Gatekeeping Prior to Point of Entry

  • Larry Reynolds
Keywords: BSW gatekeeping, student assessment, evaluation, longitudinal data


Social work educators have an obligation to the profession to admit into its ranks those applicants judged to have the requisite knowledge, skills, and values for effective practice. Even though considerable disagreement exists as to what those specifics encompass, there is a general sense that students should be monitored throughout the curriculum and that, by making admission decisions for students, the profession and ultimately the clients are better served. This study presents longitudinal data on an instrument utilized by a small BSW program across five pre-professional courses, yielding scores at mid-term and at the end of the semester that address students’ compatibilities with the demands of the profession.Data are used in a feedback loop for assessing students compatibility with the profession prior to the initial point of entry into the major. Strengths and limitations of the study are addressed.