Thousands of international students in the U.S. relief of being deported
The Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS), committed to expanding educational opportunities and higher education for the Hispanic community, is pleased to learn about the decision that brings relief to thousands of international students who had been at risk of being deported. More than 1,000,000 international students enroll in the U.S. institutions, based on the 2018-19 academic year data from the Institute of International Education. Hispanic students represent almost 7% of this amount precede by Asia with 70%, Europe and, Middle East/North Africa with 8% each.
“As Chairman of an organization focuses on Hispanics that helps with the integration of technology in education; we praise the legal effort of hundreds of universities to defend international students forced to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic” commented by Dr. Carlos Morales, HETS Chair. Under this policy, international students would have been forbidden from taking all their courses online this fall. Besides, new visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online due to the pandemic. Students already in the US would have faced deportation if they didn’t transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily. “We were proud to stand with our partners in the Hispanic community and sister institutions to challenge ICE’s unconscionable regulations,” said HETS Officer and University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “Clearly, our united voice helped to turn the tide on these unjust rules, which would have brought untold harm to our international students.”
It is a fact that all colleges and universities were forced to move all their classes online to ensure the safety and health of their students, faculty, and administrators. This commitment was reflected in this historical moment, where for the first time, so many institutions seek a legal remedy to protect international students. On this line, HETS officer, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President of Southeast Missouri State University comment that: We are thankful to the federal government for having rescinded the initial directive. This has been a welcome news by both institutions of higher education and international students. Likewise, HETS Regional Representative, Dr. Tomás Morales, President of California State University San Bernardino emphasized that: “This is a reprieve for the over 1 million international students who study in the U.S. We know that these members of our student body enrich the academic experience and campus life by their presence.”
Ever since its inception in 1993, the Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS), formerly known as Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System, has been a pioneer in supporting the development of distance learning initiatives across colleges and universities in Puerto Rico, mainland United States, and Latin America. Although HETS support and value has been widely known among it’s members for more than 25 years, the organization’s goal is to increase it’s relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officers of the HETS Board of Directors, constituted by the presidents or designated representatives of each member institution, were interviewed to learn their perspective about the impact of HETS membership on their institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this HETS Leadership Perspectives series, interviews in Spanish and English were held with HETS Chair, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President of Southeast Missouri State University, and Vice Chair Dr. Carlos Morales, President of Tarrant County College Connect Campus. HETS also conducted interviews in Spanish with Manuel J. Fernós, President of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, HETS Treasurer and one of HETS’s first officers, and Eng. Gladys Nieves, President of EDP University of Puerto Rico, HETS Secretary. During these interviews, HETS Officers agreed that services provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, including tutorials on how to use technology and access online services, peer reviewed articles sharing best practices and free webinars about distance learning, were crucial and valuable in this new academic scenario. As a result of the pandemic, officers visualize HETS present and future most important and essential than ever, as a pioneer organization in the use of technology in higher education with enormous expertise and services ready to use.
Interviewed HETS officers also spoke about their relationship with HETS and highlighted multiple services that result in great returning on investment of its membership, like the online student support services available at the Student Placita, the professional development training and events for faculty and administrators, and the networking opportunities with other institutions during the board meetings and events. To conclude, presidents invited other institutions to benefit from HETS, as a unique organization that fosters Hispanic/Latino student success in Higher Education through the strategic integration of technology.
To continue its efforts, on June 26th, presidents from different institutions in Puerto Rico, United States, and Latin America will participate in a HETS virtual panel. They have been invited to share their expertise and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and their thoughts on the future of Higher Education, from the perspective of their academic communities and student populations. The panel will include presidents from a community college (Dr. David Gómez, President, Hostos Community College, CUNY), a 4-year public university (Dr. Tomás Morales, President, California State University San Bernardino) a private university in US (Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President, Southeast Missouri State University) one in PR (Manuel J. Fernós, Esq. President, Inter American University of PR) and one International institution (Dr. Maritza Rondón, Chancellor, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia). The panel moderator, Dr. Carlos Morales, President of Tarrant County College Connect Campus, will guide the discussion and the Q & A session with participants. The event is free of charge. The only requirement is to register online to participate.
