Seven decades, embodied in a vision: educate our people and empower them with the best educational tools. Lives that have drawn a better future, not only for our island, but for the world.
The following fundamental principles, on which the Universidad Ana G. Méndez was founded 70 years ago, serve as the backbone for a new vision that is being formulated to successfully take Universidad Ana G. Méndez forward to the year 2020 and beyond.
The development of human potential requires an open- door policy that allows students to benefit from academic programs to the full extent of their ability.
Two of the most significant developments in the history of our institution took place this year: merging our four campuses and localities into one university, and launching our first growth opportunity in the Latin American market, outside the United States.
Becoming Universidad Ana G. Méndez meant getting the approval of all accrediting agencies and earning the government’s support, both at the local and federal levels. The Middle States Council of Higher Education (MSCHE), the Consejo de Educación Superior (CES) in Puerto Rico, and the United States Department of Education all gave us the green light to operate with only one license under one institutional name. As such, our Board gave its full approval to follow through with all integration projects, including a new Mission and Vision, a General Education component, and a revision of all curricula of our schools and academic programs, as well revising and unifying all policies, processes, manuals and regulations regarding student affairs.
...our Board gave its full approval to follow through with all integration projects, including a new Mission and Vision, a General Education component, and a revision of all curricula of our schools...
In essence, basic general courses (Spanish, English, Humanities, Social; Sciences, Natural Sciences, Math, History, and Computer Skills) in our Puerto Rico campuses were consolidated for all Associate degrees (36 credits) and Bachelor degrees (15 credits). This means that, from now on, the entire catalogue of UAGM academic offerings -covering all campuses- will require only one academic evaluation and accreditation.
It is worth pointing out that for US campuses, the institutional name change had minimal impact on public perception since the name used by them had always been Ana G. Méndez.
As such, the new identity only required changing the logo and making it bilingual by adding our name in English. More significant, however, is the fact that now we operate all US campuses under one license, whereas before it entailed 17 different licenses in four states.
Additionally, we began emphasizing teaching Spanish as a second language, generating new enrollments from students and professionals needing or wanting to learn Spanish for their personal or business advancement.
The other historic accomplishment for our institution this year was the opening of our office in Barranquilla, Colombia. UAGM now offers Bachelor and Masters degrees online -and in Spanish- to Latin American students wishing to get a degree from a university accredited in the United States.
It is the first time our institution vies for growth by setting roots in a foreign market, and it certainly looks that it will not be the last. Conversations are already ongoing with several Latin American officials (Honduras, Ecuador, and others) to expand UAGM’s reach in the region.
This internationalization process is not new to UAGM. We began our global quest back in 1998 in Barcelona, which led to the Portugal Declaration in 2002, and later the approval of Vision 2005. These documents were all aimed at delineating internationalization strategies for the university, opening an internationalization office, and then creating a full Vice Presidency of International Affairs.
This year, we approved the Madrid Declaration 2019, which constitutes a renewed mandate to broaden our efforts to become a truly global academic institution.
We would be amiss if we did not recognize the relentless work and dedication of Mr. Ramiro Millán, who served as our Board president for the past five years. Mr. Millán steps down this year, grateful for the opportunity to serve and duly proud of many worthy accomplishments. He will be succeeded by Dr. Félix Rodríguez Schmidt.
As we conclude this historic year for UAGM, we see ahead of us a bright new future, with a renewed identity, and a fervent mission to become an exceptional local, regional, and global leader in higher education.
In its seven-decade history, Universidad Ana G. Méndez has transcended the higher education sector to become a leading contributor to the economic development and growth of Puerto Rico.
We concluded a year of festivities, with all our campuses and locations joining in to celebrate our 70th anniversary. The activities to honor our founder, my grandmother Ana G. Méndez, served as the backdrop to honor her work and legacy. But they also praised the contributions and commitment of all the associates, professors, and students that make up our great institution. Today, we are transforming the original dream of our founder.
