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Jason Ostrander, Ph.D., MSW

Jason Ostrander, Ph.D., MSW

Assistant Professor and Online Education Coordinator

Jason OstranderExpertise

Research and practice focuses on the political participation of social workers, social and economic justice, program evaluation, and policy implications relating to vulnerable populations

Consulting Editor

Advances in Social Work

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut School of Social Work
  • MSW, University of Connecticut School of Social Work
  • BSW, Elms College

I grew up in a rural, working-poor household.  Growing up, my single mother worked as many as three jobs; and early on I realized my mother was barely making the ends meet.  By the age of 14, I began working 30-40 hours a week to help lessen the load on my mother.  As I got older I started working two jobs because a minimal wage income was not enough money to pay my bills.  My teachers and guidance counselor told me that I would never make it to or be successful in college.  Their refusal to help me pursue my goals emboldened me to work harder and refuse to let them be right. Conducting research on my own during my junior year of high school, I discovered a state program that paid for me to bypass my senior year and attend the local community college.  I setup an appointment with the vice principle of my high school and together we completed the paper work.  I passed the community college’s entrance exam and was accepted.  I think of this when I meet students who have experienced similar obstacles or facilitate conversations about structural barriers.  

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Human Diversity and Social Justice
  • Social Welfare as a Social Institution
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services
  • Social Work Research Methods
  • Supervised Research Practicum

Research Interests and Grants

  • Political social work
  • Political participation of social workers
  • Social and economic justice
  • Policy implications relating to marginalized and oppressed populations
  • Advocacy
  • Voting
  • Social work education
  • Program evaluation

Awards and Fellowships

  • 2015 Outstanding Student Award, Association for Community Organizing & Social Administration
  • 2004 Marguerite O. Carson Award, Elms College’s Social Work department
  • 2001 Human Service Award, Berkshire Community College’s Human Service Program

Publications and Presentations


Contact Information

Phone: (203) 396-6338

Email: Ostranderj@sacredheart.edu