Erick Lear

Contributing Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
Barbara Solomon School of Social Work
Master of Social Work (MSW)

Dr. Erick C. Lear’s formal training is in social work and human services. He began his teaching career in 2011 with a focus on nonprofit management and direct practice/social work skills. Prior to his teaching career, he served as a social worker in direct service and administrative roles.

During his 20+ years in the nonprofit sector, Dr. Lear has served as Director of Client Services for an AIDS Service Organization in Northeast Ohio; a Mental Health Therapist in the Psychiatric Intake and Response Center of Akron's Children's Hospital; and a Clinical Team Leader for a community-based organization serving clients with chronic mental health issues. He also volunteered for over 10 years for the SUPPORT Hotline of Portage Path Behavioral Health, focusing on crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Dr. Lear currently serves as the Director of Professional Development and Volunteer Coordinator for the National Organization for Human Services. He teaches for a number of online universities in social work and human service programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

At Walden University, Dr. Lear teaches the human behavior in the social environment courses and social work skills lab. Dr. Lear’s current research interests include macro practice, social policy, volunteer administration, self-care, and nonprofit management. Of particular interest since COVID is relationship building in virtual spaces.

Courses Taught

SOCW 6210 - Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

SWLB 0652 - Social Work Lab II


BA, Kent State University

MA, Case Western Reserve University

PhD, Capella University

Post-master's Certificate, Walden University

Public Service

National Organization for Human Services, Volunteer -

Awards / Honors

Faculty of the Year, 2020 , University of Phoenix, 2020

Founder's Scholarship Recipient, Kent State University, 1995

Honors College Scholarship Recipient, Kent State University, 1999