Toni Jensen, M.S.W., M.P.A.

Faculty/Staff profile

Contact information

Toni Jensen, M.S.W., M.P.A.

Assistant Professor of Social Work and Master of Social Work Program Director
tjensen2 [at]

Smith-Curtis 140E

(402) 465-2425

Toni Jensen

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.

Ms. Jensen started teaching at NWU in 2012 as an adjunct faculty in the Social Work Department, teaching mostly in the Advantage program, and became full time faculty starting in the fall of 2014. In June of 2016, Ms. Jensen assumed the role of Field Director for NWU's social work program and in 2018 Ms. Jensen was appointed to serve as the program director for Master in Social Work.  Prior to her time at NWU Ms. Jensen was worked 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.

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

Doctorate in Social Work, expected date of graduation May 2020

SW 1150 Introduction to Social Work
SW 2270 HBSE I
SW 3200 Social Welfare Policy, Services, and Delivery Systems
SW 3100 Macro Social Work Practice
SOCWK 4970 Field Seminar and Practicum

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

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. Additionally, for my doctorate, I am exploring leadership in social work education and the progression of social work education from the BSW to the MSW and beyond.

I currently serve on the Boards of Directors for the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence and the Barnabas Community.

Certified Social Worker
2015 Victim Allied Professional Award