Hawaii Community College (HawCC) began its journey in 1941 as the Hawaii Vocational School. Its mission was to provide higher education and skilled workforce development to benefit the local community. In 1958, the school was renamed the Hawaii Technical School to reflect its increased focus on technical and practical training.
The school gained its current name, Hawaii Community College, in 1970 when it joined with the University of Hawaii. Since then, it has continued to expand by adding degree programs and continuing education programs to service the island.
HawCC has received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Specific programs within the College, such as the Culinary Arts and Intensive English programs, have also received additional accreditation.
Today, the college defines itself with the concept “Kauhale,” which means “the Hawaiian village.” It embraces the spirit of community and places special emphasis on the importance of having a strong and vibrant family of students, instructors, staff, and local residents. Inside the Kuahale of HawCC, students are encourage to both develop their individuality and remember the importance of dedication to community.
The College has two locations to serve East and West Hawaii. The East Hawaii location shares space with the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and so has access to more than 50 buildings, portable classrooms, laboratories, industrial shops, and special facilities like a media center and a library. The West Hawaii location is on the University of Hawaii campus in Kealakekua, and offers a computer lab, learning center, library, and dining room in addition to classrooms and offices.