For Immediate Release 7 October 1999
State University Graduates Impressive Performance on Licensure Exams
RAPID CITYGraduates of South Dakotas public universities recorded outstanding performances on state and national licensure and certification examinations in 1998-99. A committee of the state Board of Regents received, today at its regular business meeting on the campus of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, its annual report on the results of examinations in professional fields. The passing rates for graduates of South Dakota public universities met or exceeded the state or national average in many fields.
"These examinations serve to confirm the quality of instruction provided at our public universities," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, of Aberdeen. "Neither the Regents nor the universities control these exams. They are required by either state licensing boards or professional associations. Clearly our students meet the expectations for their chosen professions. Our faculty work hard to ensure that students learn the content and skills required in some very demanding fields. Anyone thinking about a career should keep that in mind."
Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry added, "The examinations covered in this annual report are those that must be passed before a person may be fully licensed or certified to engage in the occupation or profession. Optional examinations, such as the one required to become a Certified Public Accountant, are not included because a person does not have to pass it to practice as an accountant. These graduates have a lot riding on the outcome."
In some instances all of the graduates passed the exam, the Regents were told. "One hundred percent of the South Dakota graduates sitting for the examinations in audiology, clinical psychology, dietetics, and pharmacy, passed their exams. That speaks highly not only of the students but also of the caliber of instructors we have in those programs. All, but clinical psychology, are national exams, which means the requirements are set by professionals from all over the country. Meeting these standards means that our graduates are getting great value for their investment," said Perry.
Perry added that in the past South Dakota graduates have met or exceeded national averages or historic state passing rates. Where the graduates of a program have not performed as well as expected, the Regents have raised questions. "We watch for trends. In some programs the number of test-takers is so small that a downturn in percentage in any year may simply be the result of the score of one person," said Perry.
Perry noted that the universities use the results to identify areas of the curriculum and faculty that may need strengthening.
For more information on licensure and certification examinations, contact: Dr. Lesta Turchen, Senior Administrator, (605) 773-3455.
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