We have evolved to become the leading higher-learning institution in Puerto Rico. And my father, José F. Méndez González, PhD, successfully led the mission to garner for our university the prestigious position it currently enjoys. Now, it is up to us to continue evolving and ensuring that we effectively meet the challenges we will face going forward.
January 2, 2019 marked a new chapter in our history, when we united all our brands and locations throughout the island. We are now Universidad Ana G. Méndez!
Today, we are transforming the original dream of our founder. We have evolved to become the leading higher-learning institution in Puerto Rico.
We are stronger, larger, and in less than a year, we have shown our ability to transform. We are guided by the growth potential of our people, and by our commitment to offer quality education in exceptional facilities. That is our main goal – to exceed expectations in providing new opportunities to all our students.
This annual report presents the work carried out in our campuses and locations around the island, as well as our Central Administration Vice Presidencies, and our campuses in the continental United States. In each of these pages you will appreciate the teamwork that has allowed us to build a forward- thinking institution that is ready to maintain its leadership in the higher education sector.
When I assumed the presidency of our university, I emphasized three elements that would guide my work here: legacy, evolution and future.
We can now see how we have kept up our legacy of excellence, adding a new attitude to our operations. If we are known today as a great educational institution, I can assure you that, in the years to come, we shall witness an unparalleled evolution of our university.
Our work never stops. I am immensely grateful to all the members of our university’s community. The achievements we present in this report are a clear reflection of our focus and commitment to follow through with the transformation we need to keep validating our academic leadership.
We shall continue educating, innovating and thinking outside the box. That is what our students and the new generations that will lead Puerto Rico are expecting from us, and we shall continue delivering that same excellence.
The history of Universidad Ana G. Méndez... carries on!
Institutional efficiency and a refreshed look for the physical plant of our campuses were two important accomplishments this year as we moved forth with our new name and identity. Temporary signage and fresh red paint on key buildings signaled to staff, faculty, and students in all campuses that the new Universidad Ana G. Méndez was now a reality.
Along with a reinvigorated mage came other positive changes associated to our new institutional operating structure. Our Vice Presidency was instrumental in developing the physical and technological infrastructure to launch UAGM Online, as it was in setting up UAGM’s new office in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Along with a reinvigorated mage came other positive changes associated to our new institutional operating structure.
We also instituted this year the Office of Project Management to handle all work orders and reconditioning tasks more effectively.
In fact, this year we achieved an outstanding 93% efficiency benchmark in processing registered work orders, as compared to the industry standard of 85%.
This was the result of streamlining and consolidating operations, in addition to updating our WebTMA server and mobile application, now available in 50 additional iPads used by our personnel.
The reconditioning of our campuses included extensive work in all green areas, with an emphasis in replacing hundreds of trees toppled by the hurricanes in 2017 and doing considerable landscaping work. Additionally, security in our Isabela, Cabo Rojo, Yauco, Aguadilla, and Bayamón locations was reinforced with new equipment and 136 additional security cameras.
We are proud to say that the new Universidad Ana G. Méndez is off to a great start, with a promising future ahead.
As we celebrated our institution’s 70th birthday, coinciding with the new Ana G. Méndez University corporate identity structure, we ended up on the positive side of the financial equation with $3.7 million in additional net assets, and more than $2 million left over in our operating budget. This was achieved through healthy financial management and reductions in costs, which offset a significant drop of $8.5 million in our operational income ($195.5 M for FY 2018 vs. $187 for FY 2019). Also, by fostering student participation in our official electronic payment system, we managed to increase on-line collections by $500,000 (from $800K in FY2018 to $1.3M in FY2019).
Following the losses suffered during the 2017 hurricane season, we completed the damages claims process and received a total of $19.5 in compensation for property loss and incidental expenses ($20.5M in claims minus a $1M deductible).
...we ended up on the positive side of the financial equation with $3.7 million in additional net assets, and more than $2 million left over in our operating budget.
In addition to meeting all requirements from our lenders, as well as local and federal government agencies, we disbursed this year $337.7 million in financial aid to our students, while presenting clean audits to the US Department of Education and the Puerto Rico Education Council. Moreover, we met all requirements for financial aid recertification at the federal Carmelo Torres Reyes, CPA level, making all our students –undergraduate and graduate– eligible for Title IV funds (Pell Grants, direct loans and SEOG).
