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Hawai‘i Community College

Hawai‘i CC is a two-year community college on Hawai‘i Island. The college is based in Hilo with a new branch campus in Kona named Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui that opened in Fall 2015.

One of 10 campuses in the University of Hawai‘i system, Hawai‘i CC offers 26 degree and certificate programs that prepare students to succeed in the workforce right after graduation or continue their studies at a four-year college or university.

Like No Place On Earth

With its home on Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i Community College has a rich legacy that dates back to 1941. Now, we look to the future with a vision that embraces lifelong learning and prepares students to become productive and engaged citizens ready to meet the complex challenges of a global community.

Hawai‘i Community College, offering both career and technical education as well as liberal arts programs, delivers the solutions many students and families are looking for. We wed access to success and prepare students to move directly into their chosen field after graduation or continue their education.

Campus Points of Pride

Model Home Project

Each year, Hawai‘i Community College students in the construction trades programs receive exceptional hands-on experience as they build a custom home for a Native Hawaiian family in Hilo. Hawai‘i CC is the only college in the state to provide this type of experience for its students. Students design, build and landscape the homes, which includes installing the wiring and solar panels. Since the Model Home Project was founded in 1965, students have completed 49 homes. Students in the following academic programs participate in the project:

  • Architecture, Engineering and CAD Technologies
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical, Installation and Maintenance Technology
  • Diesel Mechanics
  • Agriculture
  • Hawaiian Studies

The Model Home Project is a partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. By providing the skilled labor at no charge, the college helps develop an affordable home for a Native Hawaiian family.

Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui Campus

In August 2015, Hawai‘i Community College opened the doors to its new campus in West Hawai‘i. Located in North Kona, the facilities are designed to meet LEED Platinum standards, the highest level in the sustainable design program.

Before the construction of Pālamanui, the West Hawai‘i region was the only major population center in the state lacking a permanent facility for higher education. In addition, the region has the lowest college “going rate” for high school students. With affordable, accessible, high-quality education, the Pālamanui campus is working to meet the needs of West Hawai‘i.  

The completed construction represents the first of four phases proposed for the campus. Future development is contingent on community need and funding. 

Native Hawaiian Educational Leadership

Hawai‘i Community College is a leader in Native Hawaiian education. Approximately 42 percent of the student population is Native Hawaiian or Part-Hawaiian. The campus is home to the I Ola Hāloa Center for Hawai‘i Life Styles; a robust Hawaiian Studies degree program led by award-winning faculty; and the renowned hula hālau UNUKUPUKUPU, which has performed around the world.

The college plays a critical role in Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao, the initiative to make the University of Hawai‘i system a model indigenous-serving institution.

Culinary Arts and “Local First”

The Culinary Arts program at Hawai‘i Community College produces highly skilled graduates who establish successful careers at restaurants on in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of supporting local farmers and fisherman. With its “Local First” initiative, the college gets much of its meat, fish and produce from Hawai‘i Island producers. Students work with these local ingredients as they prepare meals for the on-campus cafeteria, restaurants, and events. The Culinary Arts program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

Elama Project

Through a partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation Kukio Fund, the Elama Project at Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui serves students in the Kona area who have never been to college before and are the least likely to attend due to significant financial and other barriers. The project provides integrated services beyond tuition costs, including tutoring, mentoring and regular check-ins. The program began in 2015 and reaches 20 students each year.

Early College

Giving students a jump-start on their college career while they are still in high school is a proven way to increase their chances of entering and succeeding in higher education. The highly popular and successful Hawai‘i Community College Early College program allows high school students to take college courses, giving them the skills, knowledge and experience that make them college-ready.

Local students have graduated from high school having already earned anywhere from three to 30 Hawai‘i Community College credits. The Early College program has grown steadily since it was established. In spring 2014, 107 Early College students were enrolled at Hawai‘i CC. Since then, another 862 students have taken advantage of this program, including fall 2016 high school students who have applied to take college courses.

Nurturing Environment

Hawai‘i Community College maintains a unique role in serving students on the Big Island and beyond, with a special commitment to educate Native Hawaiians in a nurturing academic environment.

That’s worth fighting for. That’s worth investing in.

Please join us as together we Journey Beyond.

Funding Priorities

Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui in Kona

To meet the needs of a growing population in West Hawai‘i and students seeking higher education, the Pālamanui campus of Hawai‘i Community College recently completed its rst phase in mid-2015 on a site mauka of the Kona International Airport.

