Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Harrington Gibson


Administrators and board members at the Illinois State Board of Education recommended that schools with certain demographics hire one social worker for every 350 students. The policy has yet to be implemented despite high rates of student poverty, lagging test scores, school bullying, suspensions, and an increased number of school shootings. The Illinois State Board of Education’s social and emotional learning standards guide educators and policy makers to interact and educate each student. School social workers equipped with the necessary skill set provide services, implement district-wide social and emotional learning programs, and work with various stakeholders to monitor progress. A growing number of students in America grapple with social and emotional issues that are impeding their ability to make sound decisions, successfully navigate society, and make positive contributions to their families and community. Each child educated in a public school in Illinois should receive high-quality school social work services and social and emotional support from preschool throughout high school. Implementing high fidelity social and emotional learning programs in schools would produce better outcomes for all stakeholders. Social and emotional learning infused into a school’s culture and climate helps produce well-rounded individuals. The Illinois State Board of Education’s school social work recommendations should be enforced with urgent speed.