Dr. Arlen Garcia

  School of Natural & Social Sciences

Department of Social Sciences



“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Arlen Garcia, Ph.D., LMHC
Associate Professor Senior, Psychology & Student Life Skills (SLS)
City of Miami Police Department Endowed Teaching Chair in the Social Sciences
Department of Social Sciences
& Honors College Faculty

Primary Faculty Advisor since Fall 2010: The Psychology Club @ North Campus, est. 2005

Organization Advisor of the Year Award (2012-2013)


Organization of the Year Award (2012-2013)

The Psychology Club @ North Campus, est. 2005

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Our purpose is to provide student members (psychology & non-psychology  majors) an opportunity to explore topics  related to the  field of psychology via a variety of educational and service related activities.

Most Outstanding Member Award - President (2016-2017)

Leadership Enhancement Award - Treasurer (2015-2016)

Leadership Enhancement Award - Vice President (2014-2015)

President’s Volunteer Service Award - (2014-2015)

President’s Volunteer Service Award - Silver Category (2013-2014)

President’s Volunteer Service Award - Bronze Category (2012-2013)

Outstanding Event Award: First Annual Psychology Advisement & Career Fair (2012-2013)


                      305-237-1880              Fax: 305-237-1833


Miami Dade College - North Campus

Department of Social Sciences
11380 N.W. 27th Avenue, Bldg. #2 Room 2256
Miami, FL 33167-3418

      COURSE INFORMATION - To Search & Register for any MDC course CLICK HERE


SPRING 2018 SEMESTER: January 9th - April 27th; Final Exam Week - April 28th - May 4th

All courses are Web-Enhanced or Blended or Virtual College via BLACKBOARD, please CLICK HERE to log in.

CLP 2140 Abnormal Psychology
DEP 2000 Human Growth & Development
PSY 2012 Introduction to Psychology
CLP 1006 Psychology of Personal Effectiveness
    STUDENT OFFICE HOURS: To Search for any faculty office schedule at MDC CLICK HERE

SPRING 2018 SEMESTER: January 9th - April 27th; Final Exam Week - April 28th - May 4th

Monday  Click HERE 





Dr. Garcia's CV

Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, Florida International University, 2007

DissertationInvestigating Group Processes in a Positive Youth Development Program for Multi-Problem Youth, Mentor: William Kurtines, Ph.D.  (Fall 2003 – Fall 2007)

M.S. Psychology (specialization in Mental Health Counseling & Research), Florida International University, 2005

Thesis: Promoting Positive Youth Development: Using Within-Regression Analysis to Estimate Group Process Growth Curves as Mediators of Intervention Change in Multi-Problem Youth, Mentor: William Kurtines, Ph.D., Co-Mentors: Lisa Lewis-Arango, Ph.D., LMHC & Marilyn Montgomery, Ph.D., LMHC (Spring 2002 – Spring 2005)

B.A. Psychology; Minor in English, Florida International University, 2001   (Fall 1998 - Fall 2001)

Undergraduate Research Fellowship, American Psychological Association (APA, NIGMS) Office of Ethnic Minorities, Psychology Research Initiatives Mentorship Experience (PRIME: Summer 2001 - Fall 2001) 



"The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Broadly and in appropriate ways for each course, I seek to develop students’ abilities as critical thinkers, foster their intellectual and personal competencies for excelling in psychology-related careers, enlarge their understanding of how culture impacts development and intervention efforts, and increase their appreciation of the complexities of a diverse society.

Through reading, writing, and presentation assignments, I nurture students’ competencies for functioning effectively in the knowledge-intensive psychology-related careers, including competencies for solving problems, adapting to change, communicating effectively, thinking critically, synthesizing information, and working in teams.

Importantly to the mentoring process, I highly encourage students to visit my office and discuss future career plans, offer volunteer site resources, and graduate school and job related information in psychology.


Areas of Interests

Some of my areas of interest and research are Teaching & Learning, Student Persistence & Motivation, Outreach Research/Community Supported Interventions, Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood Psychosocial Development, Family Development, and Group Processes.

Scholarly, I am a Developmental Psychologist. My specialization is in Applied Developmental Science (ADS), which focuses on the use of research and application to promote positive development across the lifespan. Applied developmental scientists adopt the view that positive individual development and family functioning is a combined and interactive product of biology and the physical and social environments that continuously evolve and change over time. The applied developmental science orientation emphasizes a focus on systematic and successive changes within human systems that occur across the lifespan (per program description).

