Community and Youth Collaborative Institute (CAYCI)

Dublin Teacher Cadre Educator-to-Social Work Pathway

An innovative solution to address the mental health workforce shortage

Mental Health needs among youth worldwide have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. The CDC reported there is a 40% increase in mental health symptomology among children and adolescents. Given rising mental health needs, schools are faced with increasing demands for student support services to address barriers to learning and promote healthy development. At the same time, there is a shortage of behavioral mental health professionals in the community. Now more than ever, school districts are challenged to provide solutions to support academic learning, healthy development, and overall school success.

Dublin City Schools (DCS) and The Ohio State University (OSU) joined forces to address these challenges through an innovative educator-to-social work career pathway initiative. Through this partnership, OSU’s College of Social Work is preparing 25 of the district’s mid-career educators to become licensed school social workers with expertise in mental health, school-family-community partnerships, and clinical practice with children, youth and families. This initiative will help close the gap between the growing mental health needs of youth and the services that can assist them.

Educator-To-Social Work Pathway

Over the course of two years, 25 mid-career DCS educators will take Ohio State courses online and in-person, complete in-person field education experiences, and earn their masters degrees in social work.

Individuals in the cohort who complete all the requirements will join the DCS district-wide student support team designed to helps students navigate school and life.

Selection Process

OSU and DCS carefully selected candidates through a rigorous admissions process.

  • Over 120 teachers and staff attended info sessions about the program
  • 42 staff members applied for admission into the program
  • OSU College of Social Work ranked applicants through a blind review process
  • Each applicant was interviewed virtually with the Director of Student Wellness and members of the current Mental Health Specialist team
  • Principals from each school provided information about the candidates’ current performance and projected assessment of suitability for the position of School Social Worker
  • In the end, 25 enthusiastic, professional, dedicated candidates were accepted into the program

Master's Degree in Social Work

The Master’s Degree in Social Work at The Ohio State University is fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education and ranked 7th among public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Sample of Courses

  • Clinical Social Work with Children & Adolescents
  • Assessment and Diagnosis in Social Work Practice
  • School Social Work I & II
  • Crisis Intervention & Trauma Treatment
  • Clinical Social Work with Groups
  • Needs Assessment and Program Design