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.
The academic environment at the school is premised on community work, technology learning, environmental awareness, and the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture. It offers 40 associate degrees, certificate programs, and transfer programs that are guided by these principles.
The college has partnered with other institutions, including the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Oregon State University, to form direct transfer agreements that facilitate a smooth transition from the junior college to a four-year university.
With work-based learning objectives, students have the chance to actively participate in their chosen fields both inside the classroom and out. HawCC integrates community service, customer jobs, volunteerism, internships, and externships into its academic offerings so that students get hands-on experience working within a larger community.
HawCC also strives to be a center for the study and preservation of Hawaiian culture. Students can earn certificates and associate degrees in Hawaiian life styles.
Students have full access to the Edwin H. Mookini library on the Main Campus, which contains over 200,000 bound books, 3,000 periodicals, and full-text e-books and electronic periodicals. The library also has an audio-visual collection, academic resources, and certain U.S. governmental documents in holding.
Students can work on homework at any one of the many private study rooms and study lounges throughout the campuses. They can also get academic help at The Learning Center, including free academic tutoring, digital tutorials, and assistance from staff and student workers.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Model Home Program
As part of the Carpentry Program, students have the opportunity to construct a model home over the course of two semesters. Program participants first design and plan the house in the classroom, using construction principles and carpentry software. Then, students get to develop their hands-on experience and practical skills by bringing the plans to reality, all the way from laying the foundation to completing the final inspection.
The Construction Academy, established in 2006, lets high school students learn the skills necessary to enter the construction industry while fulfilling the requirements for their high school graduation. Students are able to take classes and participate in hands-on instruction in conjunction with the standard high school curriculum, earning college credit for future higher education.
Apprentice Training Program
The school’s Apprentice Training Program facilitates practical, hands-on learning by providing students with relevant apprenticeships through evening and Saturday classes. Apprentices are chosen by various sponsors and once chosen they are accommodated by the College and its apprenticeship classes.
Students who wish to apply can pick up an application form in person or apply online. Application deadlines are in the beginning of August for the Fall semester and the beginning of December for the Spring semester. Non-residents are asked to submit a nominal application fee.
In order to register for classes, students must submit immunization records, take placement tests, and attend a Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (S.O.A.R.) session.
Non-degree-seeking students may apply and take classes as desired as an unclassified student.
Degree-seeking students should fill out the FAFSA form, available for free online at www.fafsa.gov, if they wish to be considered for financial aid. This form determines eligibility for federal aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. It is also often used as a supplementary document in third-party applications and scholarship competitions. Students who receive federal aid must achieve a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and retain full-time student status.
HawCC also offers school-sponsored and privately donated scholarships each year. These scholarships are managed and awarded by the Financial Aid Office, and are often distributed based on a combination of merit and need. Information about third-party scholarships, such as funding from the Hawaii Community Foundation or the Ke Ali’I Pauahi Foundation / Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, can be found in the Financial Aid Office. Staff members are available to help students seek out, apply for, and manage scholarships and other forms of aid.
The Student Life Council and the Associated Students of University of Hawaii-Hawaii Community College (ASUH-HawCC) manage all the student activities and events on campus. The Student Life Council promotes creative, cultural, and social events for student enjoyment. ASUH-HawCC is the student’s voice in academic and campus issues and represents the students in community discussions on campus policies.
The Board of Student Publications (BOSP) oversees the organization, printing, and promotion of the campus newspaper, literary journal, and radio station.
Students who have extracurricular interests can join one of the many student clubs and organizations, which are all founded and run by members of the campus community. Academically-inclined students may also be eligible for Phi Theta Kappa, which is the school’s chapter of the international honor society. Students must have at least a 3.5 GPA to be invited.
Brooke Bright graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She currently resides with her family in Northern Illinois. When she is not chasing her two sons around you can find her organizing something or reading a mystery novel.