Adler University is a private university with two campuses in North America, one in Chicago, Illinois, and one in Vancouver, British Columbia. The university also offers classes and degree programs online for its more than 1,400 students in master's and doctoral students.
Adler University is named for Alfred Adler (1870–1937), a physician, psychotherapist, and founder of Adlerian psychology, which is sometimes called individual psychology. He is considered the first community psychologist, because his work pioneered attention to community life, prevention, and population health.
Among Adler's advocates and followers was Adler University founder Rudolf Dreikurs (1897–1972), a psychiatrist who immigrated to Chicago in 1937 after Adler's death. Dreikurs lived and worked in Chicago's Hull House, and he was instrumental in the child guidance movement in the U.S.
In 1952, Dreikurs founded the Institute of Adlerian Psychology that, in 1954, changed its name to the Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago, and in 1991 became known as the Adler School of Professional Psychology, and in 2015 as Adler University. Early instructors and founders of the Institute were also Bernard Shulman, Harold Mosak, Bina Rosenberg, and Robert Powers.
In 1963, the Institute was chartered as a not-for-profit Illinois corporation and approved as a post-secondary educational provider. A year later, the Institute created a group therapy program for those incarcerated at Cook County Jail, a program that was a precursor to the school's later focus on the incarcerated and the formerly incarcerated. In 1972, the Institute established its on-campus Dreikurs Psychological Services Center, a community mental health center and training site for students, which was the precursor to today's Adler Community Health Services (ACHS), directed by Dr. Dan Barnes. In 1973, the Illinois Office of Education granted the Institute the authority to award the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. The Institute received full accreditation of master's level programs and awarded its first M.A. degrees in 1978. It received doctoral level accreditation in 1987, and awarded its first Psy.D. degrees in 1990. The Psy.D. program was accredited by the American Psychological Association in 1998.
Master and doctoral programs are offered at both the Chicago and Vancouver campuses. In fall 2013, the Vancouver campus began offering a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology—the first traditional Psy.D. program in Canada.
All of Adler University's masters and doctoral programs offered at the Vancouver campus are offered under the written consent of the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the Ministry.
In addition to its main campus in downtown Chicago, Adler University also maintains a campus in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Annually, Adler University students provide over 650,000 hours of community service. Adler University partners with more than 700 agencies to advance community health. Adler Community Health Services (ACHS) provides psychological services to under-served populations through its clinical training programs.
ACHS training programs include the Adler Community Mental Health Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology as well as psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment externships, also known as clinical practica. The pre-doctoral internship at ACHS is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is a member of the Association of Psychology Post-doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
A distinctive feature of Adler's programs, the Community Service Practicum (CSP) is a requirement for all first-year students at the School. The CSP is unique non-clinical experience, meant to expose future practitioners to concepts of social justice and social change, and to instill in them the ethos and the skill set necessary to engage in socially responsible practice.