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Kapi‘olani Community College

The University of Hawai‘i’s seven community colleges — Kapi‘olani Community College is located on the island of O‘ahu — among the best value in higher education today.

Like No Place On Earth

Located next to the iconic Diamond Head Crater, the Kapi`olani Community College campus is one of rolling hills, native plants, and ocean breezes. World famous Waikīkī is in the near distance. It’s the perfect setting for a beginning and creation a better future with island roots, national acclaim and global reach.

Students of all ages, ethnicities, and country origins are drawn to Kapi`olani CC by its flagship reputation in the University of Hawai‘i Community College System for having the largest liberal arts program and highest transfer rates to four-year institutions. Kapi`olani CC is both nationally and internationally recognized for its award winning and innovative programs, particularly in Culinary Arts, Nursing and Allied Health, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and New Media Arts.

Student success is Kapi‘olani CC’s highest priority, supporting student exploration and achievement of their academic pursuits and personal aspirations, and provides access to a wealth of opportunities and resources for every student to Engage, Learn, and Achieve.

The Promises We Keep

Community colleges are central to the University of Hawai‘i System’s top priority: to increase the number of college graduates in the state and prepare a skilled 21st-century workforce. The facts bear this out:

  • Of the UH System’s 60,000-plus degree students, nearly 60% are studying at one of our community colleges.
  • Enrollment across these seven campuses has increased from 25,000 to 34,000 in just four years, a 36% surge. 
  • The number of Native Hawaiians at our community colleges has doubled in a four-year period and now represents 27% of the total student body.
  • More and more community college graduates are transferring credits and earning degrees at the UH System’s three bachelor’s granting institutions (Mānoa, Hilo, West O‘ahu).

Kapi‘olani Community College, on the slopes of Diamond Head and just minutes from Waikīki, delivers the solutions many students and families are looking for. We wed access to success and prepare students to thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive work environment.

Wedding Access to Success

The University of Hawai‘i’s seven community colleges are among the best values in higher education today. That’s a fact worth celebrating at a time when colleges across the nation are facing increased scrutiny. Kapi‘olani Community College offers a compelling alternative: high-quality, real-world education minus the burden of soaring tuition and student debt; small classes, personal attention, and ongoing support for students; and an economic boost to individuals and communities alike.

The University of Hawai‘i’s seven community colleges — located on the islands of O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i — are among the best values in higher education today.

That’s a badge of honor worth celebrating, especially at a time when colleges across the nation are facing increased scrutiny. Every week it seems like another think tank, research center, or media outlet is questioning what’s wrong with America’s system of higher education.

Kapi‘olani Community College — and every other community college in the UH System — offers a compelling alternative. These are the promises we keep:

  • High-quality, real-world education minus the burden of soaring tuition and student debt
  • Small classes, personal attention, and ongoing support for a community of diverse students
  • The ability to meet critical workforce needs and contribute to a diversifying state economy
  • Seamless transitions for students wanting to continue their studies at a four-year college

With your support, we will prepare the workforce of tomorrow and ensure a remarkable future for the people of Hawai‘i.

The Journey Beyond

The spirit of discovery has shaped Hawai‘i since the first Polynesians migrated to the islands more than 1,500 years ago. With only the stars, clouds and ocean to guide them, they navigated uncharted waters to reach a new destination and create a better life.

Today, the quest for new horizons, new knowledge, and new innovations continues. The University of Hawai‘i is driven across all 10 campuses by a desire to continually move forward, to create, explore, and educate  in ways that improve the quality of life for all Hawaiians and better our world.

Journey Beyond. It’s our charge to move past current realities and expectations. To seek new possibilities. To find novel solutions to tough problems. To pursue boundless ambitions.

Kapi‘olani Community College is up to the task. We’ve developed an “ecology of learning” that connects classrooms and campus, centers and labs, communities, countries abroad, and cyberspace to enrich the total educational experience. As we look to the future, we picture a thriving college that:

  • Attracts an even broader community of students, with a particular focus on educating Native Hawaiians and other underserved populations. KCC’s 8,500-plus student body includes recent high school graduates, transfer students, adults of all ages returning to college, single parents, persons with disabilities, and international students from nearly 50 nations. Our purpose will never be to attract a select few, but to always remain accessible to all as we serve the educational needs of our state.
  • Helps create the pipeline for Hawai‘i’s shifting workforce. We will become increasingly nimble in anticipating and responding to the workforce needs of tomorrow, knowing that most jobs in the future will require some level of post-secondary education. We will continue to build on strong 21st-century career programs in business and information technology, culinary arts, hospitality, legal education, and nursing and health sciences. The college is also integrating advanced technology in new media arts, exercise and sports science, and biotechnology
  • Forges deeper ties with O‘ahu, all of Hawai‘i, and the global community. To remain relevant and responsive, Kapi‘olani CC will strengthen and expand partnerships with businesses, industry, and educational institutions. Together we will advance a shared commitment to help students succeed and communities thrive. We will also connect even more closely with the international community to exchange ideas and prepare students for the global economy.

Healthy Mix

Colleges that are thriving today — including community colleges — depend on a healthy mix of public and private funding as part of a new model for supporting higher education. State dollars, even as they remain essential to our fiscal health, can no longer be stretched to fulfill our ambitions. It’s up to us, the extended UH community, as well as citizens and community leaders, to take responsibility for Kapi‘olani Community College’s future. Please join us and give generously as together we Journey Beyond.

Advancing our Social, Cultural and Economic Health

With your support, Kapi‘olani CC will play a pivotal role in meeting emerging workforce needs and preparing the leaders of the future; firmly positioning the University of Hawai‘i as the most diverse and dynamic university system in the nation; and advancing our state’s social, cultural, and economic well-being.

