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Online Sport Social Work Certificate

Preparing social workers, other health professionals, and sport administrators to provide wellness services for athletes across the lifespan

Online Sport Social Work Certificate

Understanding and supporting athletes and their overall health and welfare has been a prominent specialty service area that social workers have formally and informally navigated for decades. And today, the need for sports social workers with advanced training has never been more requested across sport settings (youth, collegiate, professional, and geriatric). Research currently suggests that: (1) athletes engage in sport across the lifespan to foster a greater sense of belonging and social connection; (2) athlete mental health needs are increasing and licensed, mental health providers are needed to meet this growing demand; and (3) athletes are using their platform to address social injustices and bring awareness to longstanding disparities across our country. As established agents of change, social workers uphold the profession's mission and core values, while having an expansive scope of practice to improve outcomes for individuals, communities, and the larger society.

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), American Psychological Association (APA) and other adjacent accrediting bodies do not currently require mental health professionals to engage in curriculum specific to understanding sports across the lifespan. This program was created with the intention of advancing social workers knowledge, skills and abilities as it relates to sports.

Registration has closed for the Summer 2023 cohort. To receive updates for when registration will open for the next cohort, please join our mailing list.

Participants will:

  • understand the history of sport social work in the United States,
  • develop a functional working knowledge of the roles that sport social workers play across all levels of social work practice;
  • promote healthy relationships, encourage help-seeking behaviors, and establish and implement strategies for mental health programming that aligns with the mission and structure of an organization;
  • understand the role sport plays in athletes' identities across the lifespan, embracing the "Once an Athlete, Always an Athlete" approach;
  • apply evidence-informed practices in clinical settings, research and social justice advocacy.

The certificate program is taught by nationally-recognized leaders in sports and will cover program development and implementation, mental health symptoms and how they manifest in athletes, crisis management, integrated care models currently utilized, sport performance skills, communication and relationships on teams, ethical research practices, the value of sport and social justice advocacy, identity and transitions, nutrition, concussion management, sleep, and more!

Program Information

Faculty and Advisory Board

  • Erin Albert

    Erin Albert

    PhD, CMPC

    CAPS Embedded Psychologist, University of Michigan

  • Rachel A. Amity

    Rachel A. Amity


    Athletic Counselor, Assistant Director for Athletes Connected, University of Michigan

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