With a record of attendance of 32 out of 43 presidents and representatives from our institutional members; HETS celebrated its Summer Board Meeting on June 28, 2021. This is the third time that Board Members attend a virtual meeting through the Zoom platform due to the pandemic. The Board meeting discussed the results of the academic year 2020-2021 and the fourth year of the Strategic Plan 2017-2021. This report showed positive results like the increase of the use of online resources, more webinars with new speakers, Student Leadership Showcases in English and Spanish, continue offering HETS online workshops, among others. Also, presented new projects for next semester like adopting the final stage of the Open Source of our peer reviewed HETS Online Journal and offering the first Edition of the HETS Learning Technologies Leadership Academy (H-LTLA).
Among the initiatives shared with the Board, the HETS Executive Director and staff highlighted the major activities to support the organizational programmatic goals based on the three strategic core areas: Access, Retention and Successful Completion, and Online Learning/ Technology Integration. These activities included online webinars for the Academic community, the publication of the Fall and Spring Issue of the HETS Online Journal and additional tools and services that were enhanced to the HETS Virtual Plaza like the Peterson’s Test and Career Prep databases. Other initiatives included the Student Leadership Showcases and Tours held online in September and March in Spanish for Puerto Rico and Latin America, then in October and February in English for the institutions in the United States; and the 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase Conference and Opening Session.
During the meeting, HETS Chair Dr. Carlos Morales welcomed the representatives of three new member institutions: Prof. Julio Díaz, in representation of Mr. Jorge Mojica, Esq., president of Humacao Community College, Prof. Lillian Matos, in representation of Dr. Ana Cucurella, president of Caribbean University, and Ms. Jesenia Minier, in representation of Dr. John Clark, president of Western Connecticut State University. In addition, a corporate session was held in which various partners’ representatives shared with Board Members their latest services, events or projects to support Hispanic Serving Institutions and their educational community. Among these representatives were: Ms. Dorotha Ford and Dr. Joel Armando from Blackboard, Mr. Carlos Crespo from COBIMET, Mr. Marcelo Rodriguez from InQmatic, and Mr. Pablo Rodríguez from PR Top Level Domain.
HETS is looking forward to strengthening its initiatives and developing new strategies to innovate and support its member institutions in the upcoming semester to foster greater collaboration among all and widen the partnerships with other organizations. Next Board meeting has been scheduled for February 3 and 4, 2022 in San Juan Puerto Rico, and is programmed to be face to face at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus.
Mr. Javier Zavala Quiñones has worked for the past 29 years in higher education in the areas of teaching, institutional research, statistics, planning, assessment, and accreditation. During this time, he collaborated with public and private higher education institutions in the country, as well as the regulatory agency for higher education in Puerto Rico. He has held the positions of Statistician in the Medical Sciences Campus of the UPR; Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research for the Ana G. Méndez University; Assistant Vice Chancellor of Appraisal for Universidad del Este; Director of the Center for Studies and Documentation of Higher Education of Puerto Rico for the Council of Higher Education of Puerto Rico, and Director of Institutional Research for the UPR System. For the past 13 years, he has collaborated with the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón as Director of the Office of Planning, Institutional Studies and Accreditation, where he supports all accreditation, assessment, statistics, and institutional research management.
Mr. Zavala has formal education in psychology, statistics, and project management. He began working with information management in 1997 and since then he has supported multiple organizations and institutions in the development of methods and tools for gathering information.
As a philosophy of life, Mr. Zavala has the goal of learning something new every day that he can put into use for the achievement of a better country.
Ñ El Sr. Javier Zavala Quiñones ha trabajado por los pasados 29 años en educación superior en áreas de docencia, investigación institucional, estadísticas, planificación, avalúo y acreditación. En este pasar por el tiempo colaboró con instituciones de educación superior públicas y privadas del país, así como en la agencia reguladora de la educación superior de Puerto Rico. Ha ocupado los puestos de Estadístico en el Recinto de Ciencias Médicas de la UPR; Vicepresidente Auxiliar de Investigación Institucional para el Universidad Ana G. Méndez; Vicerrector Auxiliar de Avalúo para la Universidad del Este; Director del Centro de Estudios y Documentación de la Educación Superior de Puerto Rico para el Consejo de Educación Superior de Puerto Rico, y Director de Investigación Institucional para el Sistema UPR. Por los pasados 13 años colabora con la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Bayamón como Director de la Oficina de Planificación, Estudios Institucionales y Acreditación, donde apoya toda gestión de acreditación, avalúo, estadística e investigación institucional.
El Sr. Zavala posee educación formal en psicología, estadísticas y gerencia de proyectos. Comenzó a trabajar con manejo de la información para el 1997 y desde entonces ha apoyado a múltiples organizaciones e instituciones en el desarrollo de métodos y herramientas para el acopio de información.
