The University of Texas at Brownsville, one of HETS founding institutions, has been fundamental in the development, up scaling, and dissemination of the HETS e-Mentoring Program in the United States. Professors from various disciplines have been involved in this project, integrating the Program to their course as a supportive tool to enrich the students’ academic experience.
Dr. Mahmoud Quweider, Chairperson and Dr. Juan Iglesias, Assistant Professor, both from the Computer Science Department, have played a leading role in getting UTB’s students engaged in the e-Mentoring Program. Dr. Quweider and Dr. Iglesias have been participating in the Program since 2002, with more than 50 students been benefited from this online mentoring experience.
“It was a great chance for the students to be involved in and be in touch with professionals from the industry who can put the course they are taking in perspective with respect to their future careers”, expressed Dr. Mahmoud Quweider regarding his students’ experience with the HETS e-mentoring program. “For our students, especially being mainly of the underrepresented Hispanic minority, the program is making them aware of the great opportunities that await them especially by reading the success stories of their mentors who are working at some of the most prestigious corporations of America”, added Dr. Quweider.
The HETS e-Mentoring Program is a support service created for Hispanic college students with the objective of providing guidance and support for them to complete their degrees, thus increasing retention and Hispanic representation in the work force. Students engage in an online mentoring relationship with a professional in their field of study, giving them the opportunity to have a role model, getting an updated perspective of their future career, and the skills they need at the college level to be able to succeed in the future. In addition, students acquire technical and communications skills most required in today’s competitive corporate world.
“My students had the opportunity to interact with professional mentors in the area of Information Technology, most of them from the IBM Corporation. They exchanged interesting and valuable information that helps promote student retention and professional development, as well as skills on how to make a successful job interview, how to deal with the transition from college to work, in addition to uplifting and inspiring success stories”, expressed Dr. Iglesias.