School of Social Work
If you want to spark change in individuals, families, communities, and organizations, we'll give you the skills to be an effective advocate and facilitate goals for your clients.
The School of Social Work at St. Ambrose University offers a BSW Dual Degree, an MSW, and the only MSW-MBA program in Iowa. Click below to learn more!
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- Focus on Empowerment, Social Justice, and Advocacy
- Skills to Work With Individuals, Families, Communities & Organizations
- 400+ Agencies For Field Placement
The Empowerment Method
Learn More About Our School of Social Work
The empowerment method focuses on achieving goals and changing systems by using available strengths, resilience, and resources. By focusing on competence rather than deficits in individual or social functioning, the empowerment model supports resourcefulness and the development of skills to remove social barriers for individuals and communities.
SAU established the first Master of Social Work (MSW) program with an empowerment specialization in the U.S., and in the past 20 years, we've educated more than 500 students who are now actively helping individuals, families, communities, and society.
We want our undergraduate students to have a similar impact, so we designed a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program that teaches generalist social work practice skills through an empowerment lens.
Katie Van Blair, PhD, Professor and Director, SAU School of Social Work
Wafa Alhajri, PhD, Asst. Professor
Johny Augustine, PhD, Professor
Jennifer Boedeker, MSW, Director of Field Education and Clinical Instructor
Lisa Fortner, Administrative Assistant
Christie Kostichek, Administrative Assistant
Kathryn Lally, Clinical Instructor
Kristi Law, PhD, Assoc. Professor, BSW Director
Chris Martin, PhD, Asst. Professor and Admissions Coordinator
Hunhui Oh, PhD, Assoc. Professor
John Thompson, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Michael Jerin, PhD, Professor Emeritus
Michael O'Melia, MSW, Professor Emeritus
Pam Long, ACSW, LISW, LCSW
Anne M. McNelis, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services, Transitions Mental Health Services
Nicholas Swanson, LMSW, School Social Worker, Mississippi Bend AEA
Tesha Dobling, LMSW, Linn County Mental Health/Development Disability Central Point Coordination
Gary E. Weinstein, LCSW, CEO, Transitions Mental Health Services
Angela Moody, MSW, Retired CEO, Arrowhead Youth and Family Services
Kayla Behrens, LMSW, Case Management-Social Worker, Unity Point
Bachelor of Social Work,Class of 2021
Josh's high school experience – combined with a military tour in Iraq – showed him the many ways people use differences as weapons. Josh sought an education that teaches him how to bring people together and move the world forward. He found it at St. Ambrose.