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An eighth edition of HETS Best Practices Showcase was held hybrid in Puerto Rico, bringing together more than 20 of its member institutions. This event took place on February 2 and 3, 2023 at Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Carolina Campus in Puerto Rico. It allowed the Consortium to share innovative projects and best practices (click here to see the Program of the Conference). More than 150 in person and virtual attendees from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the United States took advantage of the presentations shared by different Higher Education institutions including, for the first time, a forum of talented students who showcased innovative projects they had been working within the academia.
This year, Dr. Stella Porto, Senior Learning Specialist at the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC, was our keynote speaker. Dr. Porto’s lecture focused on “The micro credentials and open badges, which can help dealing with the current challenges of reduced enrolments, barriers to student access and increased dropout rates”. Also, the conference featured local and national speakers and showcased more than 20 best practices in the tracks of Access, Retention, Online Learning and Technology Integration. A new track for students regarding Technology Integration was also included.
In addition, the conference showcased the track winner’s panel, moderated by Dr. Carlos Morales, HETS Chair & President of Tarrant County College – TCC Connect Campus. Dr. Morales presented those who achieved the highest scores on their presentation proposals per track. The Access track winner was Dr. Karla C. Romero, from Universidad Central Del Caribe In Puerto Rico; the Retention Track winner was Ms. Sandra Mejía from LaGuardia Community College and her co author Ms. Assuanta Howard. Also, Ms. Penelope Mieses Paulino from Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Cupey Campus, was part of the panel who received the highest score in the new Technology Integration Student Track, with her co authors Ms. Delisse Ríos and Ms. Yeilianis N. Nieves. Finally,
Dr. Morales presented Dr. Diana M. López Robledo from University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus, who received the highest scores in all categories.
As an added value to participants, a special presentation title: Develop your life project (“Desarrolla tu proyecto de vida”) was offered by Dr. José “Joe” Díaz, Presidente, Peak Performance: Research, Training & Consulting Group, Inc. During the presentation, Dr. Díaz shared how to identify and enhance your life project to shape that mental concept of an “ideal life.” In addition, five proposals from students in Puerto Rico and the United States were presented under the new Technology Integration Student Track.
Concurrent with the Best Practices Showcase, HETS Board of Directors held their Winter meeting. The results of the first semester of academic year 2022-2023 were topics of discussion. Among the shared news with the Board were highlighted the major activities that support the organizational programmatic goals such as: tailored workshop offerings online and webinars; the results of the first issue of the HETS Online Journal published on a new open journal platform; and additional tools and services added to the HETS Virtual Plaza and HETS Website. The results of one of the main events, HETS Student Leadership Showcase, were also presented.
Board members also welcomed representatives from new members such as: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; SUNY Empire State College; California State University Fullerton; and Hill College. During the second day of meeting the Board held a corporate session with current HETS partners which included: Anthology, COBIMET, U Planner, and welcomed Link4Campus as one of its new partners.
HETS would like to recognize the valuable collaboration of Dr. Anthony Rivera, Vice-chancellor of the Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Carolina Campus, and his attentive staff for hosting and were making possible the success of this event. Everyone felt at home and made the closing reception of our Best Practices Showcase a memorable one. The music of Folkloric Group Belelé and its cultural show was outstanding!
Moreover, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. José Méndez Méndez, President of Universidad Ana G. Méndez, for his sponsorship of the HETS 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner held at the José A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts (ISHCA) Restaurant. Faculty and students of the School showcased their knowledge and skills by preparing and serving delicious dishes to celebrate this special occasion.
For further information regarding this event, please access the Conference webpage on this website or call our HETS Office at 787- 250-1912, extension 2373.