Throughout a decade, I developed a strong research background in adolescent psychosocial development and community-based research intervention programs from both my graduate education and clinical work experiences.  My research examined adolescent psychosocial development, specifically in the promotion of positive domains such as identity and intimacy. For the last 13 years, I have been teaching undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition, I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor in the State of Florida with clinical experience in a variety of settings ranging from hospital, community mental health centers, university-affiliated centers, elementary and alternative high schools, and private practice.

Refereed Journal Articles

Eichas, K., Albrecht, R. E.,  Garcia, A. J., Ritchie, R. A., Varela, A., Garcia, A., Rinaldi, R., Wang, R., Montgomery, M. J., Silverman, W. K., Jaccard, J., Kurtines, W. M. (2010). Mediators of positive youth development intervention change: Promoting positive and problem outcomes? Child and Youth Care Forum, 39(4), 211-237.

Kurtines, W. M., Ferrer-Wreder, L., Berman, S. L., Cass-Lorente, C., Briones, E., Montgomery, M. J., Albrecht, R., Garcia, A. J., & Arrufat, O. (2008). Promoting positive youth development: The Miami youth development project (YDP). Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(3), 256-267.

Kurtines, W. M., Montgomery, M. J., Eichas, K., Ritchie, R., Garcia, A., Albrecht, R., Berman, S., Ferrer-Wreder, L., & Cass-Lorente, C. (2008). Promoting positive identity development in troubled youth: A developmental intervention science outreach research approach. Special Issue: New Directions for Identity and Intervention, Identity: International Journal of Theory and Research, 8(2), 125-138.


Fall 2015 Semester - Nicaragua Backpack Donation Drive - GOAL: 350

2014-2015: Grass-roots Initiatives - "The Nicaragua Sustainability Project" (housed under The Psychology Club)

Faculty Led Co-Curricular Service Immersion Initiative in Managua, Nicaragua: May 4th-11th, 2014

Watch 3-minute video trailer or 15-minute Student Video Journal or 50-minute MDCTV Show!

Outside the warehouse buying the new mattresses for the orphanage:

Miami Dade College, North Campus has established itself as a leader in the promotion of co-curricular and intentional learning opportunities which promote life-long learning and global citizenship awareness. The purpose of the initiative, led by Dr. Arlen Garcia, Associate Professor of Psychology and Student Life Skills and Prof. Jaime Anzalotta, Instructor of Social Work and Student Life Skills, was to involve students in meaningful contributions beyond the classroom. Specifically, students who had successfully passed or were  enrolled in CLP 1006 - Psychology of Personal Effectiveness and/or HUS - 1001 Introduction to Human Services and/or were active officers or club members in the Psychology Club and/or Aspira Student Leadership Organization. These students were exposed to field experience in their future respective fields within a global context/perspective and concurrently offer opportunities for leadership enhancement, co-curricular involvement, cultural enrichment, and community/civic immersion.

The target country was Nicaragua, the largest of Central American nations and the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The target populations were orphaned children as well as residents of surrounding rural communities.

By participating in this initiative students made memorable and long-lasting impacts in children's lives. For example, students assisted in delivering much needed ESL (English) lessons, purchased mattresses for all children who live in the orphanage, donated funds to repair the roof and painted a mural in both, a third and pre-kindergarten class.  Moreover, anti-bullying workshops, educational groups with residents from the local communities and schools, offered students the intentional co-curricular learning opportunities. Importantly, the immersion of day-to-day experiences, such as frequent power outages, no running water, scarcity of basic needs, allowed students to gain life-long learning lessons that ultimately support student development and success.

This initiative fully supported Miami Dade College’s Ten Learning Outcomes agenda which provide multiple, varied, and intentional learning experiences to facilitate the acquisition of fundamental knowledge and skills in the development of attitudes that foster effective citizenship and life-long learning.

Native Americans of the Plains

If you enjoy learning about Native American history, especially the Pawnee, Ponca and Omaha tribes, I invite you to visit this site. I participated in this National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholar program (Summer 2012) in Nebraska & Kansas and it was truly eye opening -- a memorable experience.



APA Style Writing Resources

American Psychological Association (APA) Style Resource

Purdue OWL - Modern Language Association (MLA) & American Psychological Association (APA) Style Format Resource

The Psychology Field

American Psychological Association (APA) - The American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States.

