News from the Aurora University community

School of Social Work receives highest Licensed Social Work exam pass rates in AU history

Posted by on April 28, 2016

Aurora University students who took the Licensed Social Work (LSW) exam this spring averaged an 80 percent overall passing rate, according to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), which oversees the exam. That’s nine points higher than the national average of 71 percent, and the highest ever for AU.

According to Fred McKenzie, executive director of AU’s School of Social Work, the score reflects the high quality of AU’s social work curriculum and its ability to prepare students in terms of social work requirements and competencies.

The ASWB measures accredited institutions’ LSW scores in three categories: first-attempt pass rate, repeat pass rate and overall pass rate.

The first-attempt pass rate for AU students taking the LSW exam this spring was 85 percent compared to the national rate of 82 percent. Similarly, the university’s repeat pass rate for the exam was 50 percent, a full 13 percent higher than the national figure.

Aurora University’s School of Social Work is one of AU’s largest programs, accounting for almost one-fifth of AU students. Graduates of the program, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, are prepared to take ASWB’s LSW exam, which is one of the highest licensure credentials for social workers. This exam can be taken by BSW graduates who have two years post-BWS professional work experience and by MSW graduates immediately after graduation.

“The social work program prepared me for the LSW exam by giving me a foundation of knowledge to draw from while answering questions,” said Joe Maiello, MSW ’13. “Professors also promoted the importance of taking the exam and would give hints throughout the semester as to how best to approach the exam questions. I did feel prepared and passed on my first attempt.”

In both the undergraduate and graduate programs, students complete fieldwork in addition to their coursework to help prepare them as social workers. Graduates of the programs go on to work in a variety of settings, including community centers, youth organizations, human services agencies, hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

For more information about the School of Social Work, visit