Preparing MSW students for social work licensure: A curricular case example

J. Jay Miller, Erlene Grise-Owens, Laura Escobar-Ratliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Licensing has been a dynamic tension for the social work profession for many years, specifically in social work education. Increasingly, social work programs are using factors related to social work licensing (pass rates, number of test takers, etc.) as an indicator of programmatic success. Yet few, if any, published papers examine curricular innovations designed to prepare students for social work licensing exams. This article describes the initiative that one MSW program implemented to address licensing preparedness. After a brief overview of social work licensing, this article describes the contextual rationale, implementation, and evaluation of the Licensing Preparation Initiative (LPI). Since its inception in spring 2011, LPI data suggest that students are more knowledgeable about the process for applying to sit for the exam and the content areas of the exam, more prepared to take the social work licensing exam, and more confident in their ability to pass the social work licensing exam once they graduate. This article concludes with specific strategies and resources for designing a curricular initiative to address licensing preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-316
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Case study
  • Licensing
  • MSW programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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