online courses, and one hybrid elective class. All courses are offered online with the exception of one in-person immersion weekend required. Courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters.

The program begins in the Fall semester (August). Courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters. Average time to completion (full-time) is 2 years (4 semesters).

The total cost of the program is $10,000 for four semesters of coursework.

Applications to the ASMHPP program are accepted for Fall term only. Applications and required materials are due August 1.

You must submit:

  • A Completed Application Form
    You may submit your application form online.

  • Official Transcripts
    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request these transcripts; we have them on record.

  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    If you supply your recommender's email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may mail them to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

    We ask that you submit no more than three letters of recommendation.  Recommendation letters can come from academic, professional or volunteer sources.  One of each is recommended.  If you graduated less than 5 years ago, at least one reference should be from an academic source.

  • Proof of Current Employment in a School Setting       
    Applicants must provide a letter from your agency or district’s Human Resources department confirming that you are working at least part-time in or for a school district. 

  • A Statement of Purpose

    In a double-spaced, typed essay, please submit a statement of purpose on the topic below:

    The overarching goal of the ASMHPP is to equip you with new information and skills to prepare you for leadership in school mental health work in your school and school district. Please describe how you became interested in completing a certificate in school mental health practice, specifically why you wanted additional training to build on your prior graduate work.

    Describe how you hope to use this program to enhance your present position in your district. In addition, please outline what you see as the three most important issues in your school/district that you hope to address with the additional training you will receive from the ASMHPP.

The U.S. Department of Education requires any institution offering distance education/online programs to students outside of its home state to acquire authorization from the states in which students reside.  Regulations vary from state to state.  While Loyola University Chicago is authorized, exempt or pursuing authorization in most states, some restrictions apply. Please see our State Authorization page for the most up-to-date information.

Loyola University Chicago is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.