On its sixth edition, the 2020 Best Practices Showcase gathered more than 25 Institutions from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and United States in San Juan.

A sixth edition of the HETS Best Practices Showcase was held in Puerto Rico, bringing together more than 25 of its member institutions. This event took place in January 16 and January 17, 2020 at the Law School of the Inter American University in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and allowed the Consortium to share innovative projects and best practices. More than 100 attendees from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and United States took advantage of the presentations shared by different Higher Education institutions.

This year, the Conference featured local and national speakers and showcased more than 20 best practices in the tracks of Access, Retention, and Online Learning and Technology Integration. The conference opened with a Plenary session by Dr. Peter Shea, Associate Provost for Online Learning, University at Albany. Dr. Shea addressed to attendees about Best Practices for a promising future of (online) learning in the age of AI and automation. In addition, this year as part of the Conference’s program best practices were shared with attendees related to better serving Distance Learning Students, transfer process, retention, hybrid programs, culture of Hispanic STEM Success, access tools for Hispanic-Latino students, and technologies to enhance students’ engagement and success (such as Google Classroom, e portfolios) among others. The videos of all presentations will be available soon at the event page in our website and also at the HETS You Tube Channel.

Also, during the conference was showcased the track winner’s panel, moderated by HETS Vice Chair, Dr. Carlos Morales (TCC Connect Campus of Tarrant County College) in which he presented those who achieved the highest scores on their presentation proposals per track. Dr. Michael Hutmaker from Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) participated as the winner of the retention track, and Dr. Rolando J. Méndez, from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, winner of the Online Learning and Technology Integration track. The Access track winners; Ms. Laurie Austin, Ms. Deira Pereyra, and Ms. Lisa Moalem, from Lehman College (CUNY) were also the Overall Conference winners obtaining the best score all around. As a value added to participants, Dr. Juan “Tito” Meléndez and a group of doctorate students of the University of Puerto Rico, presented the latest results of an ongoing research about theory and practice of online education in Puerto Rico.

Concurrent with the Best Practices Showcase, the HETS Board of Directors held their Winter meeting in which the results of the first semester of academic year 2019-2020 were discussed. Among the news shared with the Board were highlighted the major activities to support the organizational programmatic goals such as: tailored workshop offerings both online and face to face; additional tools and services added to the HETS Virtual Plaza and HETS Website. Also, the result of our main student event the HETS Student Leadership Showcases was presented. Board members were informed by several Student Ambassadors who talked about the initiatives performed at their institutions and how this program had helped them grow as leaders. Board members also welcomed representatives from new members such as Metropolitan Community College (Kansas), and Louisiana Community and Technical College System. During the second day of meeting the Board held a corporate session with current HETS partners like COBIMET and ETS, who also welcomed PR Top Level Domain as new partner.

HETS would like to recognize the valuable collaboration of Mr. Manuel Fernós, Esq., HETS Treasurer and UIPR President, and Dr. Julio Fontanet, Chancellor of the Law School, and his attentive staff for hosting and made possible the success of this event while making everyone felt like home. Moreover, we will like to express our gratitude to PR Top Level Domain for their sponsorship and making the closing reception of our Best Practices Showcase a memorable one with the music of Pleneros and a cultural show. For more information about this event, access the Conference webpage on this website, call the HETS Office at 787- 250-1912, extensions 2372 and 2373, or send an email to info@hets.org.

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