"En un futuro no muy lejano estará muy valorado el poder trabajar con clientes Latinos en su propia lengua" *
JANUARY 15, 2013
By mid-century, the majority of the U.S. population will be made up of minorities, predominantly Latinos. On average, people with Latino backgrounds are disproportionally affected by low educational attainment and fewer financial resources. As a consequence, their families and communities often struggle with poverty and access to jobs and basic services. Hence, social workers are increasingly called to promote social change with and on behalf of this growing and diverse population. Yet in 2009, the CSWE Task Force on Latino/as in Social Work Education said that "the field of social work is unprepared for the rapid growth in the Latino/a population."
In response to this call, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work established a Latino Leadership Initiative program (LLI). The new offering, within the MSW program, bolsters students' linguistic and cultural competencies to work with Latino communities here and abroad. Some foundation and method courses will be taught in Spanish.
"We at the GSSW will strengthen our efforts to attract students from Hispanic backgrounds while at the same time increasing cultural awareness and Spanish language skills of students with different backgrounds," explains Dean Alberto Godenzi. "The courses will familiarize students with the realities of Latino life in the U.S. and their respective home countries."
Assistant Professor Rocio Calvo, a native of Spain who worked in Latin America prior to joining BC, believes "in the not too distant future, it will be a real asset to be able to engage and collaborate with Latino clients in their native language." Adding a second language to the portfolio of graduating students deepens empathy and expands imagination, both core principles of a Jesuit education.
LLI courses carry the same credits as courses taught in English. Students interested in taking an LLI course are required to pass a Spanish proficiency exam.
*"In the not too distant future, it will be a real asset to be able to engage and collaborate with Latino clients in
their native language"