Kapiolani Community College Awarded $5 Million Grant to Support Native Hawaiian Students

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HONOLULU – Kapiʻolani Community College is the recipient of a $5 million multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation to create the Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative (PEEC) program, which implements a comprehensive, six-campus strategy that combines a shared 39-credit pre-engineering curriculum, offered totally online. College partners in this multi-year initiative include the UH Mānoa College of Engineering, UH Maui College, and Windward, Leeward and Honolulu Community Colleges.

“We hope to provide best practice, student-cohort support services and learning opportunities across a continuum of expertise that will prepare future Native Hawaiian engineers to redesign their communities in Hawai’i,” said John Rand, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program director at Kapi‘olani CC and project director for the new Hawai’i PEEC program. “This new funding will allow faculty, who teach pre-engineering courses, to introduce new and innovative ways of delivering the core math, science and engineering curriculum to our Native Hawaiian and other local students on all islands, with a focus on increasing enrollment and helping students succeed at the UH Mānoa College of Engineering.”

One of the main goals of the PEEC program is to create a quality, online pre-engineering core curriculum that effectively integrates calculus and prepares Native Hawaiian students for higher-level courses. Once students complete the pre-engineering curriculum, they will transfer to UH Mānoa and complete degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as conduct research with faculty from the UH Mānoa College of Engineering’s Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability program.

The PEEC program will also help resolve a major national problem for community colleges attempting to develop effective engineering transfer pathways to universities for students underrepresented in STEM. By offering courses online, student enrollment can be consolidated across campuses to make them cost-effective and sustainable for the offering campus. The program activities will initially support students on O‘ahu and Maui with the goal to ultimately offer the PEEC program throughout the state.

About Kapiolani Community College
Kapi‘olani Community College is the largest two-year campus in the ten-campus University of Hawai‘i System. With 9,000 students enrolled per semester in credit programs, Kapi‘olani’s nationally recognized general education program prepares students for effective baccalaureate transfer, civic engagement, and 21st century careers in programs such as culinary arts and hospitality, nursing and health sciences, business and information technology, new media arts, biotechnology and teacher education. The college bears the name of Hawai‘i’s Queen Julia Kapi‘olani, and her motto, “Kulia i ka Nu‘u” or “to strive for the highest,” inspires the college‘s collective work in support of academic success for Native Hawaiian and other diverse local and international students. For more information, visit www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu .

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  1. On the downside: It’s too bad that this $5 Million grant is racially exclusionary. Hawaii needs students of all ethnicities to study science, math, engineering, and technology. On the upside: I’m glad to see ethnic Hawaiian students studying real subjects that will prepare them for productive jobs at good salaries, instead of going off into the ghetto of “Hawaiian Studies.”

    A side note about Queen Julia Kapiolani. If you take a tour of ‘Iolani Palace, you’ll see the bedroom where she slept. The pillows still have their original pillowcases, embroidered with her motto “Kulia i ka nu’u.” That phrase indeed does mean “Strive for the highest” and is also the motto of Kamehameha Schools. But the phrase has at least two other meanings. “Kulia” is the Hawaiianized name “Julia.” And “nu’u” means “top.” So a Palace tour guide once told the group I was in: “Kulia i ka nu’u” might be Kapiolani’s way of boasting “Julia is on top” meaning that she was the Queen, at the top of the social ladder. And then, said the tour guide with a wink, it could also mean something quite different in view of the fact that this is the bedroom. He kaona kolohe no!

  2. This new funding will allow faculty, who teach pre-engineering courses, to introduce new and innovative ways of delivering the core math, science and engineering curriculum to our Native Hawaiian and other local students on all islands, with a focus on increasing enrollment and helping students succeed at the UH Mānoa College of Engineering. http://www.prosupplements.net/blackline-elite-doe

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