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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. Today, the presence of sports social workers has grown in youth, collegiate, professional and geriatric settings and requires the need for advanced training. 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 these needs are unique to the general population.  Licensed, mental health providers with specialized understanding of this population's needs 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 the world. 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, sport culture, and athlete needs.

Participants have the opportunity to join the 2024 Cohort. This will be the first time that we will be offering two tracks with the intention of supporting professionals working in with: (1) youth recreation and club sport athletes; and (2) elite collegiate and professional sport athletes. 

Both tracks in this certificate program are 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!

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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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