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.
HETS Board Members during meeting at BCC.
The HETS summer Board of Directors meeting, and its 25th Anniversary celebration, were held July 12 and 13, 2018 in Bronx, NY, hosted by Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY). This Board meeting ends academic year 2017-2018, an intense year for the organization and its members, as it embarked on the implementation of recently Strategic Plan approved and presenting first year results on this meeting.
The strategic plan framework corresponding to years 2017-2020 is an extension of previous one, and its focused on core areas of access, retention and successful completion, and online learning / technology integration. Among the news shared with the Board were highlighted the major activities to support the organizational programmatic goals such as: tailored workshop offerings either online and new ones face to face; additional tools and services added to the HETS Virtual Plaza and HETS Website. Also, the results of our main events the HETS Best Practices Showcase, Student Leadership Showcases in PR and NY were presented, in which Student Ambassadors program participants shared with their peers the tools and resources free of charge available for them at the Student Placita of the HETS Virtual Plaza.
Board members also welcomed representatives from new members such as Northeast Lakeview College, Oklahoma City Community College, and University at Albany. During the second day of meeting the Board held a corporate session with current HETS partners like Educational Testing Services, and also welcomed EmblemHealth, and Interstaff, Inc. as new partners.
Event Moderator, Dr. Carlos Morales, TCC Connect Campus President.
As part of the Board meeting agenda, HETS celebrated the Special Event for Distance Learning contacts at our member’s institutions. This event was transmitted via live stream, moderated by Dr. Carlos Morales, President of TCC Connect Campus of Tarrant County College (access here the presentation handout). Attendees from member institutions like: EPD University, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Eastern Connecticut State University, College of Staten Island, Tarrant County College, University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Hostos Community
Dr. Aubra Gantt (Tarrant County College) during the Distance Learning Event at BCC (July 13,2018).
College, Bronx Community College, California State University San Marcos, and Southeast Missouri State University, actively participated on the discussion held regarding the online learning survey data and examples shared to Board Members during this event. Soon, the video with the highlights of the discussion will be available to watch on our YouTube channel.
Executive Committee and meeting host during HETS 25th Anniversary luncheon.
Board Members closed the meeting with the 25th Anniversary celebration. As part of the celebration events; President Thomas Isekenegbe, and Vice President Irene R. Delgado from Bronx Community College; took invitees to a brief tour of the campus, which is the first community college to hold the honor of being one of the national sites newly designated as a National Historic Landmark. During the tour, guests and attendees visited the Gould Memorial Library, the Hall of Fame of Greatest Americans, and the outstanding new library facilities on North Hall. After that, Board Members, and, special guests’ attendees enjoyed the official luncheon where a video was shared to celebrate the first 25 Years of HETS history (access the link here). Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, HETS Chair and President of Southeast Missouri State University; Dr. Antonio Pérez, President of Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Ms. Yubelkys Montalvo, HETS Executive Director presented the ceremony speeches’ before cutting the celebration cake. HETS 25th Anniversary celebrations will extend during next academic year until the Winter Board Meeting in Puerto Rico on February 2019.
HETS would like to extend its special thanks to President Thomas Isekenegbe; Dr. Irene R. Delgado, Vice President for Student Success, and all their staff at BCC for hosting these events at their facilities. For more information about HETS services, please visit www.hets.org, contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or just call us at (787) 250-1912 exts. 2372/ 2373.
Hostos Community College hosted the Student Leadership Showcase held on April 23, 2018 at it’s Savoy Multi-purpose Room in Bronx, New York. More than 40 students from Hostos and Lehman College member institutions, participated of this event. The main purpose was to promote the access to free of charge online student services that can support their academic goals, and be able to share their interests and needs to help us create additional support services. This time students also learned about how to maximize the use of digital identity and social media to support their academic and professional goals.
Dr. David Gómez, President, Hostos Community College (CUNY)
The event started with a warm welcome message from the host, Dr. David Gómez, President at Hostos Community College. After his remarks, Ms. Yubelkys Montalvo, HETS Executive Director, presented Ms. Débora Menieur, HETS Student Ambassador, who shared a live demonstration of HETS student services at the HETS portal and the Student Placita. During this demonstration, students had the opportunity to learn where to find information about scholarships, internships, job search, practice of standardized tests, online tools and careers tips, among other services provided by HETS.
The event continued with the speech of Mr. Marcelo Rodríguez, Digital Transformation Leader at DMP Group, about the Personal Branding during the Digital Age. During his presentation, Rodríguez emphasized on the importance of leveraging your personal brand or professional reputation to improve your chances towards the career you want. Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to take control of their digital visibility, identifying what makes them stand out, and then telling a unique story during recruitment.
As an added value to the event, students were able to network with peers who share same interests, while HETS Executive Director learned more about their interests and needs in order to further collaborate on exploring solutions and create innovative support services. The event concluded with a raffle of prizes among the participants, and the completion of the evaluation form distributed to receive the feedback of the event and the online services presented. HETS would like to make a special recognition to the support and help of the Hostos Community College personnel, especially President Gómez and his office staff including Jewel Clarke, Dolly Martínez and Diana Kramer for their collaboration. HETS also recognizes Mr. Nelson Ortiz, Conference Center Coordinator; Carlos Guevara; and Johanna Gómez for all coordination and promotion of the event. For more details about HETS services for students through the Student Placita please contact us in our office at 787-250-1912 extensions 2373, 2372 or just email us to: email@example.com.
Débora Menieur, Marcelo Rodríguez and Yubelkys Montalvo.