Professor Toni Jensen

Title: 
Assistant Professor of Social Work
Phone: 
(402) 465-2425
Email: 
tjensen2 [at] NebrWesleyan.edu
Office: 
Smith-Curtis 140E
Background: 

This will be Ms. Jensen's third year teaching students at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She started in 2012 as an adjunct faculty in the Social Work Department, teaching mostly in the Advantage Program. At that time Ms. Jensen was working full time for the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation under the Nebraska Supreme Court. Starting in 2006, she served as the Domestic Violence Programs and Services Specialist, with areas of expertise in domestic violence and sexual offenders, as well as victim related issues. Also during her time with Probation and the Courts, Ms. Jensen worked on various projects to assist in building leadership skills in managers. Prior to that Ms. Jensen worked for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska in a variety of roles, including case manager for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, program coordinator for a supervised visitation service, and also as a grant writer working specifically with grants compliance.

Education: 

Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Dana College in 2003
Master's degree in Social Work from UNO in 2007
Master's degree in Public Administration from UNO in 2007

Teaching philosophy: 

I believe that teaching is an interaction of learning between the student and the teacher, whereby both walk away more enriched than before.

I believe the best learning comes from a mutual commitment to one another’s success. My teaching methods include a variety of approaches, as I believe this is the best way in which to reach all learning styles. I believe that while there is a time for lecture, students also learn from active involvement in content. I use strategies such as small and large group discussion, team teaching, and guided practice through role-plays and case scenarios in order reach all students. Additionally, it is important to be socially relevant. Many younger learners are used to using technology to gain new information. Using technology and examples from popular culture assist students in relating concepts and theories in a manner that is most beneficial for them. Similarly, allowing students a variety of methods by which to contact me or submit assignments provides an increased level of comfort and a greater likelihood that they will reach out for help and assistance when needed.

In social work we are preparing students for professional careers, and as a result, I believe it is important to begin holding them to these standards throughout the learning experience. It is important to give students an opportunity to apply learning to simulated and real life situations. These approaches assist me in evaluating specific competencies and skills and to focus on behaviors that can be improved upon. Social work requires human interaction and problem solving, course requirements such as community based projects (volunteer experiences, observation, shadowing, and/or interviewing community members), exams (including a variety of multiple choice, true/false and short answer), group projects, and writing assignments will help them to build the skills necessary to be successful in their future career.

One of the key benefits of the social work profession is the presence of a code of ethics. This code provides me guidance not only in my work as a social worker in the field, but will also provide significant guidance to my work in teaching. The code will require me to continue my own professional development and learning, so that I remain competent in the subject matter I will be teaching. This will require me to continue my own education, studies, and research, and to continue to evaluate and seek out feedback on my progress in this area. It will also require me to be consistent and fair with students, and to be sure that they are informed of my expectations and the ways in which they will be evaluated. That will be done, for example, through a clearly defined syllabus and clearly explained assignment instructions. The code will also require me to hold myself to a higher standard in regards to my treatment of students, my fellow colleagues, and to the school in general.

In conclusion, teaching is my way to not only contribute to the social work profession, but to the greater community. Through teaching I am able to help uphold the standards that have been set by those that have come before me, and to continue that legacy of excellence in service to those at the micro, mezzo and macro levels.

Courses taught: 

SW 1150 Introduction to Social Work
SW 2270 HBSE I
SW 2280 HBSE II
SW 3200 Social Welfare Policy, Services, and Delivery Systems
SW 3100 Macro Social Work Practice

Course schedule: 

HBSE I
HBSE II
Social Welfare Policy, Services and Delivery Systems
Macro Social Work Practice
Introduction to Social Work

Research and academic interests: 

I am professionally interested in crime victims and trauma, as well as secondary trauma concerns. My other interests include social work in the criminal justice system and social work ethics.

Service interests: 

I currently serve on the Boards of Directors for the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (board chair) and the Nebraska Coalition for Victims of Crime (immediate past president).

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards: 

Certified Social Worker