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Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program (Title V, Part A) Description

The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. These grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability.


Program Approved

Title V is a five-year program beginning in October 2020 to September 2025. Within this time-frame, projected plans will be deployed in an agile and gradual manner.


The University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, Title V proposes to:

  • Identify at risk students early and conduct on-going analysis of the impact of support elements and needs.
  • Target the high-risk population, especially in the freshman through the sophomore year, with a multi-faceted support program. This would include an introduction to college with a component on financial literacy and other life skills.
  • Create a more innovation-aligned faculty and students’ body.
  • Restructure the library for more adequate spaces for research-based learning, collaborative learning, and other activities associated with the innovation emphasis.
  • Improve internal and external communication for common needs and successful models.

Developmental Activities

Activity 1- Strengthening Student Academic Performance

To promote student engagement and enhance the persistence and retention of students at UPR Cayey we propose an Academic Skills Development Center that will include a more robust support structure and align strategic institutional and   from four different components: 1) ACT Academic Tracking System for student at risk, 2) DO! College, 3) On TRACK! Faculty mentors, and a 4) Online First year Seminar.

Identify students at-risk using ACT, a tracking system that targets the high-risk population by means of real time alerts, this based on factors such as the attendance and grades during the semester. The ACT system defines a student at risk as one with difficulty to attend courses regularly and has low grades in the first semester as reported by faculty. A learning specialist trained in ACT coordinates appointments with students, develop an academic support plan for each student and help them overcome their academic difficulties.

For more information on the tracking system used for this component visit

Do! Will help students develop the necessary skills or success using Structured Learning Assistant Sessions (SLAS). The Structured Learning Assistant Model (SLAM) grew out of a need to reach large numbers of students who do not seek academic assistance voluntarily.

A key component of the SLAM is undergraduate Learning Assistants. These Assistants help peers by facilitating discussions, manage course material, offering study tips, and motivating. Learning Assistants are also knowledgeable in teaching and learning theories in math and sciences, and meet with faculty weekly to develop understanding on content of courses in the areas of Science, Mathematics and Business Administration.

Freshmen students with remedial needs will have the opportunity to receive SLAS with a learning assistant leader during the summer and first- and second-year courses.

This initiative is intended to provide academic advising to Second Tier Students who have one or more of the following characteristics.

  • Have intentions to be reclassified to another field of study.
  • Did not had academic progress during their first semester.
  • Are not clear about their academic, vocational, or professional interests.

This component has a Virtual Advising Model that works as a network that receives referrals from academic departments, CAE, CEDE, and other institutional offices. The goal is to help students construct an academic and professional development plan.

First year adaptation to college online seminar that includes topics such as: critical thinking, study strategies, connection with available resources, organization and planning of time, exploration of careers, counseling, financial literacy instruction, and academic and extracurricular activities.

Activity 2- Promoting Innovation for a Student Success Innovation Center

The Student Success Innovation Center is designed to increase the innovation knowledge of our students and improve their academic and innovation performance through three integrated initiatives: 1) Student Faculty Innovation Program, 2) Expand Library facilities to develop a Student Innovation Center (SIC), and 3) Develop a Student-Centered Innovation and Financial Literacy Support Services Component.

This program is designed to create and expand students’ opportunities to obtain a experience through internships, work-based learning, and customized innovation instructional courses and workshops. It will also include the option of an Innovation Certification. For professors, innovation training will offer faculty a certification that reflects their knowledge, skills, and tools to strategically integrate and align the innovation culture and process with their educational and career endeavors.

For more information on the Innovation Certification for Faculty of this component visit

A Student Innovation Center will be developed on the third floor of the library to provide appropriate learning spaces to facilitate collaboration, teaching, practice, and other innovation and entrepreneurship curricular activities.

Will provide support through peer and faculty mentoring for innovation, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy in topics such as knowledge of markets and economics, business development, higher education financing and repayment, and other skills aimed for building personal and financial understanding and responsibility.

A congress of Innovation and entrepreneurship will be offered once a year with professional resources in teaching innovation and entrepreneurship areas. The event will highlight ideas and approaches to teaching and learning. It features a keynote speaker; concurrent sessions facilitated by SIC staff, faculty, invited guest, a poster session, and the presentation of the Innovative teaching ideas.

Imagen promoción a la actividad First Congress of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Registration

Imagen del First Congress of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme

Enlace a la promoción del Simposio de Innovación y Emprendimiento

Enlace al programa del Simposio de Innovación y Emprendimiento

Activity 3- Management 

The management activity is designed to carefully monitor programmatic and financial activities, and assure the accomplishment of the goals and objectives outlined in the timetables for each project activity. Record management, documentation, monitoring of purchases, budgeting, and reporting of achievements are also coordinated by Activity 3.

Key Personnel

Project Director

Dr. Sonia Dávila Cosme


 Activity 1 Coordinator

Dr. Carilú Pérez Caraballo


Activity I Learning Specialist

Ms. Yajayra Torres


Activity II Coordinator

Dr. Eileen Figueroa Rivera


Administrative Assistants

Ms. Liliana M. Romero Ortiz


Ms. Nathalia García Orellana


Contact us

Physical Address

University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
Title V Program
4th floor Victor M. Pons Gil Library
Antonio R. Barceló Avenue #205
Cayey, Puerto Rico 00737

Postal Address

P.O. Box 372230
Cayey, PR 00737-2230



787-738-2161 extensions 2133, 2137, 2444, 2446, and 2447.

Information resources for Mentors, Faculty and Students

Resources on Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Gale OneFile Economics and Theory


Recommended Websites


Imagen del Logo de Department of Education US

Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program – Title V

Grant Award P031S200248