It was a year of many challenges, milestones and achievements that set us on a solid footing as the number one private higher education institution in Puerto Rico.
This year, all areas of our Vice Presidency played a major role in ensuring a smooth transition into our new name, refreshed banding and enhanced administrative structure. We began this process by developing a our full support to all other Vice Presidencies, campuses and divisions throughout the institution. The course of action included keeping all our licenses active, transferring all corresponding certifications under our new UAGM name, and ensuring that MSCHE would approve our Complex Substantive Change petition. On January 1, 2019, we formally became Universidad Ana G. Méndez.
Concurrently, we worked on improving our academic offer by adding two new certificates (Electricity and Refrigeration) to our School of Technical Studies, aligned with our School of Engineering. Additionally, our Online Campus began to offer nine new courses that were transferred from the Gurabo campus and the AHORA adult education program. Also noteworthy are the efforts to bring two new Ph.D. programs to our Gurabo Campus: Veterinary Medicine and Dental Health.
In line with our vision to meet the educational needs of our communities, we signed several important agreements with corporate academies to afford our students practical working experience in companies such as Baxter Healthcare, Liberty Media, and Eaton Engineering, among others.
We began this process by developing a our full support to all other Vice Presidencies, campuses and divisions throughout the institution.
Likewise, we secured contracts with the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections to offer courses to inmates, and have submitted a draft to create a Public-Private Partnership with the Department of Labor to have UAGM serve as trainer for government employees. These two initiatives represent a potential revenue of over $1.1M for our campuses.
Financially, despite the challenges faced by all educational institutions in Puerto Rico regarding diminishing enrollments, we secured this year a total of $26.5M in external resources, surpassing last year’s mark by $9.3M. While this figure includes emergency funds received after hurricane Maria, we still stand at $1.5M over last year’s resources, even after subtracting the emergency assistance.
We are certain that under our new name and institutional structure, UAGM is poised to continue on a solid path forward, delivering educational excellence in Puerto Rico, the continental USA and the world.
To face the myriad challenges that we confronted in 2019, we devised our strategies thinking outside the box.
Foremost on our agenda was the launch of the new Universidad Ana G. Méndez name change, and corporate image restructuring. Using the name and legacy of our founder, and weaving into the media mix our milestone 70th anniversary, we managed a smooth and complete transformation of our institution’s branding, with widespread acceptance by all target publics, both internal and external. We achieved this while maintaining our status as the number one, private non-profit university in terms of enrollment, and the leading university in collegiate sports in Puerto Rico.
Thinking outside the box also led us to implement a new recruitment event named the Financial Aid and Career Student Summit, aimed at new college-aged enrollees and their parents.
This first summit attracted over 7,000 participants, of which 400 filled out FAFSA applications, and 500 enrolled in our campuses. This, along other recruitment initiatives, allowed us to meet 100% of our goal for new recruits, and 97.5% of our overall enrollment goals.
We also strengthened our community outreach by diversifying our strategies, lending our university’s full support to different programs such as: municipal entrepreneurship development workshops; pet rescue, vaccination and sterilization drives, and the Puerto Rico Department of Health’s sexual violence prevention campaign.
As we move into a new decade, with a new name and corporate image, we shall continue thinking outside the box to maintain University Ana G. Mendez’s hard- earned position as the leading private higher-learning institution on the island.
A university of excellence in the 21st century must have a global perspective and international reach, and we are proud to say that UAGM’s 3-year Strategic Internalization Plan (2014-2017) has lead our institution towards the globalization of our academic offer.
After a thorough examination of the international markets, we identified several areas of opportunity that led to very productive conversations and collaboration agreements with universities in the United States, Mexico, Spain, and Colombia. More specifically, we signed six (6) collaboration agreements with universities in Colombia regarding our programs in Dental Health, Veterinary Medicine, and Environmental Sciences, among others.
