Student Support and Retention Roundtable in Ponce, Puerto Rico

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.

Our Members