As an academic department in a Hispanic Serving Institution, the Counseling Department at California State University, Fullerton is highly committed to educating and training culturally competent counselors working with the Latina/o community locally in Orange County as well as nation-wide. Our training program is grounded in ethical and professional standards and draws from the most current research available. Further, the scholarly interests of many faculty members are focused on enhancing the profession’s understanding of how to meet the mental health needs of the Latino/a population.
Graduate students in the counseling program have the opportunity to select practicum sites that cater to the Latino/a population in Southern California. For students working in these settings, the department offers Bilingual and Bicultural Practicum Supervision for students working with Latina/o and Spanish-speaking clients. This practicum supervision is unique as there are few such programs in existence nationwide. The course curriculum is grounded in CACREP Standards and nationally approved (ACA) professional competencies. The course provides an opportunity to receive bilingual and bicultural supervision that in addition to covering all the requirements of Practicum focuses on issues related to Latina/o and Spanish-speaking clients, including acculturation, immigration, value systems, intergenerational family conflict, ethnic identity, and intersection of various other diversity dimensions (gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social class, etc.). The class is held in English and Spanish, though preference for this practicum is given to students with basic skills in spoken-Spanish. Also, this practicum section is only offered when there are enough students to fill a section. This practicum course is an opportunity to increase a student’s (1) self-awareness as a bilingual and bicultural counselor, (2) knowledge of Latino-cultures and therapeutic-Spanish, and (3) familiarity with interventions appropriate to Latina/o and Spanish-speaking clients.
The Counseling Department’s training program in Latina/o Mental Health is evolving with increased research, a Latina/o Mental Health Center, and a comprehensive certificate program in the future. We believe graduates equipped with these highly-sought after bilingual, bicultural, and culturally competent skills will be prepared to more appropriately meet the mental health needs of the Latina/o community.