Association for Psychological Science (APS) - The Association for Psychological Science (APS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific psychology and its representation at the national and international level.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5)

PSYCHOLOGY: SCIENCE IN ACTION - Great resource page for Career information from the APA!

APA Career Skills to Increase Your Marketability - From APA'S PSYCH LEARNING CURVE: Where Psychology and Education Connect

Careers in Psychology - From APA - Undergraduate students

Self-Assessment: Individual Development Plans (IDP) - Resource from APA - Undergraduate and Graduate students.

Developmental Psychology

APA Developmental Psychology Division - Overall info. about this specific field of study - New website sponsored by 7 APA divisions - Divs. 7, Developmental Psychology, 15, Educational Psychology, 16, School Psychology, 37, Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, 43, 53, Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and 54, Society of Pediatric Psychology.

Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD)

Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA)

Society for Research on Identity Formation (SRIF) - All about Identity Development !

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) - The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) is a professional organization that seeks to promote multidisciplinary research in the field of human development, to foster the exchange of information among scientists and other professionals of various disciplines, and to encourage applications of research findings.

The Developing Child - Harvard University Research

Carter Adolescent Interpersonal Relationships Lab (AIR) - University of Michigan (UM) Adolescent Research Lab directed by an old friend, Dr. Rona Carter, Ph.D. Find them in Facebook, if you wish to be a participant in current research studies.

The Visible Embryo - Find out exactly what happens every week of prenatal development

MDC Library Guides - Human Growth & Development - Research Links, Topics and more...

Mental Health Counseling

American Counseling Association (ACA)

American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA)

Counseling Services in SingleStop, call to make an appointment - For MDC students Only.

2-1-1 to find local resources

Human Sexuality/Relationships

The 5 Love Languages - Dr. Gary Chapman - Take the Quiz and find out yours !

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy - Prevention Resources

Bedsider - More prevention resources from the National Campaign...

Go Ask Alice! - Columbia University

The Gottman Institute - A research-based approach to creating stronger relationships.

PFLAG National

Human Rights Campaign


Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Positive Psychology/Positive Development & Community Outreach Research

International Positive Psychology Association

Patch Adams

Give Yoga a Try - September is National Yoga Month

Dr. Brene Brown - Brene Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. Specifically, the human connection constructs she studies include vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. To learn more about her research click here.

The Conscious Parent - Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Student Life Skills (SLS)

Career Coach - Local Information on Earnings, Education & Training, Job Postings + more... (Look for it on the right hand side Quick Links options)

Optimal Resume - For MDC students only - Customized program just for the MDC student looking to create a Resume, Letters, Portfolios, Personal Webpage + more...

MDC Social Sciences Department - Career Corner - Resume resources, Career Planning

Math Study Resource

Study Skills Center







I enjoy traveling, especially to places where I can connect with nature. The pictures on the left and bottom side are just some I have taken of favorite places I've visited over the years.

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. -- Hal Borland

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive. -- Eleanora Duse

The Arts

The Milk Carton Kids

Joan Shelley

Daniel Martin Moore

Mount Moriah

Tiny Desk - NPR

Juliette Greco 

Visit the Poetry Foundation!

Molly Fisk - I learned about this poet by accident and just enjoy her work. Maybe you'll enjoy her work too !

Also, Deborah Garrison and The New Yorker.

The Miami Poetry Collective - Local Efforts to spread Poetry everywhere. Remember April is National Poetry Month.

Michael Faudet

Lang Leav

For us "Foodies" out there

Being an amateur "foodie" means I not only enjoy eating a delicious, interesting meal, but love to learn about the origins of food and the art and science behind it. Here are some great links that explore just that:

Diary of a Foodie - This was a PBS series by Gourmet. It is a food, culture, and travel series that dives into the diverse realm of the world's greatest cuisine, sounds yummy just reading about it !

Check Please! South Florida - You can find restaurant information and reviews just for our South Florida area. It is a great resource when you are looking for that new dish to try.

The Splendid Table - This is a talk show through National Public Radio (NPR).

Be Inform & Take Action

Helping Feels Good - In our own South Florida community - check it out :)

National Public Radio - There is always something new to learn !

Advanced Personal Therapy - This is my friend's international private practice home-based in Marbella, Spain.

What would be the point of life, if we didn't let it change us.

  Santa Julia Mountain Range