For additional information, send an email to email@example.com or call to phone (787) 616-3201. For the latest news regarding HETS, visit hets.org or its social media accounts, hetsorg on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram.
Following the guidelines of the HETS Treasurer and President of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (our host institution), Manuel J. Fernós, Esq., since March 16 we have been working remote to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support the academic community in this new scenario. Consequently, HETS staff were totally committed to continue offering our services that includes the following (click on the links to learn more):
- A total of 23 tutorials in Spanish and English were recorded with HETS Ambassadors students and published to promote services free of charge at the Student Placita in the HETS Virtual Plaza.
- Two Student Leadership Showcase Tour Online were held on May 1 and 8, 2020 trough Zoom to more than 500 students to reinforce their leadership skills and promote HETS services and tools totally free of charge for them.
- A total of 10 webinars in Spanish and 4 webinars in English regarding Distance Learning were offered to more than 4,000 participants to support faculty and administrators on this new modality.
- The Spring Issue, Volume X of the HETS Online Journal was published with nine (9) articles that offer insights and suggestions that are pertinent to our current environment.
- Coordinated interviews with our Corporate Partners like: Inter Staff, Inc., Blackboard, COBIMET to strengthen our collaboration and promote their benefits and services.
Again, we invite you to click on the links to benefit from these services and help us promote it among your colleagues, students and anyone you estimate pertinent. If you need any additional information, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling to the Executive Director’s cellular phone (787) 616-3201. In addition, you can follow us our social media, like Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for the latest news regarding HETS. Hope we can get back soon to serve you as usual! But now, our main interest is for all our constituencies and general community to be safe.
In response to the new academic scenario as a result of covid-19, HETS announces the publication of new tutorials in Spanish and English to promote services of highest demand at the Student Placita in the HETS Virtual Plaza. The protagonists of these videos are some of the members of the HETS Student Ambassadors Program in Puerto Rico. A total of 12 new videos were recorded in Spanish, in addition to 11 tutorials in English. Among the Student Placita services promoted in these tutorials are: a summary of all the services of the Student Placita; access to various entrepreneurship courses; and tutorials to improve English as a second language from USA Learns; the Testing and Educational Reference Center (TERC); which include scholarship search, test practice, and e-books to study and prepare to take these tests; the Career Transitions; topics such as the search for internships and employment, job interview simulator, resume and cover letter builder, and vocational interest tests.
The purpose of this initiative is to show how to access HETS online services so that students from our member institutions can take advantage of these in this new academic setting. All services are free of charge, can be accessed from anywhere and navigated easily. The format of these tutorials is short videos (5 minutes or less) where navigate through the different pages is performed, while listening to the HETS student ambassador narrating how to access the services and how to use them. The tutorials are also available from the Student Leadership Corner (under the “Virtual Plaza Tutorials” tab), on the HETS home page and our HETS YouTube channel under the “Virtual Plaza Tutorials” list, either in Spanish or in English. To learn more about these services or obtain your Institution password, contact HETS staff by either sending a message to email@example.com , sending a text message or calling 787-616-3201. We are here to serve you!
Greetings, and we hope you are doing fine. HETS Treasurer and President of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (our host institution), Manuel J. Fernós, Esq. has decreed an academic and administrative recess, for all its academic units and academies, from Monday, March 16 until further notice with the objective of protecting the health and well-being of the university community. This is also in support of the call of the Governor of Puerto Rico to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, HETS office will be closed until further notice, however you may still contact us sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling to the Executive Director’s cellular phone (787) 616-3201. In addition, you can follow us our social media, like Twitter or Facebook for the latest news regarding HETS. Hope we can get back soon to serve you as usual! But now, our main interest is for all our constituencies and general community to be safe.