The campus holds 24,000 square feet of learning space, including classrooms, science and nursing laboratories, learning kitchens, and a learning commons consisting of a library, learning center, and testing center.

State-of-the-art Science Equipment: $50,000
Permanent Interior Naming Opportunities: $25,000 - $1,000,000 

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) – Hilo and Kona

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) continue to provide important pathways for students to enter career elds with both job security and attractive annual salaries. Hawai’i CC is in the process of enhancing its STEM programs in Kona and Hilo. This includes e orts to create a STEM Center in Hilo where students can receive instruction, tutoring, peer mentoring, and academic advising in one location.

There is also a need to improve the outdated science laboratories at the campus in Hilo.

The STEM Center and laboratory upgrades will help Hawai‘i CC students succeed as they pursue two-year de- grees that prepare them for careers and additional higher education.

STEM Center: $250,000
Science Lab Upgrades: $3 million

Sustainable Systems Workforce - Kona

The Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui campus will be a champion of emerging areas of study needed to work in sectors such as water management, green energy production and storage, resource management (includ- ing recycling), reforestation and preservation, and traditional (Native Hawaiian crops and practices) and innovative (such as aquaponics) agriculture.

Internships with community partners: $5,000 per semester
Community partner mentors: $10,000 per semester
Consumables/Sustainable Equipment: $10,000 - $100,000

Electronics Technology - Hilo

For those with the right training in Electronics Technology, there are excellent job opportunities on Hawai‘i Island, including at the island’s world-class astronomical observatories. Hawai‘i Community College recently revamped its Electronics Technology curriculum, but needs better workspace and equipment to prepare students for successful careers in this exciting eld.

Electronics Technology Equipment: $75,000 New Lab Space: $3 million

Electronic Lab & Equipment ― Hilo

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea will be a next-generation astronomical observatory featuring the world’s most powerful telescope. When completed in 2022, the mammoth TMT will have eight times the light-gathering of any other optical telescope. Once online, it will generate demand on Hawai‘i Island for skilled technicians with expertise in electronics technology.  Hawai‘i CC’s Electronics Technology program recently restarted following a two-year hiatus. However, the program is housed in old, inadequate facilities and requires new lab space and equipment to compete with the rapidly changing world of electronics. The program also lacks a much-needed optics lab and equipment.

Your gift will support efforts to bring major infrastructure improvements to our Electronics Technology program, preparing students for rewarding careers at the TMT and elsewhere.

Expanding Health Care Training - Hilo

Hawai‘i Community College’s successful Fire Science Program is planning to include training for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) within the existing Associate degree program. This will increase the value of the Fire Sci- ence degree for students and will help meet Hawai‘i Island’s need for EMTs.

Equipment and Supplies for EMT Training: $50,000 - $500,000

Childcare and Early Childhood Education - Kona

A recurring conversation heard by leadership is the critical need for childcare on the Pālamanui campus in West Hawai‘i. Equally mentioned is the need for childcare givers who are properly trained and educated. The Pālamanui campus could meet this two-pronged need by assigning space to both care for children as well as expand its exist- ing Early Childhood Education programs from Hilo for the development of locally based, competent, and nurturing caregivers and teachers for West Hawai‘i’s pre-school children and their families.

Sponsor the Program for Five Years: $50,000
Equipment and supplies (from diapers to crayons): $5,000 per year 

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Support a student at Hawai‘i Community College

  • Support a student for 1 year - $3,000*
  • Support a student for 1⁄2 year - $1,500
  • Support a student for 1⁄4 year - $750

*Funds support the Hawai‘i CC Scholarship fund

  • Name your scholarship for $1,000
  • Endow your named scholarship for $25,000
Alternative Energy Vehicles Training – Hilo and Kona

As the eet of electric and hybrid vehicles in Hawai‘i grows, so does the need for technicians with experience working with these vehicles. Hawai‘i Community College hopes to enhance the already robust Automotive Mechan- ics Technology Program and create opportunities for students to study the latest motor vehicle technology.

The high voltage of many alternative energy vehicles requires unique shop space. In addition, the need for ex- pensive new equipment and facilities presents challenges as the college looks to o er this type of training.

Training Equipment: $500,000
Facility acquisition at market rate

Support The Journey

Together, we can move Hawai‘i and its people toward a remarkable future.
Together, we can Journey Beyond

For information on supporting Hawai‘i Community College, please contact:

Andrea D. Christensen
Director of Development, Hawai’i Community College & Regional
(808) 934-2596 • Andrea.christensen@uhfoundation.org