School News

Adler School Launches Programs in Emergency Management Leadership, Military Psychology, Public Policy 08.23.13
Adler School Launches Programs in Emergency Management Leadership, Military Psychology, Public Policy

Students begin classes this fall in three new Master of Arts programs at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. The programs are developed to prepare socially responsible practitioners in three fields that increasingly call for expertise in social interest and population health: the fields of emergency management leadership, public policy, and military psychology.

The new programs are:

  • An online/blended Master of Arts in Emergency Management Leadership that prepares graduates for leading emergency management organizations in the public and private sectors, with unique focus on the human and social factors inherent to all disasters.
  • A Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration, with concentrations in Urban Mental Health and in Human Rights Advocacy. Understanding the impact of public policy on social determinants of mental health, which impact population health outcomes, is a hallmark of the School’s curriculum and training in all programs.
  • An online Master of Arts in Psychology, Specialization in Military Psychology, complementing the School’s Military Clinical Psychology track within its Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program. The Psy.D. track, the first of its kind in the United States, has attracted overwhelming interest from students and employers throughout the nation and abroad since its fall 2011 launch.

M.A. in Emergency Management Leadership

The M.A. in Emergency Management Leadership program is designed to uniquely prepare emergency management professionals who lead and support disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts—and who can also systemically address psychological traumas suffered by both disaster victims and emergency response personnel.  

In addition to their online coursework and three residency weekends focused on leadership and tactical skills, students will take part in a Community Engagement Practicum. Through the practicum, students will partner to work with emergency management organizations at all levels of government and in the private sector, including corporate and non-profit disaster relief entities.

Program Director Michael Schulz, whose emergency management experience and related academic work has been recognized nationally and abroad, notes that the U.S. Department of Labor projects an average 12.8 percent increase in employment of emergency management leaders across the United States through 2020. Many states project an average increase of 20 percent during that time.

M.A. in Public Policy and Administration

The Adler School's new M.A. in Public Policy and Administration program is uniquely shaped by the Adler School’s mission and curricular focus on creating health equities and social justice for all populations—through understanding the links among structures and systems shaped by public policy, and the social, environmental and economic determinants that affect individual and community well-being.

Program Director Valerie Werner, Ph.D., who came to the Adler School to develop the program, said it is designed to prepare practitioners for leadership, engagement, and advocacy in three overarching areas: public policy development, analysis, and reform; government and non-profit administration; and public service employment in domestic and international settings.

Students enrolling in the program choose one of two concentrations offered:

  • The Human Rights Advocacy concentration prepares policy and administrative professionals for careers that require the application or consideration of internationally established human rights standards, laws, and treaties in domestic or international settings in the governmental, non-profit, or private sectors. Through engaged learning experiences, students work directly on issues that include but are not limited to policy and administrative development, reform, and analysis in areas of human rights. Students will participate in fieldwork, projects, and research with organizations working in human rights such as Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch and the Global Fund for Women.
  • The Urban Mental Health concentration prepares professionals with an unusual and highly interdisciplinary set of skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to effectively develop and implement public policy and services that create both individual and community mental health. The curriculum is interdisciplinary, drawing from areas of study such as psychology, sociology, policy, administration, planning, public health, and economics. Students learn the social determinants necessary for positive mental health in urban areas—including affordable housing, economic development, available transportation, educational institutions, and access to healthy food options.

M.A. in Psychology, Specialization in Military Psychology

The M.A. in Psychology, Specialization in Military Psychology, is an online program to prepare military and non-military practitioners with understanding of theoretical evidence, scientific research, and practical aspects in the field of military psychology. Students will learn how to apply psychology principles at the interpersonal, managerial, and organizational levels in military and civilian support environments. Alarming increases in mental health needs among active military personnel and veterans, and the growing need for military psychology and mental health practitioners, have been increasingly well documented and publicized in recent years.

Joseph Troiani, Ph.D., a retired U.S. Navy commander and founder of the Adler School’s military psychology programs, said the new online M.A. will enable students throughout the United States and abroad to prepare for a range of positions as military psychology practitioners: within government and private behavioral and medical health systems, enhanced private practices, advocacy and policy organizations, and community-based consumer organizations serving military personnel, veterans, retirees and their families.

All programs are approved by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

About the Adler School

The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for 60 years. The School’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.


Kim McCullough
Director of Communications
(312) 662-4124 or via email