Jerry Stermer

Jerry Stermer

Adjunct Lecturer, SESP Undergraduate Program


A longtime adjunct instructor in the School of Education and Social Policy, Jerry Stermer was president of the child advocacy organization Voices for Illinois Children for 22 years. Since 2009 he has worked for Illinois governor Pat Quinn, first as chief of staff and currently as senior advisor.



Year Degree Institution
BA Divine Word College
MA, Political Science University of Illinois at Chicago




Introduction to Social Policy This course will introduce students to social policy through a broad overview of some of the major social welfare programs in the U.S. and an assessment of the underlying values that contribute to their evolution. A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to social welfare policies designed to realize our national aspiration to secure equal opportunity for all Americans as well as to moderate what may be deemed unacceptable inequalities of wealth. Students will explore the interaction of various policies and programs including Social Security, welfare reform, taxation, child care subsidies, early childhood education, public education, as well as Medicare, Medicaid, the Obama Administrationís Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as well as the nationís current drug policies. Each student will be given the opportunity to delve more deeply into the complexities of a specific policy of his/her choice, and will in the process develop skills to analyze and offer recommendations for policy improvement.


Reforming State Government This course will examine major policy, program and budget challenges currently facing state governments in the United States. Students will gain familiarity with both the substance of contemporary social policies as well as the state level processes by which they are developed, debated, adopted, implemented and refined. Students will review the healthcare, education, social services, criminal justice and economic development policies that dominate the energies and budgets of state governments and consider the political and economic context as well as the influences of a variety of federal, state and local decisions. Each student will have the opportunity to develop in-depth analyses of the complexities of specific policies and prepare recommendations for improvement and reform.

Last Updated: 2015-09-30 22:40:00