HETS celebrated its Winter Board Meeting with 36 representatives connected virtually.

With attendance of 36 out of 42 presidents and representatives from our institutional members; HETS celebrated its second virtual winter Board Meeting on February 5, 2021 through the Zoom platform. The Board meeting discussed the first semester of academic year 2020-2021, the fourth year of the Strategic Plan 2017-2021. With a positive report on our Strategic plan results, including the increase of the use of our online resources, while envisioning to continue with new projects for next semester, including more webinars and continue offering our online workshops initiative.

Among the initiatives, HETS shared with the Board, were highlighted the major activities to support the organizational programmatic goals such as the publication of the Fall Issue of the HETS Online Journal in another special collaboration with HACU and additional tools and services that were enhanced to the HETS Virtual Plaza. Other initiatives included the Student Leadership Showcase held online in September in Spanish for Puerto Rico and Latin America, and in October in English for 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 two of the four new member institutions: Dr. Daniel Ward from New Jersey City University, and Mr. Faust Gorham from California State University, Bakersfield. In addition, a corporate session was held in which various partners’ representatives shared with Board Members their latest trends to support Hispanic Serving Institutions and their educational community included. Among these representatives were: Ms. Dorotha Ford and Mr. Abraham López from Blackboard, Mr. Carlos Crespo and Ms. Maria Cruz from COBIMET, and Mr. Pablo Rodríguez from PR Top Level Domain. We are looking forward to continuing strengthen our HETS initiatives in the upcoming semester to foster greater collaboration among all of our affiliates and widen our partnerships with other organizations, as we continue developing new strategies to innovate and support our services.

Save the Date and register for the 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase.

HETS members register free of charge.

We are pleased to invite you to Save the Date and register to participate in the 2021 HETS Virtual Best Practices Showcase that will be held from February 4- February 12, 2021. This Best Practices Showcase will open with a panel presentation focused on the conference main tracks: Innovation, Retention, and Online Learning and Technology Integration, scheduled from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EST) on February 4, 2021. Besides, more than 20 presentations were evaluated and selected to be part of this Virtual Showcase. See all the topics and presenters’ information on the following link:

2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase Schedule

As you may see, this event is a combination of live and asynchronous online presentations that highlights and celebrates the outstanding work of HETS member institutions in meaningfully and strategically using technology to achieve Hispanic student success. The event is free of charge for HETS members (HETS members should use an institutional email to register in order to apply for the discount coupon code assigned to your institution). Non-members can register for $75.00 to get access to the Opening Session and all tracks presentations (more than 20 presentations).

See below the details of the event and the link to register:

What: 2021 HETS Virtual Best Practices Showcase 
When: February 4 to 12, 2021 
Registration fees: HETS Members free of charge, Regular fee $75.00 (all tracks).
Virtual Conference (Online). Register here to receive the access to all presentations (HETS members should use an institutional email to register (for example: john@inter.edu) in order to apply for the discount coupon code assigned to your institution. In case you don’t have an institutional email yet, you may use any email however your registration will stay “pending for payment” until HETS office confirms your status.). The access will be received in late January 2021.

We encourage you to take advantage of all the presentations of this 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase and help us share this event among your colleagues. For more information about this event, please contact HETS office via email to: info@hets.org or sending a text message to (787) 616-3201.

Invitation to submit Proposals for the HETS 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase.

Don’t miss the opportunity to share your expertise submitting a proposal for the 2021 Virtual HETS Best Practices Showcase on or before December 4, 2020. You can download the Call for Proposals document or submit online your proposal (either in English or Spanish) on the following link: 2021 VBPS Call for Proposals.

The 2021 HETS Virtual Best Practices Showcase will be held from February 4 – February 12, 2021, focused on three main tracks: Innovation, Retention, and Online Learning and Technology Integration. We invite you to save these dates to take advantage of all the presentations of this Virtual Best Practices Showcase. HETS seeks to highlight and celebrate the outstanding work of its member institutions in meaningfully and strategically using technology to achieve Hispanic student success. This event will be a combination of live and asynchronous online presentations. To learn more about this event visit: 2021 VIRTUAL BEST PRACTICES SHOWCASE.

