Data, Research and Perspectives Expand Puerto Rico’s Role in the Larger U.S. Higher Education Community
By Melissa Buckley, Client Management Specialist, National Student Clearinghouse
As a Client Management Specialist at the Clearinghouse, I specifically work with school clients in Puerto Rico. Within the past six years, my colleague, Alina Gómez, and I have had the privilege of adding 41 new institutions, many of which have multiple campuses, to the Clearinghouse. As a result, the Clearinghouse’s coverage for the island’s higher education enrollment is now 93 percent.
The education communities of both Puerto Rico and the continental United States benefit from the power of each other’s data, research, and perspectives. For instance, in light of media reports on the exodus of Puerto Ricans leaving the island for the mainland United States, our research services have helped institutions answer questions like: Is it true that college-educated individuals are leaving Puerto Rico? At what point in their college careers are they doing so – before or after graduation? In fact, their retention and persistence rates are extraordinary. Prior to graduation, Puerto Rico’s students are persisting in college at rates comparable to that of all U.S. institutions, with only a handful of students transferring to institutions outside the island.
Melissa (far left) visits with representatives from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
What I appreciate the most about working with institutions in Puerto Rico is their devotion, passion, and pride in delivering the best services to their students and the education community. This is evident in the way institutions network with one another through great organizations like the Puerto Rico Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Puerto Rico Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers. They are willing to help one another in sharing best practices and addressing technical programming challenges. Institutions across the island are now more interconnected and increasingly aware of our unique position to help them comply with regulatory changes and better serve their students.
In an effort to support this collaboration, the Clearinghouse Advisory Committee and service-specific committees offer a way for these institutions to provide us valuable feedback about our services. Serving on these committees alongside continental U.S. institutions promotes the island’s representation in the broader discussion of issues impacting today’s world of education.
As we aspire to meet these institutions’ needs and support the future of education, we look forward to the work being done with our new Myhub academic student portal and endeavors in the area of veterans benefits services. In all that we do, our mission is to continue to enable institutions to support one another, their students, and alumni.
To learn more about how Clearinghouse services can help your institution, contact your Regional Director or Client Management Representative here.
“The education communities of both Puerto Rico and the continental United States benefit from the power of each other’s data, research, and perspectives.”
Client Management Specialist, National Student Clearinghouse