Psychological Services for Spanish-Speaking Populations Program (PSSSP)

Our Lady of the Lake University
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


The goal of the Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations Program (PSSSP) is to train mental health professionals who will provide clinical services to Spanish-speaking populations.

Program Description

The PSSSP program at Our Lady of the Lake has from its inception focused on training practitioners who demonstrate a high level of competence in providing psychological services to diverse client populations. Implemented in 1997, as an optional specialization for students in the MS in Psychology and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) programs or as a postgraduate certificate program. Courses added to the curriculum for the PSSSP program included a technical Spanish course taught by a faculty member from the Spanish Department (PSYC 6370 Professional/Technical Spanish), a course focused on service delivery in Spanish (PSYC 8331 Language and Psychosocial Variables in Interviews and Assessments with Latina/os), and a course on Latina/o Psychology, PSYC 9356. Students could take a culture and language immersion course (PSYC 8330 Sociocultural Foundations of Counseling Latina/os) that takes place in a Latin American country or a course on Counseling Spanish Speaking Immigrants and Refugees (PSYC 8327). These courses are also required for M.S. and postgraduate students enrolled in the PSSSP certificate program. In addition, students must spend a minimum of six semesters of practicum at a bilingual practicum site, including one semester of supervised supervision of Spanish language service (PsyD students only). Optional practica in Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries are available.


Before the development of the PSSSP, 18% of students admitted to our Psy.D. program self-identified their origins as Latina/o. Since offering the program, 42% of students admitted have identified as Latina/o. This is significant when Latina/o comprised only 6% of incoming doctoral students in Psychology in 2002-03.

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