This particular development has led to the opening of our first office in Barranquilla, Colombia, from where UAGM will be offering to all Colombian students undergraduate and graduate degrees online, all validated and accepted by their Education ministry.
We also reached a similar academic validation agreement with the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencias, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT) in Ecuador.
...we identified several areas of opportunity that led to very productive conversations and collaboration agreements with universities in the United States, Mexico, Spain, and Colombia.
Beyond our visits to foreign universities, UAGM has received officials and professors from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, plus four (4) other universities from Colombia, exposing our students and faculty to fresh academic perspectives from abroad.
Additionally, we actively participated in several international higher education forums, such as the II Virtual Higher Education Forum Educa Gran Caribe, held at our Carolina Campus; the international conference El Futuro de la Nueva Universidad, held at Universidad Nacional in Asunción, Paraguay; NAFSA’s annual conference, and the 13th International Conference of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), among other meetings and activities, including meetings with foreign consular officials here on the island.
As we begin developing a new 3-year Strategic Internationalization Plan, we will continue to focus on taking UAGM’s academic offer beyond our shores, as well as bringing the world to our campuses and classrooms.
Our focus in 2019 was to fully collaborate with the transformation of our corporate structure under the new Universidad Ana G. Méndez name and vision, as well as help strengthen our financial position.
After conducting in-depth studies into our new organizational make-up, internal and market compensations for faculty, plus the need to streamline UAGM’s academic offer under a fresh and unified perspective, we achieved savings of more than $7.2M in payroll salaries and benefits. More specifically, $2.07M of those savings were generated by 45 staff and faculty members who signed up for our Incentivized Retirement Program. Another $4.28M was saved through deft decisions of our Positions Control Committee, while the balance came from rebates received from our Health Plan provider, and a new methodology to calculate extra classes.
These savings, however, did not hinder our ability to offer raises for our faculty members, and to open 58 new employment opportunities in areas such as Health, Veterinary Technology, Mechanical Engineering, and Technical Studies.
Additionally, we supported the residency procedures of several professors in the areas of Math, Environmental Engineering, and Information Systems.
An important part of this year’s corporate transformation included all human resources aspects related to the integration, streamlining, and overall improvement of our academic offer.
An important part of this year’s corporate transformation included all human resources aspects related to the integration, streamlining, and overall improvement of our academic offer.
As such, in addition to collaborating with all processes and activities of the Integration Committee of UAGM Schools, our Vice Presidency was instrumental in the integration of the Social Sciences, Humanities and Education schools at our Carolina campus, as well as integrating the schools of Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies at the Cupey campus.
As we look to next year and the start of the third decade of the 21st century, we envision continued success for our institution, both in terms of its superior educational environment and its position as a leading employer in the academic field.
In line with the university’s process of rebirth and revitalization, the 2019 agenda for our Carolina campus was centered on consolidations, financial gains, student retention, and academic success.
A necessary step to streamline our operations was closing the Arecibo Center and moving its academic offer to the Barceloneta Center, with full approval from MSCHE.
We also consolidated the administration of our Yauco and Cabo Rojo Centers, and restructured our School of Education under the School of Social and Human Sciences.
Financially, UAGM Carolina had a solid year. Our income exceeded $6.3M, which is more than $2M over last year’s mark, all while reducing budget expenses by over $3.7M and also lowering salaries and benefits costs by more than $4.3M, as compared to the year before.
Additionally, we managed to disburse over $13.4M in Pell grants and decreased default rates to 7.8%, the lowest level achieved over the past five cohorts.
On the academic front, we are proud to say that 97% of our students who took the Puerto Rico Teachers Placement Test passed with flying colors, prompting the Department of Education to classify our teacher preparedness program as “Excellent”.
Our global reach expanded this year with new collaboration agreements...
Moreover, we added 15 new online courses in General Education, Social Work, and Criminal Justice, and began offering two new post-graduate programs in Global Business and Biomedical Sciences, plus a post- bachelor certificate in Medical Technology.
