Give Apply Info

Request Information

You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.


Chicago | Program Director | Public Policy & Administration

Valerie Werner, Ph.D., LMFT



My combined personal, academic and professional experiences had a profound impact on my academic trajectory, and my desire to teach the theory and practice of social change through the discipline of public policy and administration. As an instructor I believe the study of public policy and administration needs to blend theoretical knowledge with real-world applicable knowledge and skills. This combined learning experience provides students with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of the policy process, public services and building healthier communities. This is done by educating students on existing social structures and inequalities and teaching students the skills to be agents of positive social change in our global society.

I use a variety of pedagogical practices to help students effectively comprehend the theories and practice of the public policy process and administration.  Classroom learning is a combination of lectures to teach the fundamental theories and concepts, while class room discussions and student presentations are used to help students think critically about the topics. Related documentaries, movies/TV segments, and current events are also shown and discussed to introduce students to the connection between theory and real-world realities. Engaged learning experiences also provide students with the opportunity to learn by doing, associating and observing. As a result, students develop a more in-depth and complex understanding of poignant issues that demonstrate social and environmental injustice and they are able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world situations. This type of learning helps students think critically about their own social identities, which is fundamentally valuable to their success as future leaders and facilitators of positive social change.

Please email or call me 312.662.4328 if you have questions or would like more information about me.



  • Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M.A., Counseling Psychology, Concentration: Marriage, Family and Children’s Counseling, University of San Francisco
  • B.A., Sociology, Goshen College


  • Licensed in the State of Illinois: Marriage and Family Therapist, 166000507
Professional Memberships

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Public Administration
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs
  • American Psychological Association (pending)
Select Publications

Select Publications

  • “Core Competencies in Civic Engagement,” a working paper in the Center for Engaged Democracy’s Policy Papers Series. Funded by The Center for Engaged Democracy, Merrimack College, June 2012.
  • “Living With Welfare Reform, a Survey of Low Income Families in Illinois.” Work, Welfare and Families; the Chicago Urban League; the Center for Urban Economic Development, University of Illinois at Chicago. Funded by a grant from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, January 2000.
  • “Welfare Reform at Age One: Early Indicators of Impact on Clients and Agencies Based on Reports from Community-Based Service Providers.” Work, Welfare and Families; the Chicago Urban League; with The Center for Urban and Economic Development, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Conference Presentations and Papers

Conference Presentations and Papers

  • Normandy Conversations On Mary P. Follett, University of Rouen, Normandy, France, “Early Childhood Experiences that Informed Mary Parker Follett’s Thoughts on Civic Engagement” (a working paper). October 2012
  • Future of Higher Education in Higher Education: 3rd Annual Summer Research Institute, “Core Competencies – Civic Engaged Learning, Starting a National Dialogue.” June 2012
  • Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italia “How Race and Ethnicity Shaped Chicago’s Neighborhoods” May, 2009
  • Planners Network Conference “Women of Northern Ireland Creating a Fair and Equitable Society.” June, 2006, University Of Illinois at Chicago
  • IV International Conference “Women on the Threshold of the XXI Century. November 2001, University of Havana, Cuba.
    • Gender and Power: “The Shaping of a Theoretical Feminist Perspective: Mary Parker Follett on a New Way of Communicating”.
    • Women and Health Care:“The Effects of Case Management on Families Stress Levels in Home Care for Chronically Ill Children.”

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Adler Chicago campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world. Our technology is the very latest and best. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form and shape your journey. At Adler, we have made it our mission to create a space with more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

Tour the Campus

Take the next step