The expansion of education in the Caribbean has been a significant focus for governments and educational institutions in the region. Over the years, there has been a concerted effort to improve access to quality education, enhance educational infrastructure, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
There has been a strong emphasis on enhancing the quality of education in the region. Governments and Universities have implemented various educational reforms and initiatives to improve teaching methods, curriculum development, and assessment strategies. This includes the integration of technology in classrooms, teacher training programs, and the adoption of innovative educational practices. Additionally, there has been a focus on promoting critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.
Inter American University Metro Campus has been a testimony of this educational expansion in the region, and its contribution towards the betterment of education cannot be overstated.
An Institution with Christian Roots and Ecumenical Focus
The mission of the Inter American University Metro Campus is to develop leaders and entrepreneurs committed to making significant contributions that comprise service and democratic values and reaffirming the Inter American University of Puerto Rico’s character as an institution with Christian roots and ecumenical focus.
Metro Campus, with 130 programs from technical certificates to doctorates, is fully accredited by MSCHE, ACEN, CSWE, CAEP, ASHA, NAACLS, NIBS, ISO 9001, ACBSP, and IACET. The University’s academic offering includes 16 online programs and ten programs offered in English in the areas of Sciences, Business and Psychology.
Its strategic location in the heart of the Caribbean basin offers students from this region a unique opportunity to get solid academic preparation to compete in the Caribbean, US, and global markets.
Some of the 130 programs offered by the University are:
- Associate Degree: Pharmacy Technician, Medical Emergency and Nursing
- Bachelor’s Degree: Business Administration, Social Work, BioPsychology, History, Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, Data Analysis, Popular Music, Music Business, Corporate Communications, Design and Education.
- Master’s Degree: Information Security, MBA, Bank Management, Economic Crimes Investigation, Criminal Justice, Educational NeuroScience, Speech and Language Pathology.
- Doctoral: Theology, History of the Americas, Clinical Social Work, Clinical Psychology and Counseling.
To promote education in the Caribbean, Inter American University has Agreements with EPA for Energy Justice and a dual degree with Notre Dame University in Haiti. More than 130 students from Haiti have completed their MBA degrees. Metro Campus is a Member of Inter American Organization for Higher Education and the UN Global Compact.
Withstanding the Challenges
The University has provided scholarships, hosted student families during the Caribbean natural disasters that didn’t impact Puerto Rico and provided immediate support to address the needs and aspirations of the Caribbean population. Natural disasters like Hurricane María and the COVID-19 Pandemic were big challenges for the University. Students from the Caribbean received full support from the University during Hurricane María. To overcome these challenges, the University has used technology to provide online and virtual education, preparing the campus with 100 percent energy and water backup for the continuity of business and new state or the art fully equipped residential facilities.
Catalyzing Better Careers
Leaders from the economic and political sectors in the Caribbean are IAUPR Alumni, like the President of the Central Bank of Aruba, and members of professionals and academic institutions like the Economists Association of the Caribbean.
Alumni Ildefons D’Angelo Simon, BA in Business, has served as CEO and General Manager of Banco di Caribe NV in Curazao and also has been President and Chief of the Caribbean Deutsch Division of Banco RBTT in Curazao. On the other hand, alumni Carlos Colón, Master in Business Administration, has served in CCT Global Communications in Tortola, BVI. Patrick Jules, from Artibonite (Haiti), completed his Executive MBA online from back home. “It has been the biggest experience of my life. A dream that has come reality,” he says. He believed his point of view had changed and that the program had given him the essential tools to go further in his career. Currently, he works in the unit of project management at the Health Ministry of Haiti.
They all emphasized that obtaining a degree in Metro Campus has enhanced their skills and exposed them to the most modern techniques. According to Patrick, “My MBA gave me the opportunity to learn from the best and most contemporary methods of teaching to be able to implement the concepts I learned.” They all agree that a college education is what makes their family proud and is the best route to contribute to their country.
Continuing the Rich Legacy
The University has received over $12m since 2017 from external funds to conduct Research and Innovation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University established a sequencing lab and conducted a study of COVID-19 variances.
To ensure the quality of education and the relevance of programs, the University conducts continuous assessment, peer evaluation, and accreditation processes.
In the future, the University aims to develop more collaborative programs and dual degrees with universities in the Caribbean. It is also developing new research facilities relevant to STEAM disciplines.
To facilitate expansion efforts, the University had collaboration agreements with the University of Notre Dame, Universidad Nacional Pedro Enriques Ureñas, Universidad Iberoamericana, and Universidad de la Habana. It had visiting professors in Notre Dame, Haiti, study abroad at Universidad de la Habana, and collaborative research with the University of Aruba.
Undertaking Sustainable Initiatives
The University is also keen on taking environmental initiatives; it is striving for the development of environmental educators and volunteers. It has introduced sustainability projects such as health clinics, massive vaccination for COVID-19, and energy justice initiatives like EAGLE with EPA. The project abstract states using the highly successful model of IAUPR for the SBDC program in Puerto Rico for engaging and training small businesses, EAGLE Region #2 EJTCTAC will create HUBS in Puerto Rico, New York, New Jersey, and USVI. EAGEL goal is to ‘Build Community Capacity, Climate Resilience and Maximizing Benefits to Overburdened and Underserved Communities, increasing EPA support for community-led action by providing investments and benefits directly to communities with environmental justice concerns and by integrating equity throughout Agency programs.’ The objective is to provide training, technical assistance (TA), and support for core areas, viz. Collaborative Problem-Solving, Grants & Fundraising Capacity, and Environmental/Energy Justice Advocacy. EAGEL will develop a HUB One Stop Center in Puerto Rico, New York/New Jersey, and the US Virgin Islands (Fig 1 & 2) to provide eligible services (Table 1) for EEJ in underserved, rural, and remote communities. To establish the EAGEL Region #2 EJ TCTAC, MC, IAUPR-CECIA, and partners will create educational and training modules on EJ TCTAC EPA core areas for collaborative problem-solving and leadership for civic engagement, grantsmanship, and fundraising.
Another project with the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) creates a pathway for nursing students who have been significantly impacted by natural disasters from PR, USVI, and mainland US to become registered nurses.