Our global reach expanded this year with new collaboration agreements signed with the University of Seoul in South Korea, the University of Veracruz in Mexico, and Texas Woman’s University.
In addition, we participated in the Social Projects Management Day held in Quito, Ecuador, sponsored by the Inter- American Development Bank, with whom we have established a task force to develop similar social projects in Puerto Rico.
Student retention was also high on our list of priorities this year. The 2018 cohort shows a 9% increase in General enrollment and a 10.2% increase in Full- Time Bachelor category. Non- traditional cohorts also increased: Technical Studies closing at 82.1% enrollment (5% more than the previous cohort);
Undergraduate AHORA at 78.4% (15.2% more); Graduate AHORA at 92.9% (+3.5%); and Masters programs closing at 90.1% (4.6% over the previous cohort). Likewise, our Dual Enrollment program for high school seniors achieved an 82% enrollment level for 2020-01.
Likewise, our Dual Enrollment Program for high school seniors achieved an 82% enrollment level for 2020-01.
It is safe to say that UAGM Carolina is poised for continued success financially and academically next year and into the foreseeable future.
This year, we placed special emphasis on the integration process resulting from the new institutional reorganization and name change. All aspects concerning licensing and accreditation, integration of our academic offer, administrative changes and consolidations, as well as changes in internal policies were addressed effectively and consistent with our vision to maintain UAGM as the leading private higher-learning institution on the island.
At the same time, we boosted our retention efforts with different forums, in addition to ‘early alert’, ‘transfer in’, and academic guidance programs, resulting in an 85% retention rate (Aug. 2018 - Jan. 2019), which is over six percentage points over the previous year for the same period.
This positive result may be attributed to an enhanced academic offer that includes new masters, bachelor’s and certificate programs in disciplines ranging from Cybersecurity, Sports Business, Biomedicine, and Geriatric Care, among others.
Moreover, our faculty produced 167 different academic publications and presentations in different forums locally and abroad, plus they engaged in 35 research projects from our schools of Education; Business; Science; Technology and Environment; and Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications.
On the international front, we continued to advance UAGM’s image of academic excellence.
...an enhanced academic offer that includes new masters, bachelor’s and certificate programs in disciplines ranging from Cybersecurity, Sports Business, Biomedicine, and Geriatric Care, among others...
We formalized collaboration agreements with five universities in Spain, while we enrolled 28 foreign students coming to Puerto Rico from eight different countries. Additionally, 92 of our students participated this year in internships abroad.
Financially, we distributed this year over $2.3M in financial aid to students. We also received approval on $5.7M in external resources to finance 54 active projects, plus another 15 new projects in our different schools, giving us a solid economic structure to deliver the quality academic offer that our students deserve.
As we move towards a new decade, our Cupey campus is more committed than ever to advancing UAGM and Puerto Rico’s leadership in higher education.
The 2019 academic and fiscal year was one of renewal, refocusing and continued success, both for the university and our Gurabo campus.
Foremost in our agenda was meeting and exceeding all enrollment projections (97% 2019-01; 99% 2019-02; 99.6% 2019-03), making us the UAGM campus with the most students enrolled, with 33% of the total enrollment generated by new students.
This positive outcome is not only a reflection of our student retention and recruiting efforts, but also an indication that our strategy to diversify and enhance our academic offer is appealing to a broad sector of the public seeking a quality education.
We developed and produced 48 hybrid courses, reviewed the curricula of seven existing programs, and launched 13 new programs, ranging from associate degrees in Emergency Management and Sales and Marketing bachelor degrees in Sports Sciences and Veterinary Technology, and master degrees in General Cultural Studies and Human Resources, among several others.
The improvements in our academic offer go together with maintaining a qualified faculty and an active agenda driving research and development efforts.
Ten of our professors finished their PhD programs, while 91 of our regular educators are set for contract renewal and 33 are being certified as distance learning professors.
Additionally, we increased the number of lecturers from 30% to 68%, and completed 51 PhD research projects in Health Sciences, Education, Business, Technology and Natural Sciences.
