Last April 18, 2008, the HETS Consortium celebrated its Student Support Roundtable Discussion. This event, which took place at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, included the participation of teams from member institutions interested in developing institutional initiatives to support student retention and success through technology. The general purpose of this roundtable session was to assess, describe, and document existing efforts to strengthen the area of student support services among HETS member institutions.
Prof. Manuel Cordero, Associate Vice-president for Retention at Ana G. Méndez university System, was the main speaker of this event. Professor Cordero, who has 25 years of experience in this area, shared with participants his lessons learned regarding the impact of support services on student retention rates, as a way to lead the discussion. Additional discussions also took place to guide the establishment of measurement criteria to assess the impact of support services in the general performance of institutions.
As part of this semester””s Student Support Roundtable, HETS joined Ramona Munsell & Associates in providing members with the opportunity to participate in a special Technical Assistance Workshop practically focused on 2008 funding opportunities. The objective of this workshop was to provide expert consultancy in program design and grant writing to HETS member institutions to: (1) increase their chances of being funded under the CCRAA and/or TRIO programs, and (2) to collaboratively explore the possibility of submitting a cooperative agreement among participating member institutions. This event was specially designed for institutional teams constituted by staff working directly with grants, program design, academic affairs, institutional research, or technical grant writing.
A majority of HETS member institutions was represented this past January 17, 2008 during the HETS January Board Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A total of 23 out of 27 Board members and representatives took part of this important meeting for the organization, including Presidents and academic leaders from five new member institutions.
It is of outstanding importance to mention that five of the newest affiliated institutions participated actively. These institutions were the Antillean Adventist University, Medgar Evers College, Huertas Junior College, University of Colorado at Denver, and Walden University. Each of the Presidents and representatives from these new member institutions had the chance to share with the rest of the Board members valuable information about their respective institutions. Board members also had the chance to network and exchange thoughts with representatives from three corporate members and four special guests from member institutions in Puerto Rico.
This Board meeting closes the first semester of the academic year 2007-2008 and receives 2008, a very exciting year for the organization and its members, as it envisions numerous new projects and looks forward to the commemoration of HETS’s 15th Anniversary. Following, we highlight some of the most important issues discussed in this meeting.
Major accomplishments in the past year
- Profit sharing agreement between HETS and corporate member Plattform
Alliances with corporations to provide HETS members with special rates and specialized services
- Membership renewal of 100% of regular members
- More than $15,000 in additional revenues as a result of new institutional affiliations
- 89% participation rate in interviews conducted to Board members on perceptions, expectations, and levels of satisfaction with the organization
Revenues for this year have already been achieved in a 70%
- Membership affiliations expected to exceed 100%
Outreach in the US
The importance of exploring and assessing the needs of institutions in the United States was stressed. HETS is interested in visiting and outreaching institutions in the United States. Members are encouraged to suggest relevant events where the organization could take participation.
A New Approach
Chairman Mendez pointed out the new marketing approach taken by HETS, as it has strived to produce several publications, both print and electronic, to promote the organization, its services, and the leadership of its members in education and technology related areas.
HETS will be soon launching a new website including the new corporate identity and new features for members. Members will receive more information in a near future about the official launching, together with a set of codes to access the exclusive member features.
HETS first Board Self-Assessment Process was completed. This is part of a complete process of Organizational Performance Assessment that will be taking place for the first time ever this year.
HETS Task Forces
As part of the meeting, Board members had the chance to learn about the work of one of the recently established task forces. Dr. Warren Ashley, from the California State University Dominguez Hills, presented some of the thoughts and experiences shared in the HETS Technology Task Force during the past semester. He explained that the main challenge for this task force is to identify new technologies that will successfully support member institutions in communicating with each other, just as HETS founding members effectively networked through satellite communication in the past. The technology to be chosen should be widely available to all HETS members, be reliable for a long-term, and be available at a low cost. Other important goals of this task force for this next semester are to survey all HETS member institutions regarding their current technology, pilot some technologies, and produce one live/interactive event next spring. All Task Forces will report on their achievements during the June Board Meeting.
A Nomination Committee was designated to propose candidates for June 2008 Board officers’ elections. The Nomination Committee is constituted by:
- President Carolyn Williams, Nomination Committee Chair (Bronx Community College)
- Mr. Douglas Ferrier (University of Texas at Brownsville)
- President Marcelina Vélez (Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico)
- President Ricardo Fernández (Lehman College)
June 2008 Board Meeting
June 2008 Board Meeting will take place on June 19 and 20, 2008 in Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)