Ánimo Latinx Counseling Emphasis

California State University Fullerton
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The mission of the Ánimo Latinx Counseling Emphasis, within CSUF’s Department of Counseling, is to increase the number of bilingual and bicultural professional clinical counselors to provide culturally responsive mental health services to the Latinx community. Ánimo has drawn increasing numbers of applicants for the limited 15 -18 slots per year and is significantly improving Latinx students’ sense of belonging in academia, research experiences, advocacy, and retention and graduation.

Program goals:

  • Empower Latinx Master’s level graduate students to increase their sense of belonging in academia and the mental health field.
  • Increase Latinx Master’s level graduate students' retention and graduation rates.

Program Description

Being bilingual and bicultural in social and personal settings does not translate to being able to provide culturally responsive mental health services to Latinx clients. Ánimo was developed to address the need for bilingual skills in the counseling and psychology fields. Ánimo provides specialized clinical training by infusing Latinx cultural values including personalismo (personalism), familismo (familism), and colectivismo (collectivism) into the curriculum; courses are taught by fully bilingual, bicultural, and culturally responsive faculty. The courses are primarily taught in English with ample opportunities to build therapeutic Spanish-speaking skills. Topics integrated into the curriculum include those that are relevant to the Latinx community.


Short-term outcomes include Ánimo students applying theory and practice in culturally responsive ways and becoming advocates for Latinx mental health. Long-term outcomes for Ánimo graduates include leading as clinical supervisors/directors of mental health agencies; applying to doctoral studies; and seeking faculty positions. 

  • Of those accepted into Ánimo 93% identify as Latinx and among those who are not Latinx, all are bicultural and bilingual.
  • Ánimo has graduated 21 students of whom 90% are Latinx.
  • The Ánimo Research Lab has presented four professional conference presentations and five presentations to the campus community on Latinx mental health. There are 8 students and 1 alumnus active in the Ánimo Research Lab.
  • Students in the program are being offered competitive practicum stipends and show strong interest in applying for doctoral programs.

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