The focus begins with our students and the need to increase Hawai‘i's educational capital.

An educated labor force and engaged citizenry is essential in today’s global economy. That’s why KCC, and every campus within the UH System, has put considerable resources behind the statewide 55 by 25 Campaign to increase the percentage of working age adults with college degrees to 55% by 2025 — up from the current 42%.

That’s a noble and timely ambition that requires new levels of private philanthropy to fully achieve. With your help, the Journey Beyond begins today.

Funding Priorities

As Kapi‘olani Community College prepares for a future filled with promises and challenges, we have identified several key investment priorities. Those most critical include funding to: expand student scholarships and financial aid to ensure that every student can afford the many opportunities our campus offers; provide more opportunities for students to study abroad; and further develop and refine signature programs that prepare students for a changing and competitive marketplace.

Student Scholarships

We strive to ensure that every student can afford to attend Kapi‘olani CC regardless of family finances. Nothing else we do to improve the quality of a University of Hawai‘i education will matter if students and families cannot afford the opportunities we offer. And nothing else that donors do will have greater impact than transforming the future for generations of students. Your gift will help keep the cost of higher education within reach for many students. A notable example is the Lunalilo Scholars Program, for students with high academic potential who have never enrolled in college because of economic or personal barriers. An outright gift of $6,000 will support one student for one year; a gift of $150,000 will support 25 Lunalilo Scholars.

Study Abroad

As our world becomes smaller, students must develop intercultural competencies and a global perspective to compete successfully in today’s economy. Students who study abroad develop self-confidence, gain independence and maturity, acquire an understanding of diverse cultures, and learn to creatively solve problems. Well-established programs at KCC allow students to immerse themselves in Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese language, followed by a semester abroad living and studying in these countries. Gifts to the campaign will make it possible for more students to participate by providing support for tuition, room and board, and travel expenses. An outright gift of $8,000 will support one student for one year; a gift of $200,000 will support 25 students.

First-Hand STEM Experiences

It begins in high school when many students accepted to Kapi‘olani CCC are invited to participate in our acclaimed Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program. They come together in a summer bridge experience that gives them the knowledge, confidence, and support they need to succeed as they enter freshman year. Here’s one glimpse of the quality of these students: KCC’s Can Satellite (CanSat) team recently won the 1st Place international prize for designing, building, and launching a space-related mission at a three-day competition in Texas — outperforming top universities from Iran, Canada, India, and the United States. Your gift of $10,000 will support scholarships and peer mentoring; your gift of $50,000 will be used to equip our science laboratories.

Strengthening the Culinary Arts

The culinary arts continue to anchor Hawai‘i’s standing as a tourist destination — and students at Kapi‘olani CC are at the head of the class. Our Culinary Arts program was named the nation’s premier program for culinary training at the American Culinary Federation Competition in 2009. In subsequent years, KCC students have continued to place very high in every annual competition they have entered. Continued philanthropic support is essential to assure that our outstanding students are given every chance to be among the top innovators and culinarians in the U.S. Gifts of $10,000 will fund scholarships; gifts of $50,000 will further equip KCC’s kitchens and laboratories.

Advancing Health Sciences

Kapi‘olani CC is arguably the state’s leading instructional facility for health sciences, nursing, and emergency medical services. Our current classrooms and laboratories, however, have not been renovated and upgraded for over 20 years and lag behind the quality of our students and programs. Our goal is to design and build a Health Screening and Lifestyle Coaching Center. Planned activities include key health indicators (such as blood pressure, body fat, cardiovascular fitness, glucose status, cholesterol ratios, and bone density), as well as nutritional counseling and personal fitness plan provided by students for the community. The campaign goal for this project is $200,000.

Distinguished Lecture Series

Kapi‘olani CC’s strategic location in the Pacific gives us the opportunity to become a center of learning and discourse on national and international issues that affect our island state. The college seeks to establish a fund to recruit world-class speakers to share their perspectives on timely topics ― from world health to climate change to terrorism and national security. By doing so, we will engage students, faculty, and staff, as well as the wider community. A campaign gift of $20,000 will fund a named Distinguished Lecture Series for one year; a transformative gift of $500,000 to the college’s endowment will permanently name the Distinguished Lecture Series.

Commitment to Transformation

Kapi‘olani Community College maintains a unique role in serving students from across Hawai‘i, and beyond, with a special commitment to Native Hawaiians. Each year we transfer more students to four-year universities than any other UH community colleges. And we’re at the leading edge of using technology to provide widespread online access to higher education to transform lives and futures.

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

That’s why we need you, especially as we seek out new opportunities to expand and strengthen vital programs that serve our students and community.

Colleges that are thriving today — including community colleges — depend on a healthy mix of public and private funding as part of a new model for supporting higher education.

To the Hawai‘i State Legislature, we say thank you for their continued support of higher education. But state dollars, even as they remain essential to our fiscal health, can no longer be stretched to fulfill our ambitions. It’s up to us, the extended UH community, to take responsibility for KCC’s future.

As a community, an ohana, we must come together as one Hawai‘i and one University System. Alumni and friends; citizens and community leaders; faculty, staff, and students — we call on all who care about Hawai‘i's future to support our strategic priorities. To advocate and champion. To share wisdom, insight, and perspective. And to give generously of their time and treasure.

Please join us as together we Journey Beyond.

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 Windward Community College, please contact:

Linh Hoang Poe 
Senior Director of Development, Kapi‘olani Community College
(808) 734-9570 • Linh.Hoang@uhfoundation.org