Albizu University receives $6.9 million in grants from the Federal Department of Education

Both projects will impact the training of professionals dedicated to mental health in Puerto Rico


The Federal Department of Education awarded a total of $6.9 million to Albizu University to fund two projects aimed at training the future workforce in the area of ​​behavioral sciences and other disciplines. Both projects will create opportunities for career awareness and exploration in psychology as early as high school over the next five years and will offer scholarships for graduate study and professional certifications.

The president of the institution, Dr. Nelson Soto, expressed that both grants represent an investment in the mental health of Puerto Rico through the training of future behavioral professionals. “These projects are intended to offer access to cutting-edge education so that our Island has the professionals it needs to address the mental health crisis that we are facing. These federal grants recognize the capacity of our San Juan Campus and our Mayagüez University Center to be part of the solution.”

The Albizu’s Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Program received $3.9 million, being one of 67 awarded in the United States and the only one in Puerto Rico. Through an alliance with the Department of Education of the Government of Puerto Rico, students who graduate from the School Psychology and Counseling programs at Albizu University will have the opportunity to benefit from 20 scholarships to intern in public schools, thus benefiting selected high-need communities. The program will also provide opportunities for high school students to learn about careers in the field of psychology and research opportunities for Albizu undergraduate students.

In addition, Albizu University will offer four specialized professional certifications in the areas of Mental Health Cultural Competencies, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Behavioral Interventions, and Alcohol and Substance Dependence. The Office of Continuing Education of the San Juan Campus will offer these four certifications for which 8 scholarships will be awarded annually to mental health professionals, paraprofessionals, and technicians, contributing to meeting the high demand for these professionals in Puerto Rico and the continental United States.

The $3 million Strengthening Master’s Programs and Support Services grant under the Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program (PPOHA) will strengthen graduate education at Albizu through curricular innovations, faculty development, integrated academic and service support, and facility improvements.

The grant award provides funding for the creation of a Graduate Student Center on the San Juan Campus located in Old San Juan, the establishment of a One Button Studio for class recordings, and the awarding of 49 scholarships to graduate students. In addition, it proposes curricular innovations and the development of the graduate faculty of the master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders, as well as for a future academic offering. The faculty of the institution will be able to be certified in Quality Matters and will receive other training related to digital learning.

These projects are led by Dr. Rebecca González (PPOHA) and Gabrielle Ruiz (MSHP) at the San Campus.

Required disclosure

PPOHA Grant: P031M220058

Grant award: $3,000,000

All activities are financed with grant funds (100%)

No cost-sharing (0%)

Mental Health Service Professional (MHSP) Demonstration Gran: S184X220161

Grant award: $3,999,087.51.

No cost-sharing (0%)

All activities are financed with grant funds (100%)