Message from the President
José Pons Madera, Ph.D.
Welcome to our website! Within, you will find information on all the activities of our university, including the programs we offer, our student services, and our institutional and programmatic accreditation and outcomes. The sections on Discover CAU, Admissions and Aid, International Students, Student Services, Our Clinics, and Libraries include information for the San Juan Campus and the University Center in Mayagüez as well as for the Miami Campus. Through the links in the Academics section, you can access information on the specific programs offered at each of these locations, including labor market projections for the professions you can pursue on our campuses. Moreover, the website is available 24/7 to answer your questions and offer you guidance and advice on any aspect of the University, from admission procedures through the graduation requirements of each program we offer.
Albizu University was a pioneer in offering master’s programs in clinical psychology and industrial/organizational psychology in Puerto Rico. It was also the first to offer Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in these disciplines and a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program in clinical psychology. From its starting point in behavioral sciences, the University expanded its programmatic offerings to health sciences when it established bachelor’s and master’s programs in speech and language therapy and/or pathology at all its campuses, including the Center in Mayagüez. Speech/language therapy and pathology are now among the top professional programs we offer in Puerto Rico and in Florida. The San Juan Campus offers an interdisciplinary bachelor’s program that allows students to pursue a concentration in speech/language therapy or psychology. The Miami Campus offers bachelor’s degrees in education, criminal justice, and psychology and a doctoral degree in human services.
Since professional psychology was its founding pillar, the University has further expanded the master’s level study of psychology to include specializations in mental health counseling, school counseling, and marriage and family therapy.
Even with all the information available on our website, it is not possible to transmit the appreciation we feel for anyone interested in our institution. It is also difficult to show through our site the close relationship and cooperation that exists among students, faculty, and staff. All the activities carried out at Albizu University are aimed at promoting and facilitating the academic performance of each student and the processes that support the University’s curricular and extracurricular activities. Albizu University is a Student Centered institution of higher education.
To better understand these intangible dimensions, we invite you to come and visit us and meet with our team of admissions advisors. We invite you to see and feel the student environment conducive to learning that you will find at our campuses in Miami and San Juan and at the University Center in Mayagüez.
Dr. Pons was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Salem State University in Massachusetts and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies, now Albizu University, in San Juan. Dr. Pons had post-doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology and mental health administration and completed a visiting fellowship in fMRI research in neurosciences at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Rowland Institute. He was the founder of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at Ponce Health Sciences University, where he was a full professor of clinical psychology, the neuroscience of learning, couples and family therapy, and psychiatry. Dr. Pons has been an APA accreditation site visitor and site visit chair since 2005.
As a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico, Dr. Pons has over 30 years of clinical experience. He is the founder of three mental health clinics and two internship programs, one of which is APA accredited. Dr. Pons was the director and co-principal Investigator of the project to normalize the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III for Puerto Rico. He has published on intelligence and emotional intelligence, autism, and forensic family psychology and on graduate training and regulation of the psychology profession in Puerto Rico.
His academic experience includes teaching courses in the neurobiology and psychology of emotion; the cognitive and affective basis of behavior; neuropsychological, psychological, and personality assessment; and short-term psychotherapy. He has given lectures at the national level on diversity training in clinical psychology and at the international level on the scientific frontiers of psychology; neuroscience; psychoneuroimmunology; and epigenetics.
Dr. Pons was president of the Puerto Rico Board of Psychologist Examiners from 2011 to 2014 and, until 2016, was president of the Board of Directors of the Ponce Autism Center. He received the 2004 Psychologist of the Year award from the Puerto Rico Psychology Association, the 2008 Researcher of the Year award from Albizu University’s Revista Ciencias de la Conducta, and a 2009 Distinguished Health Professional recognition from the Puerto Rico State Senate. He reviews articles for various professional and scientific journals, including Professional Psychology: Theory and Practice; Training and Education in Professional Psychology; Revista Puertorriqueña de Psicología; Revista de Medicina y Salud Pública; and Science of Learning (a Nature Partner Journal).
As a graduate student, Dr. Pons was Dr. Carlos Albizu’s teaching assistant. During his tenure under Dr. Albizu’s mentorship, he acquired his first exposure to teaching and to academic administration in professional psychology. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. Pons became, on January 30, 2017, the fifth president of Albizu University.