The University of Puerto Rico announced it will invest some $8 million to develop new innovation and technology centers, as well as student counseling and support programs over the next five years.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education, which approved grant proposals submitted by the UPR’s Cayey, Carolina and Aguadilla campuses.
With the allocated funds, the UPR in Carolina will construct a smart building and an amphitheater that will feature high technology to maximize the teaching and learning process. The initiative will include open spaces with internet connection to encourage cooperation, innovation and creativity, university President Jorge Haddock said.
Meanwhile, the UPR in Cayey will develop a student academic support center and an innovation center. In addition, improvements will be made to the library. Both projects provide direct support to students through academic tools to complete their university studies and develop entrepreneurship projects.
Meanwhile, the UPR in Aguadilla will optimize the infrastructure and add technology to the general chemistry and organic chemistry laboratories, including resources to offer distance education. Likewise, a mentoring program for students and another for early detection of high-risk students will be created, focused on all students admitted to the institution to complete their academic degree.
As part of the program, stipends will be awarded to juniors and seniors to serve as mentors to incoming students.
“We’re constantly looking for tools to promote new entrepreneurship and innovation skills in our students so that they can develop professionally, and to support them in the educational process to ensure they can complete their degree,” Haddock said.
“The campuses successfully competed among hundreds of proposals from institutions of higher education serving primarily Hispanic populations across all states and territories in the United States,” he said, confirming that this year’s disbursement will be of $2.3 million.