Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Jane Woody


Advocacy for social justice is a tradition of the social work profession and a professional ethical mandate essential for clinical practice and the development of social policies. Research suggests that university environments are optimal for developing and enhancing empowerment among aspiring social work students. Current undergraduate and graduate level social work students were surveyed using the Sociopolitical Empowerment Scale to assess their perceived empowerment. As an exploratory study, the findings suggested that educational opportunities to experience political participation and memberships in student and professional organizations are potential factors that may enhance perceived empowerment. The implications of this research support continued university curriculum development that provides students with the opportunities which will promote empowerment for advocating for social justice issues.


A Thesis Presented to the School of Social Work And the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Social Work University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Lori Stearns October 20, 2006.