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We are now accepting applications for the fall 2022 cohort. The deadline for this cohort is July 15, 2022. We will release information about the 2023 cohort in March 2023. 

The Alliance of Social Workers in Sports (ASWIS) is pleased to announce the first and only Sport Social Work Certificate Program. This certificate program provides graduate level professionals (exceptions can be granted to this requirement) the opportunity to complete a one year (12-month)*virtual program designed to increase skills in working with youth, secondary, collegiate, and professional athletes. This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers for 52 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). 


*The program can be spread out over a longer period of time if desired.


The program will help social work (and other related) professionals transfer the theoretical, practice, research, and policy components of social work education into the athletic arena. The program will also provide social work professionals an internship opportunity in an athletic environment and the opportunity to increase their marketability for future employment with an athletic organization.

Please use the icons below to open additional documents regarding the certificate program.

Marketing Flyer                                  Sport Social Work Fact Sheet 

Instructor Application                            Student Application  

For additional information about the program, please complete the form below: 















Certificate Program Payment Plan

  • The cost for each the spring and fall semester is $1,000 ($250 per class x 4 classes)

  • First ½ due prior to January 6th (spring) and August 6th (fall)

  • Second ½ due prior to March 26th (spring) and October 26th (fall)

  • Practicum costs $600 (optional)

  • Refund policy – Refunds provided two weeks prior to the end of a class. Students can only request a refund for courses in which they are currently enrolled.​

  • Total Program Cost = $2,600

Sport Social Work - Course Descriptions

SSW 501: Sport Social Work Immersion 

This course will explore the vulnerabilities and resiliencies of individuals who participate in youth, secondary, collegiate and professional sports as well as the hazards they encounter at the various levels of their sporting career. This course explores athletes as a vulnerable, historically oppressed, and marginalized populations, prior to, during, and/or, after their journey as athletes. 


SSW 502: Understanding Diversity and Social Justice in Sports 


This course will explore examples of social justice inside/outside sports and issues of fairness and equity in athletics. Specific social justice topics will include Title IX, equity in coach compensation, adequate compensation for college-athletes, concussion, prevention, awareness, intervention and gender, and athletes’ social movements.


SSW 503: Athlete Behavior in the Social Environment 


This course provides content on the reciprocal relationships between athlete behavior and their social environments.  It includes empirically based theories and knowledge that focus on the interactions between and within the athlete population, their families, their communities, athletic teams, athletic organizations, institutions overseeing athletics, and a global audience of sports enthusiasts. 

SSW 504: Professional Practice and Assessment of Athlete Needs 


This course provides an in-depth examination of the helping process within the context of an ecosystems/developmental framework.  Students will receive an overview of assessment skills needed to determine the functioning of athletes using a psychodynamic developmental model and descriptive diagnosis, DSM 5.  Particular attention is given to the dynamics of development and culture, and to the interrelationship among biological, psychological, and social/cultural systems that impact diagnosis within athletic cultural context.


SSW 514: Transformational Leadership and Management in Sport 

The course will explore the creation/identification of Sport Social Work and the process by which individuals began to form  and chart its course.  The course will also explore more concrete ideas and processes necessary for executing needed change including nonprofit development and the development of a mission/vision, identity/brand development, pursuit of interested parties/membership, collaboration and partnership development, and initiating (initial) change.  

SSW 515: Introduction to Sport Policy 

​This course will outline the tasks, skills, and values required for social workers to effectively influence athletic policies at the organizational and legislative level.  This course aims to introduce students as “policy practitioners” within the context of athletics. 


SSW 516: Treatment of Athlete Needs

This course is presented in sequence to the assessment course (SSW 504), providing an overview of possible interventions, triage options, and recommended courses of treatment for athletes. In particular, treatment modalities will focus on the examination of psychodynamic and cognitive theory. The course will also explore critical aspects of the therapeutic relationship between an athlete and their practitioner, which promotes growth and change.  

SSW 517: Sport Social Work Research 


This course focuses on research methods and designs that may be utilized by social work practitioners and advocates for evaluating the safety and well-being of athletes of all ages and abilities and to advance practice knowledge of those working with the athlete population.  The major aims of the course are to enable the student to develop and apply a scientific stance, to acquire a working knowledge of selected research methods, and to incorporate these elements into the Sport Social Work field.  

SSW 600: Field Practicum 

Field Practicum (SSW 600) is one of the two final courses taken by students in the Sport Social Work Certificate Program.  The course consists of an intensive field experience in which students integrate content from previously completed courses in the certificate curriculum. The practicum experience takes place in an approved placement under the supervision of a qualified field supervisor in conjunction with an assigned faculty liaison. Micro, mezzo and macro practice experiences in the field agency are educationally structured and supervised through a learning contract, and include direct work with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. The focus of the learning integration process is on the competencies required in certificate courses, and on professional development strategies expected of those wishing to pursue jobs in athletic environments.


In brief, the field placement identification, procurement and completion is a joint effort that is led by the student with the (strong) support of ASWIS. 

Meaning students, with our assistance, will seek athletic-based placements in their geographic area. Once a placement is identified then we will mediate/work with the agency and the students to determine a learning contract, hours, tasks, etc. that will best serve the student and the agency. We have patterned this process after the incredibly successful internship program at the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) program at the University of Washington College of Education. We expect that students will complete 300 hours.


SSW 601: Field Seminar

Taken concurrently with SSW 600 Practicum/Internship, the Practicum Seminar course (SSW 601) assists students in integrating current field experiences with previous learning from courses required in the certificate program.  Through assignments and discussions facilitated by the faculty liaisons, students expand their learning beyond the scope of their particular practicum setting. Seminar sessions focus upon refining analytical and critical thinking skills, applying social work values and ethics, and self-reflection emphasizing professional development.

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