See below the details of the event:
What: 2021 Virtual HETS Best Practices Showcase 
When: February 4 to 12, 2021 
Where: Virtual Conference (Online). After selecting the proposals, the event Schedule will be published to indicate the combination of live and asynchronous online presentations with forums to interact with presenters and participants.  
Registration fees: HETS Members free of charge / $75.00 (all tracks). The registration link will be available soon.

Feel free to share this information to your faculty and administrators, so they can share their innovative projects too or benefit from the ones that will be showcased during the virtual event. For more information about this event, please contact HETS office via email to: info@hets.org or sending a text message to (787) 616-3201.

HETS successfully inaugurated the 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase with more than 100 attendees at its Opening Session.

The 2021 Virtual Best Practices Showcase was inaugurated with its Opening Session held on February 4, 2021 via Blackboard Collaborate with more than 100 attendees from 23 different institutions and organizations in Puerto Rico, the US and Latin America. This opening session was a panel presentation titled: Strategically Use Technology to Support, Drive, and Optimize Retention of Online Students and the Learning Gap as a Result of the Pandemic. The panelists shared their perspective and answers questions about this important topic. The panel was composed of international experts from HETS members institutions including: Dr. Maritza Rondón, Chancellor of the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Dr. Omayra Caraballo, Vice president of Distance Learning, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Dr. Alice J. Casanova, Dean, Distance Learning at EDP University, Mr. Carlos Guevara, Director, Office of Educational Technology Co-Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Hostos Community College (CUNY), and Mr. Francisco García, Director, Center for Online Learning & Teaching Technology, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. The panel was moderated by Dr. Juan “Tito” Meléndez- Alicea, Professor, Faculty of Education, Rio Piedras Campus, and Member of the Distance Education Systemic Advisory Board of the University of Puerto Rico. The recording of this Opening Session is available already, and you can access it once you register for the Conference. 

The Virtual Best Practices Showcase extends from February 4 to 12, 2021, with more than 20 presentations. This event is a combination of live and asynchronous online presentations that highlights and celebrates the outstanding work of HETS member institutions in meaningfully and strategically using technology to achieve Hispanic student success. HETS invite and encourages its members to register free of charge (regular fee is $75.00) to access all live and asynchronous presentations selected at the following link: VIRTUAL HETS BEST PRACTICES SHOWCASE 2021- REGISTRATION » HETS.

Live transmissions of the highest scored presentations per track will be held on February 10 (Innovation), February 11 (Retention), and February 12 (Online Learning and Technology Integration). For more details about the live transmissions and the asynchronous online presentations, please go to: VIRTUAL HETS BEST PRACTICES SHOWCASE 2021- SCHEDULE » HETS.

For more information about HETS projects, please contact the HETS office anytime via email info@hets.org or at 787-616-3201.

HETS launches a special testimonial campaign to share the experiences of those who benefited from its services.

A special testimonial campaign was launched to share the experiences of those who had used and benefited from HETS services. For more than 27 years, HETS has constantly worked to fulfill the need of its membership and its constituencies. On these difficult times that all institutions are facing in a new academic scenario, HETS services became especially vital. HETS staff had the opportunity to talk to those who the Consortium serve, who has benefited from its services and initiatives. Among the participants of the campaign are HETS Board Members, which are the presidents of the universities or colleges affiliated, who were asked about the attributes that members enjoy the most and what motivates them to join the Consortium.

On the other hand, HETS had the opportunity to offer more than 20 online webinars to administrative and faculty members on different topics in both English and Spanish languages. For the students, HETS celebrated two Student Leadership Showcase events and more than six webinars, in English and Spanish, in which more than 1,000 students from Puerto Rico, United States, and Latin America enjoyed the presentations from expert resources. After those events, messages from attendees were received expressing their appreciation and congratulations, grateful of being part of those events so necessary during this pandemic. Both faculty and students were invited to be part of testimonial campaign. Also, members of the HETS Student Ambassadors Program and Student Advisory Committee were interviewed to learn more about their experiences and how being part of these initiatives has helped them in their student and professional development.  You can learn more about HETS testimonial campaign by following us in our social media accounts (@hetsorg) in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and You Tube. For more information about HETS, our membership and services, you can send us an email to info@hets.org  or send a text or call to 787-616-3201.

