ELSA GARCIA-SANDA is a member of the adjunct faculty. She has more than 20 years of experience in social work serving a variety of populations in numerous capacities.
Specializing in school social work, Garcia-Sanda has been employed with the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 16 years. The bulk of her school social work experiences have been focused on providing direct school-based mental health services to K-12 students and their families. She currently works as a district counselor with pupil services at LAUSD headquarters, where she assists with the development of policies and programs related to student special populations, student attendance, dropout prevention and coordination of tracking procedures for student data. In addition, she is lead coordinator of the Pupil Services Field Education Program and provides clinical supervision to staff working on their licensure hours.
Previously, she worked in the field of HIV/AIDS as a mental health provider. She served as associate client services director for SPECTRUM Community Services and Research, a program of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, where she oversaw activities and services provided by LA County-funded programs. As a consultant with various HIV/AIDS organizations, she also provided direct mental health services to HIV-infected individuals and their families.
Garcia-Sanda is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a special affinity for working with women, high-risk youth and minority populations. She is a licensed clinical social worker and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Glendale, California.
She received her master’s degree in social work as well as her Pupil Personnel Services Credential and Child Welfare and Attendance certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Long Beach.