Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC)

Our MSW PPSC program offers a curriculum in school social work practice that leads to the eligibility and recommendation for the Pupil Personnel Services Credentials (PPSC) in School Social Work Issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The credential covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade service in public and other schools requiring the credential. The PPS Credential authorizes the holder to be employed in the State of California in positions requiring such certification.

A teacher with kindergarten children

PPSC program is available only if resources permit. If offered, students in the PPSC Program are required to enroll in all courses in the Individual, Families, and Groups (IFG) emphasis and do a field placement in a public school (K-12), supervised by an individual with a PPSC credential.

Current SF State MSW students are eligible to apply for and complete the PPSC Program requirements as part of their MSW degree. Note that the PPSC placement and accompanying coursework can be completed either during the 1st or 2nd year of the MSW program. Title IV-E students must complete their PPSC placement and coursework during their first year.  

Application Steps:

  1. Please attend PPSC program meeting scheduled in the fall of each year.

  2. Please complete the program application provided to you at the program meeting.
    The application is due on November 1, the year you do your PPSC field placement.

For the meeting schedule and additional questions, please contact:

PPSC Program Coordinator
Sandy Vaughn, LCSW, PPSC


  1. Secure a PPSC field placement 

    1. Your PPSC field placement should be on the approved list of PPSC placements (check with the PPSC Coordinator or Field Director).  
    2. Field Experience requirements must include:
      • 450 hours in a school-based practice setting supervised by an MSW and PPS in Social Work Credential holder
      •  Included in the 450 hours:
        • At least 100 hours with 10 pupils of an ethnic background different from our own 
        • At least 100 hours in each of two age group settings (pre-school, elementary, middle, high school) - note this requirement is waived for 2020-21
      • In addition, field Instructors, PPSC Supervisors, and MSW students will develop a field education Learning Agreement to address the CTC Performance Expectations and Standards as well as those tailored to the particular field placement setting.
  2. Complete CTC’s fingerprinting Certificate of Clearance (Due September)

    Prior to starting your field placement, you will need to complete the CTC Certificate of Clearance (see instructions here). This fingerprinting is in addition to the fingerprinting you will need for your school district.  Save your receipt as well as any email or letter you get from the CTC related to this as you will submit with your credential application once you graduate.

  3. Enroll in PPSC coursework concurrent with your PPSC placement

    • SW 865 Social Work Practice in School Settings (Fall semester)
    • SW 740 Field Placement (Fall and Spring semesters) 
    • SW 741 PPSC Seminar (Fall and Spring semesters)
  4. Complete the Verification of PPSC Standards Form (Due MAY of PPSC placement year) 

    Complete this form toward the completion of your PPSC field placement with your PPSC field supervisor. You need to fill it out prior to review with your supervisor checking boxes and writing in all school-related meetings you attended and activities you completed. Then, your field supervisor will initial things in the "field demonstration" sections and sign on the last page. Please note that nearly ALL the items in the “field demonstration” sections should have been completed as part of CTC requirements.  

Complete the Credential Application Packet (Due after you graduate)

Upon completion of all requirements including graduating from the MSW program you will apply for your credential by submitting a completed credential application to the Credential and Graduation Services Center.  

  1. For the processing fee (#1 of the packet), click on the link and select “clear credential” from the options
  2. You will need to secure signatures on the CAP and Verification of Standards forms
  3. Complete and gather all the forms and information and then submit the completed packet depending on your last name to SF State Credential & Graduate Services Center, Burk Hall 244, CREDENTIAL ANALYSTS: 

There are no additional program costs charged by SF State. There are additional fees associated with the additional CTC requirements (CTC Certificate of Clearance, application processing fees payable to CTC, etc.). For current CTC fees see CTC Fee Schedule Information.