Kauhale Message: Campus visitors see Kauhale up close

Photo of the accreditation team

The accreditation team at the kipaepae ceremony with members of the Hawaii Community College ‘ohana.

When the Accreditation Visiting Team came to Hawaii Community College last month, the team members experienced first-hand the spirit of Kauhale we have been building since 2009 when the concept of creating an “academic village” was first envisioned.

On Oct. 15, the team experienced Kauhale through a kīpaepae, as well as throughout their four-day accreditation visit with our Kauhale ʻohana.

What was their response? One of their commendations spoke to the spirit of Kauhale that was palpable through the kīpaepae and during visits with individuals from both campuses.

“Kauhale was heard everywhere,” said the team leader, Dr. Loretta Adrian.

They noted also that they have never felt this spirit anywhere at any institution other than HawCC.

Immediately after the kīpaepae, Dr. Adrian told Chancellor Noreen Yamane that she will recommend that HawCCʻs Kauhale present at the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Convention in the spring of 2013 “because other colleges on the continent need to experience Kauhale, so they too may consider building the spirit of their respective community colleges.”

As you all know, this spirit of Kauhale didn’t appear overnight.

It was first envisioned in 2009 as a way to increase the success of Hawaii Community College students by creating an academic village without walls.

The idea was to break down the silos that existed at the college and instead build what we call a collective-service approach based on the idea that it takes an academic village to create total student success.

In the spring of 2010, former HawCC Chancellor Dr. Rockne Freitas and his administrative team were presented with the idea of Kauhale, and they voted unanimously to transform HawCC into a Kauhale Academic Village.

In the 2010-2011 academic year Chancellor Yamane created Walaʻau (informal talk story) sessions for the college community to raise awareness of Kauhale and to develop strategies to define how Kauhale would heighten student success in ways we could measure.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, the academic communities at the state and national levels got wind of HawCCʻs Kauhale Academic Village and invited the Acting Director of Kauhale, Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, to discuss its transformative elements and outcomes.

So in three years we have identified the need to make sure the spirit of community is central to how we serve, and together we created Kauhale, the working culture of a rich and spirited community that helps build academic success.

We created in absence of a precedent, and in doing so we have set a precedent for colleges near and far to consider how to build a Kauhale identity that is conducive to the indigenous environment and population they serve.

Our little college has done this…

E ʻImi Pono, to Seek Excellence, is evidenced in this Kauhale of ours.

Tūnou,

Tangarō, Kauhale Acting Director

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