Eight of the nine Frostburg State University Social Work graduates who took the Basic Examination for licensure in 2001 passed on the first try, a first-time passing rate of 89 percent. FSU's pass rate is five percentage points above the national average of 84 percent, according to figures from the Association of Social Work Boards.
Candidates who fail the Basic Examination may repeat the exam more than once. In 2001, three students who had failed in previous attempts retook the exam; two passed. Nationally, only 39 percent of candidates who repeat the tests pass them, nearly half of the FSU rate of 67 percent.
One hundred percent of the candidates passed the exam the first time in five of the past eight years. In those eight years, only five FSU candidates out of 72 total have failed the exam on the first try.
"Pass-fail rates for the licensure exams are just one of the instruments we use to monitor how well the program does in preparing students to become professional social workers," said Dr. Baxter Wright, chair of the FSU Department of Social Work. FSU social work graduates do well on other exams as well.
Starting in the spring of 2002, the State of Maryland allows students in the last semester of their senior year take the exam, which FSU is encouraging. "While I would like to see 100 pass rate, I would rather see our students feeling comfortable taking the exams," Wright said.
Passing the Basic Examination is one of several requirements that must be met to be licensed at the first, bachelor's degree level of social worker. For more information about FSU's Social Work program, call the Department of Social Work at (301) 687-7497.
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