On the international front, our Gurabo Campus continues to grow in terms of global exposure, collaboration with higher learning institutions around the world, and on-campus activities that bring foreign academic experiences directly to our students. Aside from hosting nearly 80 visiting professors from Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, the continental United States and Europe, among other countries, we signed collaboration agreements with several universities across the USA, Mexico, and Spain.
Financially, UAGM Gurabo stands on solid ground, with over $15.5M in approved proposals, which represent $9M over the established $6.5M target and $4.9 million more than last year’s record.
As we look forward to the start of a new decade in this 21st century, UAGM Gurabo will continue firmly committed to delivering academic excellence.
We developed and produced 48 hybrid courses, reviewed the curricula of seven existing programs, and launched 13 new programs...
It has been a banner year for UAGM Online Campus, with unprecedented growth and even better prospects for the future. In only 10 months we have seen a threefold upsurge in enrollment. This is consistent not only with current trends in the marketplace, but also with our commitment to develop new and unique programs that are aligned with the interests of today’s students.
Our instructional design team focuses on developing asynchronous courses that allow students to access their class anytime, at their convenience. The current academic catalogue encompasses Associate, Bachelor, and Master degrees, and will also include as of January 2020 in our Dallas Campus Ph.D. programs in Business and Entrepreneurship, offered through our locations in Puerto Rico, the Continental USA, and Colombia.
Moreover, we are currently seeking the accreditation of 30 new programs, and we obtained the approval of the Veterans Administration for some of our offer courses and programs specifically tailored to the needs of our fighting heroes.
Our instructional design team focuses on developing asynchronous courses that allow students to access their class anytime, at their convenience.
UAGM Online Campus’ student profile can be divided into three categories: bachelor degree students, aged 18-35+, who are either college freshmen or who had started a career previously and have decided to come back to school; the AHORA adult education program, offering working adults an accelerated online alternative to a new career; and graduate students, aged 35 to 55, who are looking to grow professionally and take their skills to a higher level. Another interesting fact is that that 70% of our online enrollees are women and 30% men.
Over the past 70 years, UAGM has been at the forefront of higher education. Going forward, our Online Campus is poised to set new standards for the future of distance learning and cyber academics.
Universidad Ana G. Méndez continues to solidify its presence in the continental United States, as our dual-language programs and other academic offers represent an educational value-added to the Hispanic and English-speaking populations we serve in Orlando, Tampa, South Florida, Texas, and the Washington, D.C. area.
This year we launched two new bachelor programs in Nursing, as well as two new master level programs in School Counseling, and Social and Community Services, while we also updated our BS in Psychology and our MM in Medical Services Management. Concurrently, we are preparing to launch on- line courses from our Dallas campus, and we are actively looking to offer new technical courses, including programs in construction that we will be developing along with key players in the local industry.
In addition, we made significant strides in our continuing education initiatives getting our Alternative Certification Program approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and advancing in our negotiations to make American Airlines one of our partners in education.
...we are actively looking to offer new technical courses, including programs in construction that we will be developing along with key players in the local industry.
As we expand our academic offer, our community ties grow stronger in every market we serve. This year, UAGM co- hosted the NABE conference, made seven presentations to participants of the event, and led the Higher Education Interest Group.
Given all the positive initiatives above, it is not surprising to see that our key indicators of student satisfaction have risen between 6% and 17%, and indicators of the perception of our institutional reputation increased 25%.
On financial aspects, we are pleased to have received approval for over $2.6M in external sources of revenues, while managing to save over $500,000 in operating costs by reducing class sections 13%.
We foresee the continued acceptance of our dual-language and “translanguaging” models, as we move to reinforce our image of educational excellence in our current locations, and as we expand UAGM’s presence to other U.S. Hispanic markets in the near future.
Mayra Cruz Rivera, Ed.D
Vice President of Marketing and Student Affairs
María A. Martínez
Associate Vice President of Public Relations
Public Relations Director
UAGM Archives, FreeImages.com, Pexels.com, Unsplash.com
This Annual Report refers to the period from August 2018 to July 2019.
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