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Dr. Courtney Cronley

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

UT Arlington Faculty

Dr. Cronley completed a Ph.D. in social work at the University of Tennessee in 2009, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University in 2011. She received her MSSW from the University of Tennessee in 2006, and a BA in history and Japanese language from Oglethorpe University in 2002. Dr. Cronley teaches graduate-level courses in social work research, program evaluation, policy practice, and the history of social welfare policy. She is interested in the  extent to which social work educators apply a social justice framework to their teaching through the use of critical service learning pedagogy. Her broader research focuses on homelessness and how community and organizational factors promote or hinder successful client outcomes and social development.

Service Learning Class

SOCW6324 – Research and Evaluation Methods in Social Work II

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of and ability to analyze, monitor, and evaluate evidence informed interventions and human service programs. In this course quantitative and qualitative research methods and approaches are applied to the scientific and ethical evaluation of evidence informed interventions and human service programs. Research skills and knowledge are presented from the perspective of promoting diversity and social and economic justice in the evaluation of social work.

Academic Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of research in the evaluation of social work practice and the delivery of human service programs.
  2. Display an understanding of ethical, political and managerial implications of conducting evaluation research in human service organizations.
  3. Articulate a rational for how evaluation results can be used to improve human services, advance the interest of stakeholders and inform social work practice.
  4. Utilize empirical studies as a knowledge base to support professional interventions, programs, and decisions in human service agencies.
  5. Develop goals and objectives for practice and program evaluation inclusive of diversity and social and economic justice.
  6. Design a valid social work practice and program evaluation with an understanding of issues in evaluation related to cultural diversity, gender, sensitive topics, sexual orientation, and ethical concerns.
  7. Determine and use relevant statistical procedures to analyze evaluation data in order to determine effectiveness.
  8. Present evaluation results to various audiences in a professional manner.

Service Learning Project

Participatory Action Program Evaluation

Student groups partner with a social service organization in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to determine a program evaluation research problem of concern to the organization. Depending on an organization’s needs, groups may conduct a needs assessment, monitor program implementation, or evaluate outcomes. Groups are required to engage with the social service organization to design the study, implement it, and interpret the findings using a participatory action resarch model. Community engagement and reflection are structured into the project through community meeetings and journals.


DFW area social service agencies partnering with the UTA School of Social Work as field placement sites


A written report describing the study, results, and program recommendations based on the findings. Groups present their reports to staff members at the organizations and provide them with a hardcopy of the reports for use in endeavors such as grant proposals, accredidation evaluations, and/or advocacy to support new program development.