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Why Us

Adler Stands For Change

If social justice is your passion, this is where you need to be.

As a fierce champion of social justice, you’ll find that Adler University offers you a unique learning experience with a real-world focus. You will gain valuable skills that you’ll put into practice not only when you graduate, but while you are with us as well. At Adler, we believe that doing is learning. Regardless of whether you attend our Chicago, Vancouver, or Online campus, your experience will be enlightening, immersive, and hands-on. We want you to succeed at every level throughout your time with us. And as you venture out, you will go with a new understanding not just of your calling to advance social justice, but of yourself as well.

Faculty Excellence

In addition to being highly recognized and regarded thought leaders within their specific fields, the faculty at Adler are passionate and involved social activists for change. They use their real-life experience to constantly reset the bar for academic excellence. And they do not rest on their laurels. In addition to the professional and academic positions that allow them to voice the need for social change, they are committed to walk the walk in their respective fields and communities in need. Ivory towers are not for them. Not when there’s work to be done.

They practice what they teach.

Institutes + Centers

Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice

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Adler Community Health Services

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Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship

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Center for Civic Learning and Community Action

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Center for Diversity and Inclusion

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The health and well being of a community is one of the cornerstones of the Adler foundation and social justice mission. To that end, Adler University employs a community embedded service model of institutes and centers that provide our students with the first-hand experience in the real world, serving communities in need.

Socially Responsible Practice

A Way of Life. Building on Alfred Adler’s theory, socially responsible practice (SRP) is a measure of a student’s intention, persistence, intensity, and dedication to social justice and community wellness. Socially responsible practice is a life pursuit, not a job. Rooted in social sciences, SRP uses science to explore and examine every aspect of individual and community wellness. A socially responsible practitioner employs science, empathy, compassion, and courage to drive action and create real change.

At Adler, we apply this understanding of social responsibility to our programs, offerings, commitments, and the development of the university itself.

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Social Justice Practicum

Doing is Learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real-world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given several civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After this, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

It’s time to roll your sleeves up.

At the end of every day, you will know what you did, the difference you can make, and why you are here.

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Student Organizations

A great way to heighten your Adler University experience is by joining one of our many student organizations. There are currently more than 25 to choose from and all are wonderful ways to network with your future colleagues, develop professional skills and serve the local community. If you don’t see one that suits your needs or specific concerns, start your own.

Our student organizations are living proof of how Adler comes together and stands as one for the good of all. Adler students don’t just talk about social justice, they go out in their communities and help make it happen, with projects dedicated to specific social issues within a community. For more information on student organizations, please contact [email protected].

Asian American Student
Association
(AASA)

Chicago

Adler Art Therapy Student
Association
(AATSA)

Chicago

Adler Black Students
Association
(ABSA)

Chicago

Association for Couple and Family
Therapy
(ACFT)

Chicago

Adler Counseling Student
Association
(ACSA)

Chicago

Alpha Iota Delta
(AID)

Chicago

Adler Mentor Program
(AMP)

Chicago

Adler Neuropsychology Student
Association
(ANSA)

Chicago

Adler Vancouver Pride Association
(AVPA)

Vancouver

Adler Recreation & Relaxation
(AR&R)

Chicago

Adler Rehabilitation Counseling
Association
(ARCA)

Chicago

Adler Psychopharmacological
Association
(ARX)

Chicago

Adler Society for Sexuality
(ASFS)

Chicago

Adler Student Association
(ASA)

Vancouver

Adler Sport and Health
Association
(ASHA)

Chicago

Child and Adolescent Student
Association
(CASA)

Chicago

Doctoral Association of Counseling
Education and Supervision
(DACES)

Chicago

Hispanic and Latinx Student
Association
(HLSA)

Chicago

Homelessness Student Advocacy
Organization
(HSAO)

Chicago

IGNITE
(IGNITE)

Chicago

Illinois Psychological Association
of Graduate Students
(IPAGS)

Chicago

Adler International Association
(AIA)

Vancouver

Jewish Students Association
(JSA)

Chicago

Medical Family Therapy Student
Group
(MedFT)

Chicago

Military Psychology Student
Organization
(MPSO)

Chicago

Psi Chi
(PC)

Chicago

Primary Care Student Organization
(PCSO)

Chicago

Student Alliance Against Racist
and Political Repression
(SAARPR)

Chicago

Student for Sensible Drug Policy
Adler Chapter
(SSDP)

Chicago

Sexual Wellness and Advocacy Group
(SWAG)

Chicago

Traumatic Stress Psychology
Student Association
(TSPSA)

Chicago

Adler FIIT Fam
(AFF)

Vancouver

Organizational Psychology Student Society
(OPSS)

Vancouver

Common Book Program

Time is designated throughout the year to discuss Adler University’s annual common book. Students, faculty and staff are invited to read a specific work of fiction related to social justice issues and come prepared to discuss and share their reactions with their fellow colleagues and in some cases, the author. For instance, author Rebecca Makkai joined the Adler community to discuss her book, “The Great Believers,” a story about the impact the 1980’s AIDS crisis in Chicago made on the community as well as its residual effects on the contemporary lives of the survivors and their loved ones.

Social Justice Programming

Building a more just society, takes time, effort and collaboration. At Adler University, we take time throughout the year to reflect on our mission and discuss social justice issues as a community.

Students are invited to experience our Common Hour program. During this hour every week, thought leaders share their views and experiences on social injustice. No matter the topic or speaker, there are open and frank discussions that touch on some of society’s most pressing needs.

And every year, the University community comes together for an Annual Retreat. The entire program – from speakers, to breakout sessions, and the discussion topics – is designed for reflection and learning as we work together to advance our mission.

At Adler University, social justice is more than our area of focus – it’s deeply woven into who we are.

Data Driven Decision-making

We’re never satisfied with the status quo – we’re always looking to improve the student experience using reliable and unbiased institutional data. Adler University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) plays a vital role in this endeavor by providing and conducting high-quality research and analysis that inform continuous improvement to the student learning experience.

Our dedicated OIE team plays a vital role at Adler University, from supporting program accreditation to informing University priorities and action plans.

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Explore More

Helping Her Community: Student Raises Funds for Hurricane Dorian Relief

Celeste Lundy is a first year student in the Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program at Adler University’s Vancouver Campus.

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How I learned to become a culturally sensitive therapist

Nisan Ilkmen a Ph.D. student in the Couple and Family Therapy program in Chicago, shares how her immigration experience and multi-cultural background led her to want to become a social-justice-focused family therapist.

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IPSSJ Advocates for Racial Equity in Public Conviction Registry

The Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) at Adler University joined other criminal justice advocacy organizations in calling for the suspension of housing limits for registrants, which disproportionately affect Black men.

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