Florida State University's online Master of Social Work (MSW) degree can offer a prime academic preparation for a successful social work career, and one part of that preparation is being aware of the individual state requirements to achieve the Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW) credential. This article examines these mandated stipulations for the state of Texas and reinforces how Florida State University’s online MSW degree program can help you meet each of them.
Transcripts from CSWE-Accredited School
Those who wish to eventually apply for the LCSW designation in Texas must be able to submit transcripts that reflect completion of an MSW degree from a program and university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), such as Florida State University's online MSW program. By obtaining this crucial CSWE credential, Florida State University has ensured that the graduates from their online MSW program can be one step closer to the career of their dreams simply by having completed their degree.
Florida State University also offers students the opportunity to accelerate their graduate program depending on prior academic experience. In addition to their traditional degree path, designed for incoming students without an undergraduate degree in social work, Florida State University also offers an Advanced Standing program for those who have already attained the social work bachelor's degree. Advanced Standing students enjoy streamlined coursework requirements that can be completed in roughly two years, rather than the three years typically needed for the traditional track.
Achievement of LMSW Credential
Beyond the academic requirements, candidates must also have already achieved the status of Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Achieving this designation means submitting the application materials, which include a $91 application fee, transcripts, and photo. An employment history form is also required, however those seeking the LMSW do not necessarily need to have documented field experience (unless they are seeking the LMSW-AP, or “Advanced Practitioner,” designation). It also requires that candidates pass a Jurisprudence exam, which assesses applicants’ knowledge on state laws. This test, which costs $39 and can be taken online, is a “no-fail” exam, which means an incorrect answer you offer will be corrected for you to boost your knowledge of the law.
Once these materials, alongside the application form itself and the Examination Security Form that simply verifies your identity, are submitted, you must await notification from the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners (TWBSWE) that you may register for the Association of Social Workers Board (ASWB) Master’s level exam. This exam gauges knowledge of best practices and methodologies and can be the last hurdle to licensure. A passing score should put you in the queue for the LMSW designation.
Work Experience with Documented 100-Hour Supervision Plan
Those who have obtained the LMSW credential can then take steps toward LCSW licensure, which begins with supervised work experience in a clinical role. Texas mandates that LCSW applicants complete at least two years, or 24 months of full-time work within a clinic or practice under the guidance of an LCSW supervisor that has been approved TSBSWE. This professional role must be a clinical post that demonstrates a candidate’s skills in assessment and diagnosis for it to be considered acceptable preparation.
In this role, the applicant will need to document a minimum of 100 hours under direct observation by the supervisor and laid out in a supervisor plan that needs to be established within the first four weeks (or 30 days) of employment. This supervisor can be from an outside practice or change over time if necessary (and if documented appropriately), but if a supervision plan is not established and documented within this 30-day window any supervised hours will not count toward the 100-hour requirement.
Completed Application Packet and a Passing ASWB Score
The state of Texas requires a comprehensive array of application materials in order for candidates to be considered for LCSW licensure. In addition to transcripts, passing test scores, and a $111 application fee, LCSW candidates in Texas must also complete the Jurisprudence exam (if their earlier result is for some reason no longer valid or incomplete), a document that recounts their social work employment history form, and a Clinical Supervision Verification Form, which confirms that the candidate has indeed completed a minimum of 100 hours of supervised experience.
Similar to the LMSW designation, LCSW candidates can sign up for the ASWB Clinical level exam only after their initial application materials are reviewed and accepted by the TSBSWE. This exam incorporates 170 multiple choice questions that cover a comprehensive range of concepts and skills necessary for success in the field of social work, the ASWB gauges an individual’s knowledge of essential concepts for the social work profession, and a score of 70 or above counts as passing. The cost to register for the 2018 exam with the Clinical designation is $260; those who fail the exam can retake it but must wait to register again for 90 days and will also need to repay the $260 exam fee.
Reign Over These Requirements at Florida State University
Achieving the designation of LCSW requires years of hard work and ample documentation and assessment along the way, but Florida State University helps to streamline the process in their innovative online MSW degree program. Beyond its two-track options for incoming students, Florida State University’s online MBA offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that can help students master the key concepts and learn from essential case studies to begin to develop their social work acumen. These skills can be crucial for success on the ASWB exams and can contribute to productive professional development during the required supervised work hours. In short, Florida State University’s online MSW degree works in-step with the preparation required for Texas LCSW requirements and can make for a great launching point for a dynamic and exciting career.
“Jurisprudence Exams by Profession.” Texas Department of Health Services - the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners. Accessed 25 May 2018 from: https://txn.esslearning.com/catalogs/dshs/
“Texas Social Work Licensing Requirements.” Social Work Guide. Accessed 25 May 2018 from: https://www.socialworkguide.org/licensure/texas/
“Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners New & Re-application for LCSW.” Texas Department of Health Services - the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners. Accessed 25 May 2018 from: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/socialwork/sw_lcsw.shtm