Practitioner Education

Practitioner Education in Substance Use Disorders (Prac-Ed)

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) was awarded a nearly $500,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand practitioner education in social work for substance use disorders (SUD).

The 2-year project resulted in a high-quality standardized SUD curriculum, which will strengthen the preparation of future social work practitioners to deliver effective evidence-based SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The standardized SUD curriculum aligns with the social work competencies identified in the 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards and includes a field education component, which will allow students to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities affected by an SUD.


Competency-Based Resources

The Practitioner Education in Substance Use and Misuse: Competency-Based Resources guide includes curriculum, assessment and field education tools developed during the CSWE Substance Use Disorder Expansion of Practitioner Education in Social Work (Prac-Ed) initiative (20192021) to enhance social work curriculum in substance use and misuse. 

The virtual viewbook is a user-friendly guide and provides links to all resources. CSWE will highlight resources from the guide between SpringFall 2021. Be sure to check back to see which resources are highlighted!


Easily search for Practitioner Education Intiative resources through our Education Resources database.

Curriculum Development

CSWE hosted a meeting November 6–8, 2019, with 22 schools (Year 1) and partner organizations to assist in the development of the SUD curriculum. These programs are committed to piloting the curriculum, collecting data through the student competency assessment matrix, and supporting additional programs that implement the SUD curriculum in the second year of the program.

November 6–8, 2019 Meeting Group Photo

Year 1 Participating Institutions:

  • Norfolk State University (VA)                                                                                       
  • Yeshiva University (NY)
  • Howard University (DC)                                                                                             
  • Eastern Washington University (WA)
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas (NV)
  • Morgan State University (MD)
  • Albany State University (GA)
  • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (NC)
  • Marshall University (WV)
  • Fayetteville State University (NC)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • Southern Connecticut State University (CT)
  • University of Utah (UT)
  • Indiana State University (IN)
  • Monmouth University (NJ)
  • Augsburg University (MN)
  • The College of St. Scholastica (MN)
  • East Carolina University (NC)
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore (MD)
  • Cleveland State University (OH)
  • Boston University (MA)

 Ten additional schools were added in September 2020 for a total of 32 participating institutions.

Year 2 Participating Institutions:

  • Aurora University (IL)
  • Bridgewater State University (MA)
  • Delaware State University (DE)
  • Temple University (PA)
  • University of Georgia (GA)
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis (MO)
  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Wayne State University (MI)
  • Wichita State University (KS)
  • Youngstown State University (OH)

Partner Organizations

  • Association of Social Work Boards
  • National Council for Behavioral Health

For information on additional CSWE substance use initiatives, click here.

Final Evaluation Report

The final evaluation report titled Substance Use Disorders Expansion of Practitioner Education in Social Work: A Pilot Project describes CSWE's collaboration with 32 schools of social work to integrate high-quality, standardized substance use content into social work core curricula and develop and distribute curriculum resources in key content areas and related assessment tools addressing the CSWE core competencies. This report outlines the objectives of the pilot project, evaluation methods used, and the outcomes achieved.