Many of us at the College have been involved in writing grant proposals the past few weeks. A Title III Department of Education grant proposal, if successful, will support the College effort to provide effective curriculum and co-curricular support to potential and first year college students. Two Department of Labor grants proposals, if successful, will move forward courses in agriculture, business, energy, health and basic skills. It will be several months before we know proposals will be funded.
In the past week, we have strengthened two important partnerships with the College. First, I met with Dean Sylvia Yuen from the UH College of Tropical Agriculture to discuss ways we can provide strong pathways from KCC through the UH System. Second, the College hosted Robin Campaniano and Kay Fukunaga from the Ulupono Initiative. The Ulupono Initiative is social investment organization interested in improving the quality of life for island residents in three areas: more renewable energy, more locally produced food, and less waste. Robin and Kay spent an afternoon learning about our programs in agriculture, apiary, aquaculture, renewable energy, green construction, and more. When they left, they expressed interest in working with us on one or more projects in the future.
It’s once again time to look at our data to find out how we’ve been doing in areas such as enrollment, persistence, and granting degrees and certificates. On Wednesday April 13, at 2 pm in the Cafeteria, John Morton, Vice President for Community Colleges, will be on campus to discuss the data with us. A quick preview shows that we are doing well in some areas but not so well in others. For example, we are 66.5% above our current goal for Native Hawaiian enrollment and 85% above goal for the number of Pell financial aid recipients, but the percentage of Native Hawaiians persisting and earning degrees has dropped, as has enrollment of recent high school graduates. Analysis of this data will help us identify best practices and adopt new strategies in areas where we are weak.
Finally, a few thank yous. First, thank you for all the ongoing work being done on assessment and the accreditation self-study. This work provides us with a good picture of where we are and where we need to be. Second, thank you Kimo Perry and all those who worked so hard to make the Wai’ale’ale Project such a success its first year. Designed for students not considering college due to financial constraints, Wai’ale’ale students had a 71% success rate their first semester (overall GPA => 2.0), and 68% persisted to the next
semester. Given the background of these students this compares favorably to the success and persistence rate of the general student population. The success and persistence rate was even higher for Wai’ale’ale students who attended the Summer Bridge program or Introduction to College course. Finally, I want to offer a sincere mahalo to the students in Paul Hemmerla’s web design class, who took the time to evaluate our college website and provide constructive criticism on how to make it more dynamic and effective. I hope we will be able to implement some of their suggestions.
Posted by Chancellor Helen Cox