Thousands of international students in the U.S. relief of being deported
The Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS), committed to expanding educational opportunities and higher education for the Hispanic community, is pleased to learn about the decision that brings relief to thousands of international students who had been at risk of being deported. More than 1,000,000 international students enroll in the U.S. institutions, based on the 2018-19 academic year data from the Institute of International Education. Hispanic students represent almost 7% of this amount precede by Asia with 70%, Europe and, Middle East/North Africa with 8% each.
“As Chairman of an organization focuses on Hispanics that helps with the integration of technology in education; we praise the legal effort of hundreds of universities to defend international students forced to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic” commented by Dr. Carlos Morales, HETS Chair. Under this policy, international students would have been forbidden from taking all their courses online this fall. Besides, new visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online due to the pandemic. Students already in the US would have faced deportation if they didn’t transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily. “We were proud to stand with our partners in the Hispanic community and sister institutions to challenge ICE’s unconscionable regulations,” said HETS Officer and University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “Clearly, our united voice helped to turn the tide on these unjust rules, which would have brought untold harm to our international students.”
It is a fact that all colleges and universities were forced to move all their classes online to ensure the safety and health of their students, faculty, and administrators. This commitment was reflected in this historical moment, where for the first time, so many institutions seek a legal remedy to protect international students. On this line, HETS officer, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President of Southeast Missouri State University comment that: We are thankful to the federal government for having rescinded the initial directive. This has been a welcome news by both institutions of higher education and international students. Likewise, HETS Regional Representative, Dr. Tomás Morales, President of California State University San Bernardino emphasized that: “This is a reprieve for the over 1 million international students who study in the U.S. We know that these members of our student body enrich the academic experience and campus life by their presence.”
Ever since its inception in 1993, the Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS), formerly known as Hispanic Educational Telecommunications System, has been a pioneer in supporting the development of distance learning initiatives across colleges and universities in Puerto Rico, mainland United States, and Latin America. Although HETS support and value has been widely known among it’s members for more than 25 years, the organization’s goal is to increase it’s relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 were held with HETS Chair, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President of Southeast Missouri State University, and Vice Chair Dr. Carlos Morales, President of 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 crucial 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 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.
To continue its efforts, on June 26th, presidents from different institutions in Puerto Rico, United States, and Latin America will participate in a HETS virtual panel. They have been invited to share their expertise and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and their thoughts on the future of Higher Education, from the perspective of their academic communities and student populations. The panel will include presidents from a community college (Dr. David Gómez, President, Hostos Community College, CUNY), a 4-year public university (Dr. Tomás Morales, President, California State University San Bernardino) a private university in US (Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, President, Southeast Missouri State University) one in PR (Manuel J. Fernós, Esq. President, Inter American University of PR) and one International institution (Dr. Maritza Rondón, Chancellor, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia). The panel moderator, Dr. Carlos Morales, President of Tarrant County College Connect Campus, will guide the discussion and the Q & A session with participants. The event is free of charge. The only requirement is to register online to participate.
For additional information, send an email to email@example.com or call to phone (787) 616-3201. For the latest news regarding HETS, visit hets.org or its social media accounts, hetsorg on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram.
Ms. Yubelkys Montalvo with Dr. Tomas Morales, HETS Board member.
HETS Executive Director, Ms. Yubelkys Montalvo participated with Mr. Albert Troche, one of the HETS Student Advisory Committee members, at the HACU International Conference held on February 25 to 27, 2015 in Guadalajara, México. Thanks to the collaboration of HACU and the sponsorship of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, HETS was able to travel to México and have an exhibitor to promote the services offers to students, faculty and administrators among the participants of the event, including the student track.
During the conference, Executive Director was able to attend the plenary and concurrent sessions regarding the 100,000 Strong in the Americas; Challenges and Opportunities for a more Prosperous and Fair Hemisphere. Institutions from USA and Latin-American were represented, and share their projects related to Cross-national collaboration, the Internationalization of Higher Education, strengthening university partnerships, student mobility, U.S. Accreditation, among others. Executive Director participated of several sessions and plenary sessions. Ms. Montalvo also has the opportunity to meet some of the leaders of HACU and other organizations participating, including HETS members attending the conference.
Campus Puerto Rico and HETS presentations to students of the Medicine School Puerto Rican at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara.
Ms. Yubelkys Montalvo with Dr. Antonio Flores. HACU President and CEO.
On the other hand, HETS Executive Director was invited by the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG) to present HETS services to a group of Puerto Rican students enrolled at the UAG Medicine School, as part of the Agreement signed with the Puerto Rico Department of State (PRDS)to promote the Puerto Rico Campus initiative. Mr. Alexis Morales Freese, Auxiliary Secretary from the PRDS was presenting this initiative to a concurrent group of students.