Cómo filosofía de vida el Sr. Zavala tiene como meta el aprender algo nuevo todos los días que pueda poner en función para el logro de un mejor país.
Chelsea has 15 years of experience working in education and technology. She is currently the Director of Southeast Online and Early College Programs at Southeast Missouri State University, a regional public institution. Chelsea co-developed the Flipped Advising Model for Student Services. The model is recognized by the Online Learning Consortium, OLC, as an Online Learning Effective Practice Award-winner (2018) for it’s ability to recruit and retain online students. She is co-creator of the Eastern Missouri Distance Learning Summit (EMDLS), which has met for 5 years annually to gather leaders from the state to discuss pressing issues and opportunities. Her current research interests are HyFlex and bridging the achievement gap through early college programs. She thinks the best thing about working in higher education today is the collective entrepreneurial spirit everyone has to find innovate approaches to meeting the needs of students. This spirit combined with our increasing access to technology solutions, means we are poised to do great things in higher education in the next decade.
HETS announced its new professional development program called: Learning Technologies Leadership Academy (H-LTLA), starting in August 2021, focusing on developing the next generation of leaders with a special emphasis on the challenges and opportunities present at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). As a pioneer organization in the use of technology in higher education with enormous expertise and resources, the HETS Chair, Dr. Carlos Morales, proposed to develop an Academia during the HETS Board of Director meeting held in February 2021 and was approved.
As part of the virtual launch, Dr. Carlos Morales presented the program’s purpose, the format, the competencies, among other benefits of enrolling in the first edition of HETSLearning Technologies Leadership Academy (H-LTLA). Dr. Morales continued explaining the curriculum of the H-LTLA, which consists of synchronous presentations of eight different topics designed to provide competencies to prepare professionals to support their institutions and transform their organizations to be more resilient, flexible, and relevant. Also, the H-LTLA faculty had the opportunity to briefly explain their topics to the attendees, what to expect, and what will obtain during these synchronous presentations, scheduled from August 3 to 6, 2021. Click here to see recordings of H-LTLA faculty explaining their topics.
After the curriculum presentation, HETS Executive Director, Dr. Yubelkys Montalvo shared the information related to the eligibility and how to apply online through the H-LTLA (Academy) new menu at hets.org, which is due on June 28, 2021. Dr. Montalvo also mentioned that the acceptance to the H-LTLA is through a competitive application process, and the candidates selected will be notified in July 2021. The evaluation committee, composed of senior staff at HETS Member Institutions, seeks to select the applications with compelling evidence that the candidate meets all the requirements to take full advantage of the Academy. Also, they seek to create a participants group with diverse experience, background, and perspectives.
To conclude with the event, Dr. Montalvo presented the H-LTLA registration fees, which include all materials and the continuing education certificate. HETS will be announcing additional savings on early payments, group rates, and non-member individuals. Also, the Academy registration fees can be cover using the CARES Act funds. To learn more about this professional development program and how to apply, visit H-LTLA (Academy). Feel free to contact the HETS staff to clarify any doubt about this opportunity and other additional savings, either via email at email@example.com or by calling (787) 616-3201.
Dr. Sumaya Villanueva-Gaines is Assistant Provost for Academic Engagement at John Jay College. She is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelors of Art, Masters of Art, and Doctoral Degrees in Sociology in 1993, 1996, and 2002 respectively. In her role as Assistant Provost for Academic Engagement, she has responsibility for the college’s award-winning Academic Advisement Center, the Center for Career and Professional Development, Learning Technologies, and Academic Support Centers, which include the Math & Science Resource Center, the Modern Language Center, and the Alan Siegel Writing Center. She also has direct oversight of two grant-funded initiatives: Completion for Upper-division Students Program (CUSP), a partnership between John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Price Family Foundation, that leverages a predictive analytic tool to identify at-risk students and implement various levels of interventions that propel ‘near completers’ to degree completion; and Linking Experience, Academics and Practice (LEAP), which supports students through their first and second years using an integrated approach to major and career advisement, with an emphasis on experiential learning. Her professional interests and expertise focus in the areas of strategic planning, program assessment and evaluation, student learning and development, social justice and inclusion, and leadership. She is keenly interested in the science of happiness, travel, yoga, and meditation.
Dr. Javier Torner is a Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Department of Physics at California State University, San Bernardino. Dr. Torner has been in higher education for over 35 years serving in many different committees and several administrative positions at the university. Dr. Torner returned to his current faculty position in 2019 after serving in the position of Information Security Officer for 19 years. Dr. Torner has extensive experience in computational physics, data communication networks, and enterprise computer systems and applications.