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Kaua‘i Community College

Kaua‘i Community College is a kahua (foundation) that inspires, engages, and empowers learners and educators to enrich our community and our world.

Like No Place On Earth

Kaua‘i Community College is the smallest community college in the University of Hawai‘i System and is the Garden Island’s only higher education institution. We are in a unique position to serve all of the island’s needs not only in education but in community resources and in workplace development.

We offer over 30 certificate and associate’s degree programs in Liberal Arts, Business Education, Health Service, Early Childhood Education and Trade Technology. We have a strong Electronics program and have added an Engineering track.

Our focus is to prepare students and help the community thrive.

Kaua‘i Community College is proud of its work with the community in solidifying partnerships to address issues that are relevant to the community.

Campus Points of Pride

Over the last several years, we have added new Associates of Science degrees in Creative Media, Natural Sciences, Business, Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture.

Certificates in Community Health Worker, Entrepreneurship, Management Essentials, Medical Assisting, Retail Essentials, School Health Aide, Sustainable Science and Virtual Office Assistant are now offered.

In 2017, we launched an Innovation Center. Projects are faculty-led and teach interdisciplinary skills that students need while also engaging them in addressing community issues. Every project includes faculty, students, and a community partner.

  • The first community college to install a photovoltaic system.
  • In 2010, Kaua‘i Community College began the innovative Wai‘ale‘ale Project, a nontraditional scholarship program to encourage non-college bound students and adults to continue their education. Because of its success, similar programs were created in other UH community colleges, with plans for a System-wide roll-out.
  • In 2014, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education awarded Kaua‘i Community College’s Ho‘ouluwehi, the Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua‘i, the Best Case Study from an Associate College with 5,000 or Few Full-Time Students. We were recognized for our Unique Hawaiian Learning Approach to Sustainable Living, Island-Wide.
  • In 2015 and 2016, Electronics students participated in Project Imua, a team of UH CC students who created payloads for successful NASA rocket launches.
  • In 2015, our Hospitality and Tourism Program was ranked #22 out of the 30 Top Colleges for an Associate’s Degree in Hospitality by the Best Hospitality Degrees, an online authority.
  • Student research projects include Ulutopia, a partnership with the National Tropical Botanical Garden and an Apiary Hatchery for Queen Bee Rearing.
  • Green automotive technology is training students in hybrid and electric vehicle maintenance.
  • Cognition STEM students create experiments and service projects to share with Department of Education students and the community.
  • New certificates in Hawaiian Studies include Voyaging, Malama ‘Aina, Hula and digital arts.
  • Kaua‘i Community College not only has a Nursing program that articulates to a Bachelors of Nursing, but also offers a Medical Assisting program.

Serving our Students and Community

Kaua‘i Community College maintains a unique mission as the island’s only institution of higher education. That’s worth investing in. That’s why we need you, especially as we seek out new opportunities and expand and strengthen vital programs and facilities that serve our students and community.

Please join us as together we Journey Beyond.

Funding Priorities

Student Scholarships

We strive to ensure that every student can afford to attend Kaua‘i Community College, 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 as they pursue their ambitions. In addition, scholarship awards are used to honor academic achievement and leadership.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss naming possibilities for endowed scholarships.

Hawaiian Studies

The Hawaiian Studies program began in 1990 and has grown in popularity since an Associate in Arts in Hawaiian Studies was developed. With more students majoring in, or just interested in, this field of study, the Language Computer Lab is in need of upgrading its computers to accommodate the new programs in Voyaging, Malama ‘Aina, Hula and digital arts. Funds are also needed for an archaeological archival storage center to curate the materials and documentation of the late anthropology professor Dr. William “Pila” Kikuchi’s work on the Makauwahi Sinkhole project at Maha‘ulepu. Dr. Kikuchi’s surveys and historical excavations have produced a myriad of plant and animal fossils, in particular, many species of mostly extinct or nearly extinct birds and a new bat species. His important work is a bridge to understanding Kauai’s past and can bolster restoration efforts.

Innovation Center

The Innovation Center serves as an umbrella for innovative interdisciplinary hands-on and project-based learning in which students become part of the solutions to community issues. Currently, there are several projects that fit the criteria for Innovation projects: queen bee work in the Apiary, Ulutopia, sustainability and Cognition Learning Center (COGS), to name a few, with additional projects in the near future. Students in all projects will learn project management, critical thinking and entrepreneurship.

The Innovation Center aligns with both the current and proposed missions for the College in that the Center is innovative as well as both student and community focused. It inspires, engages, and empowers both staff and students, promotes responsibility, provides a place-based foundation from which we can all grow and seeks sustainable solutions for pressing problems.

Gifts will fund student projects in affordable housing, sustainable farming, water and waste management, a micro-hydro system, renewable energy and promising projects to the market through entrepreneurship.

Study Abroad

As our world becomes smaller, students on Kaua‘i must develop intercultural competencies and a global perspective if they are 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.

The college seeks to grow this fund to assist students who are interested in study abroad opportunities but face financial constraints. The fund also supports faculty exchanges, which are essential to establishing new international partnerships.

Wai‘ale‘ale Project and Kipapai

Seven years ago Kaua‘i Community College launched an exciting new project to enable students who never considered college due to financial and other constraints to not only attend but succeed in college as part of a supported cohort.  The project covers the cost of books, fees and other costs of attendance, but, equally important it also provides the students wrap around support services such as peer mentors, tutoring and intensive counseling and advising.  Although the participants had never even considered college until they were referred to us by a school or community member, these students have performed as well or better as our overall student population in measures such as retention and success. We have now reached well over 500 students. Now other colleges in the UH Community College system are following our model and starting programs. Funded originally by one generous donor, the program has outgrown that single source of funding.

While the participation in Wai’ale’ale is limited to those students who had not considered college, its success led us to start a program eligible to all first time students.  While we cannot provide full monetary support, the new Kipaipai program has many of the same support elements as Wai’ale’ale. It also has financial incentives that reward students monetarily when they first enroll for college, again when they finish the first term, and when they re-enroll for the second year.  This approach to financial support helps to retain students through their first year and into the second, since statistically if a student comes back for a second year they are likely to complete a certificate or degree.  We have just begun our third cohort of Kipaipai students. Like Wai’ale’ale, the growth of this program requires additional funding.

Video: See the success

Cognition Learning Center

Cognition (COGS), part of the Science and Math Division, provides an avenue for Kaua‘i Community College students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world applications. A learning center concept, COGS focuses on science activities that excite and captivate all students K-12 and the community. Kaua‘i Community College students, faculty and staff create activities that are fun, engaging, and highlight science applications. Through these activities, our goal is to instill a can-do attitude and the need for discovery and experimentation in future students. The development of CogsGo, a mobile unit of Cognition, will allow us to travel to off campus sites and reach a broader audience. Donations will support equipment and supplies for the creation of additional COGS K-12 projects.

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 Kaua‘i Community College, please contact:

Rose Ramos-Benzel
Director of Development, Kauai Community College
(808) 245-0133 • rose.ramos-benzel@uhfoundation.org