Albizu University, an accredited educational institution with three locations in Puerto Rico and South Florida, announced two key milestones for growth. Dr. Nelson Soto has been newly appointed to assume the position of President of the university, which also revealed the inauguration of a large new annex on its South Florida campus.
By Alex de Carvalho, Portada Miami correspondent.
Founded in 1966, Albizu University is a private, non-profit higher education institution with an enrollment of over 3,000 students, 80% of which have Hispanic origins. Dr. Carlos Albizu, founder of the university, was recognized for his groundbreaking work in training in culturally sensitive psychology and the institution has pioneered professional training that is oriented to the mental health needs of multicultural communities.
The educational programs are designed to train professionals capable of serving minorities, as well as the general population in the United States, Central and Latin America. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Albizu University offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs and certificates in Psychology, Speech and Language, Human Services, English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESOL), and a master’s degree in Health Care.
The newly appointed President, Dr. Soto previously served as executive vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. According to Dr. Soto, “The vision of Dr. Carlos Albizu Miranda was all about giving back to the community. One way he gave back was to prepare psychologists, not just on the island of Puerto Rico and not even just in Miami, but he also wanted to focus on growing and expanding throughout South America. With this new annex, we think about the broader impact Albizu will have on the community. We know the growth of Latinos in this area, we understand the growing need for services, and we look forward to continuing to provide these services.”
Albizu University’s marketing efforts are centered around online marketing, media relations, advertising, and social media on the major platforms. Their communications office is staffed by a team skilled in communicating to Hispanic and Latino markets through traditional, digital, and social media marketing. Beyond Puerto Rico and South Florida, the university attracts students from Central and South America and from the Caribbean.
“We are proud of Albizu’s contribution to the community. There are a lot of Hispanic students and Albizu provides them with a great opportunity to come study and move their careers forward here in the United States,” says Juan Carlos Bermudez, Mayor of the City of Doral, and Commissioner for Miami-Dade District 12. “Many residents have become students, both on the undergraduate and graduate sides, and several Albizu students have in return found jobs here in Doral and in Miami-Dade County. As the one University that has been headquartered in Doral the longest, we hope they will continue to grow with more degrees.”
Dr. Soto further spoke about the top priorities for the university. Topmost is the objective to continue to expand globally, especially in Latin America. Mental health is unfortunately a growing issue, and the university wants to continue educating and training counselors and psychologists who are empathetic and can maintain the cultural competency of understanding their community.
Albizu University’s Priorities: Global Expansion, Scholarships and Continuing Education
Another priority is providing grants and scholarships for individuals that want to continue their education. Thirdly, the institution will move more into professional development and continuing education for the psychologists, counselors, school educators, and community activists that want to learn more about mental health and get credentialed.
“This addition is a major milestone for this campus. This new student space is momentous, and we will now have a significant presence in the community and in South Florida. The main priority is continuing to make sure that Albizu University is focused on growing services for clinical mental health and just overall for mental health awareness, so we want to make sure we are providing the continued steady force of psychologists and mental health counselors,” says Dr. Soto. “Job placement is unfortunately great because there’s a growing need. We know in places like Mexico and other Latin American countries, there is a lack of professionally trained psychologists and counselors at the Master’s and Ph.D. level.”
Written by Alex de Carvalho, Miami Correspondent