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 are available with HETS Chair, Dr. Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University, and Vice Chair Dr. Carlos Morales, President 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 essential 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 institutions, the students they serve, types of programs and modalities they offer. These presidents also shared important information 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.