Andrew Brake
Ph.D., MSW
Associate Professor, Curriculum Specialist: Introduction to Social Work
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 assistant professor in the NEIU Social Work program and has more than 18 years of experience working for an array of youth agencies and public high schools in Chicago. 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. At NEIU, Dr. Brake has developed the Introduction to Social Work curriculum and teaches in both the BSW and MSW programs. His research examines how trust and collaboration shape teacher-student relationships and teaching and social work practice in schools in improving policies, practices, and partnerships in urban public schools. Most recently, Dr. Brake was Co-Principal Investigator for the School Mental Health Professional Learning Community Project, a two-year qualitative examination of a professional learning community designed specifically for school social workers in metropolitan Chicago. Dr. Brake’s future teaching, research, and service activities aim to align social work leadership to advance school mental health and school climate initiatives in urban public schools.

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

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