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Associate Professor, School Social Work Faculty Lead
Social Work
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-5531
Social work in schools; youth development, leadership, and mentorship; school transition; high school reform.
Courses Taught
SWK 200: Intro. to Social Work
SWK 207: Social Welfare Policy I
SWK 250: Issues in Social Service Delivery
SWK 303: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
SWK 304: Social Work Practice I
SWK 305: Social Work Practice II
SWK 309: Research & Quantitative Application in Social Work
SWK 321: Social Work Practice in Schools
SWK 433: Advanced Practice with Children, Youth, and Families
Research Interests
Relationship-building practices in schools; School social work leadership and capacity-building; School, agency, and community partnerships

Ph.D., University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

MSW, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

M.A., Sociology, New School for Social Research

B.A., Sociology, DePaul University

Selected Publications

Brake, A. (2019). Right from the start: Critical Classroom Practices for Building Teacher–Student Trust in the First 10 Weeks of Ninth Grade. The Urban Review, 1-22.

Brake, A., & Kelly, M. S. (2019). Camaraderie, Collaboration, and Capacity Building: A Qualitative Examination of School Social Workers in a Year Long Professional Learning Community. The Qualitative Report, 24(4), 667-692.

Kelly, M. S., Key, W., Brake, A., Cortes, M. & Wardzala, S. (2017). Educator professional learning communities (PLCs) for improving academic, social, and behavioral outcomes in K-12 schools: A systematic review (Accepted title). The Campbell Collaboration, 1-9. 

Brake, A. & Roth, B. (2016). Contemporary Federal Policy and School Social Work: Implications for Practice and Opportunities for Leadership. In Villareal Sosa, L., Cox, T. & Alvarez, M. (Eds.), School Social Work: National Perspectives on Practice in School. Oxford University Press.

Roth, B. J., Sichling, F., & Brake, A. (2015). Recentering our tendencies: Immigrant youth development and the importance of context in social work research. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 1-12.

Brake, A. & Livingston, L. (2015). Tackling oppression in schools: Orienting skills for school social workers. In Massat, C. R., Kelly, M. S., & Constable, R. T. (Eds.), School Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research. (8th edition). Lyceum Books, Incorporated.

Selected Exhibitions

Brake, A., & Kelly, M. (January, 2018). Structured, sustained, and reciprocal: Evidence-informed capacity building in Chicago’s School Social Work Professional Learning Community Project. Presentation at the 22nd annual meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, D.C.

Brake, A. (November, 2017). Right from the start: Timing, trajectories, and teacher-student trust in the transition to high school. Invited workshop presentation for the Continuing Education Program at the University of Missouri Saint Louis, School of Social Work, Saint Louis, Mo.

Brake, A. & Omer, F. (March, 2016). Plugging the pipeline from within: School social work leadership and data driven discipline reform. Presentation at the annual meeting of the School Social Work Association of America National Conference, Baltimore, Md.


Andrew Brake is an Associate Professor in the Social Work Department. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Brake has lived in Chicago nearly 30 years. He received his Ph.D. and MSW from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York City. At NEIU, Dr. Brake leads the School Social Work Specialization in the MSW Program. He has also developed the Introduction to Social Work curriculum in the BSW Program and has taught a variety of courses in both programs. He has over 20 years of experience working with youth serving agencies and public high schools. His research, teaching and community work aims to enhance the trust-building practices of educators and partners in schools and to develop school social workers’ leadership capacities for advancing polices, practices and partnerships rooted in justice, equity and care for youth in Chicago and beyond. 

Room LWH 3080
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-5531
Office Hours
Main Campus
Curriculum Vitae