Miami PsyD Program Helps Fill Critical Shortage Nationwide
Noted at its December 2, 2021 Commencement Ceremony, Albizu University Miami Campus has graduated the most Hispanic female psychologists in Florida from its Doctor of Psychology program (PsyD), meeting a critical need for Latin psychology professionals nationwide who are called a “rare commodity” by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Known worldwide for its culturally competent approach to higher education, Albizu University is number one in both the United States and Florida for graduating Hispanics with advanced degrees—particularly women. Specifically in the metric of graduating female Hispanic PsyDs, Albizu shares the top national spot with only one other school.
“Albizu University was founded to meet the need for culturally sensitive mental health care,” explained Albizu Miami Chancellor Tilokie Depoo. “Particularly when it comes to psychology, barriers to treatment can be especially formidable in the Latin community.”
Indeed, the APA cites language differences, Latin cultural misperceptions about the need for mental health care, discrimination and family-based cultural conflict among these challenges.
According to national data consensus, there are just over 7,000 Hispanic psychologists in the United States, representing approximately 8.8 percent of all psychologists nationwide. The disparity between Spanish-speaking providers and patients seeking care has been particularly notable in South Florida, with its large Hispanic population.
By 2060, the U.S. Hispanic population is expected to reach 119 million people, representing more than 28 percent of the population, Census projections say.
During the 1960s, Carlos Albizu Miranda, a World War II Army veteran and one of the first U.S. Hispanics to earn a PhD in psychology, realized during his teaching career that the few Hispanic psychology graduate students were being trained with models and techniques that were not always sensitive to the needs and sociocultural characteristics of Spanish-speaking clients.
“It’s our goal at Albizu University to change that paradigm one student at a time,” Depoo said.
Albizu University offers a number of different types of psychology undergraduate and graduate degrees, both online, on-campus and in a hybrid format. It also offers a Master’s of Psychology degree available fully online.