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The Hispanic Population Focus of OLLU’s MSW

Every class in my online MSW program that I have taken thus far has focused on working with the Hispanic population. I have learned principles that all social workers should know when working with Hispanic clients. Basic beliefs like familismo, respeto, and machismo are taught in each class along with other cultural values. The benefit of online learning is that you can learn from other student's research in the discussion posts and videos as well.

I remember that even the roleplay assignments focus on working with the Hispanic population. The scenarios that were presented were very real life situations. I had to utilize knowledge gained from the class and scholarly articles to know what to say and what not to say. Not only do the individual assignments focus on this population but the group work does as well. Often, there were many group assignments that the group had to work together to solve issues for an imagined Hispanic client or family. Sometimes you would have a situation where you had to critically think of how it could apply to a Hispanic client. This helped keep open your cultural perspective while being able to strengthen your application skills.

I liked that OLLU emphasizes these vital concepts throughout the curriculum. You don't have to speak Spanish to be an effective social worker but just knowing about the Hispanic culture makes you more effective. The principles taught teach you how to interact and solve issues that are facing Hispanics. The real culminating event is the internship. OLLU stresses that the internship serve Hispanic clients. It is here that you will incorporate all of your learning into action. The interaction with Hispanic clients helps you be more culturally competent as well. You can know how to better serve Hispanic clients from all the knowledge OLLU provides in each class.

There are myriads of research that shows that the Hispanic population is growing at large numbers. Applying the principles to the Hispanic population helped me know better how to serve them. This focus helps break down cultural barriers and social stigma. Being able to understand the many factors that affect the Hispanic population helped me be a better employee. Being Hispanic myself, I have learned more about my culture that I overlooked when I was growing up. I really enjoyed learning about my Hispanic culture since I never really analyzed it when I was younger. OLLU gave me a new learning experience that reflects my culture while learning to apply it to clients as a social worker.

About the Author

Joseph De Luca

I remember taking many personality tests, and always seeing at the bottom "social worker" as a career option. I was surprised that this kept coming up. I eventually looked up what social workers do. I felt like this was my personal calling in life. I also liked that it was not just one field I had to choose from but many different possibilities that I could choose from. I am currently working as a youth mentor and supervisor to teenage boys in a group home. It has been great and challenging. I have also been a medical social worker working in an orthopedic rehab center where I learned to work with patients and their families to ensure both were taken care of. Outside of social work, I love playing early morning basketball with friends. I am married and have 2 beautiful daughters, one is 2 years old and the other will soon be 8 months.