Fall Issue, Volume XI, of the HETS Online Journal in another special collaboration with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).

Pamela Vargas, HOJ Chief Editor

Dr. Marcela G. Cuellar, Invited Co-Editor

Welcome to the Fall 2020 edition of the HETS Online Journal! Like everything in 2020, it’s been a challenge This edition marks the second time that HETS and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) have collaborated to bring you an even more informative Journal. By working together, we can offer a larger variety and number of articles. The HETS Journal recognized the valuable collaboration of Dr. Marcela G. Cuellar from the University of California, Davis, who represented HACU as an invited editor.

As always, the Journal focuses on ensuring the success of Hispanic students in higher education, which is at the core of the missions of both organizations. Many of the articles include the use of technology in student success, while all include information designed to help Hispanic students access higher education and succeed in their studies. In light of the pandemic and all of the other challenges of recent months, learning from the experiences of others has become even more vital. In this edition, you’ll find the following articles:

1- A National Portrait of STEM Trajectories through Two- and Four-Year Hispanic Serving Institutions, explores the undergraduate profiles and outcomes of STEM majors who begin post secondary education at two- and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

2- The article, Assessing the Needs and Experiences of First-Generation Students’ Transition to Remote Learning Due to COVID-19 Pandemic at a Hispanic Serving Institution, describes an evaluation research project undertaken to determine the impact that the shift to remote learning has had on first-generation college students’ learning and the challenges that they faced in the process.

3- Estrategias de apoyo a la facultad en tiempos de pandemia: la respuesta de dos instituciones, presents successful strategies that two institutions employed during the rapid transition to remote teaching that was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

4- La oferta universitaria en línea de Puerto Rico: Actualización a otoño 2020, provides an update of the distance learning offerings at colleges and universities in Puerto Rico and identifies the institutions, disciplines and level of programs offered under this teaching modality.

5- La tecnología virtual: su importancia en la enseñanza-aprendizaje de la contabilidad, explores the use of virtual technology in an accounting course and discusses how it can influence motivation and academic performance.

6- Social Presence: An Imperative in Online Learning Contexts, discusses the role of culture in social presence and how teaching and learning, faculty disposition, and cultural competence can be used to encourage a sense of belonging to an institution.

7- In the article, Student and Faculty Perspectives on Student Evaluation of Teaching: A Cross-Sectional Study at a Community College, the usefulness of Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) is examined from both the student and faculty views, with the goal of making these evaluations more useful for faculty while also providing a better learning experience for students.

8- Teaching Using a Flipped Classroom Approach: Impacts for Students of Color, considers whether the use of a flipped classroom teaching method for undergraduate quantitative research methods had an impact on undergraduate students’ academic achievement, as measured by their performance in course assignments, as well as on quizzes, exams, and the final paper.

9- The Effect of a Kernel Sentence Combining Technique on the Reading Comprehension Levels of Basic English Students at UPR-Cayey, investigates and analyzes the implementation of the Kernel-Sentence-Combining Technique and how it helped Basic English students at UPR-Cayey to improve their reading comprehension levels.

10- The purpose of the article entitled, What are the best practices for online student engagement among Hispanic-Serving Institutions? A narrative review, is to explore how post-secondary education instructors at HSIs can increase learner engagement and improve course retention rates, particularly at a time when many courses within post-secondary institutions are being delivered online.

We hope you will enjoy this edition, and that you will also consider sharing your expertise and experiences for a future edition of the HETS Online Journal.

Happy reading, and, above all, stay safe!

Pamela A. (Krauser) Vargas
HETS Online Journal Chief Editor and
Director, Research and Grant Development
Southeast Missouri State University