Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Deborah Worley


Many professionals, especially social workers, work with individuals who have a history of or are experiencing trauma. If students understand the trauma their clients have experienced, they are better suited to meet the individual where they are and help them work towards their goals. Social work professors must prepare their students by instructing them about different types of traumatic experiences, the impacts, assessment tools, and various intervention strategies. I used a qualitative research approach and document analysis to understand how social work programs incorporate education related to trauma and trauma-informed practice into their curricula. This method allowed me to gain a deep and nuanced understanding of how social work programs educate their students about trauma. This dissertation discusses the need for trauma education in social work curricula based on the research findings. The practical application of the research lends itself to developing a course to be offered to students at the University of North Dakota (UND). This course, Understanding Trauma in Social Work Practice, will be offered as an elective in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program and will provide basic, foundational knowledge and awareness of trauma. Exploration of factors known to promote resilience and self-care are examined and emphasized throughout the course.