Chancellor’s Message: Happy Holidays, Hawaii Papa O Ke Ao, Achieving the Dream, and more

Happy Holidays to everyone in our Hawai‘i Community College ‘ohana!

By the time you read this, classes for fall semester 2012 will have ended and students will either be immersed in finals or finished altogether, and another semester of learning and hard work will have come and gone. I want to give a big mahalo to all the students, staff, faculty and administrators for your hard work and dedication this semester, and we look forward to seeing everyone who will return after the holidays.

And congratulations to those students finishing up their studies this semester.

I hope you spend much time with family and friends during the holiday break, eat ono grinds and enjoy our beautiful Big Island or any destination your travels might take you. Mahalo niu loa!

Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao

When we return after the holidays we will take some of the early steps in a very important long-term initiative: Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao.

Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao is a UH System-wide initiative to make the University of Hawai‘i a leader in indigenous education. The phrase Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao means “Hawai‘i Foundations of Light/Knowledge.”

The goal is to seamlessly integrate our rich Hawaiian cultural heritage into our Western academic setting in order to build bridges to success for all Hawai‘i Community College students. Many of the things we have been doing are already in line with this initiative, such as the kipaepae ceremonies used to welcome visitors to our campus. But there is much more to be done.

A prospective Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao task force for our campus met December 4th and began examining the plan to advance this initiative in the coming year.

Some of the early steps will begin in mid-January when we will start having wala’au (talk story) sessions to inform the campus about Hawai‘i Papa O Ke Ao and to begin gathering information about what we are already doing that is in line with the initiative and where we need more work.

Stay tuned for specific details about the times and places of the wala‘au sessions.

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Hawai‘i Community College is celebrating its 71st year in 2012, and our college wouldn’t be where it is today without donations from generous community members over the years.

Right now we have a giving campaign underway through the UH Foundation, and information about how to make donations has been sent to all HawCC employees. If you haven’t received a letter yet, you will soon.

In this season of giving, we would appreciate your support for this worthy fundraising campaign, and if you want to deduct donations from your taxes this year, make sure to send them in soon.

You can choose to donate to the Hawaii CC Faculty/Staff Development Fund, the Hawai‘i CC Advancement Fund, the new Sonomura/Community Fund for Practical Experience, or others. Mahalo for your consideration.

Achieving the Dream

Hawai‘i Community College and the other six community colleges within the UH System have been recognized as 2012 Leader Colleges by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for community college student success and completion.

In order to be eligible for Leader College distinction, colleges must demonstrate commitment to and progress on the principles and values of Achieving the Dream: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement all guided by a student-centered vision focused on equity and excellence.

University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges was one of 14 institutions named Leader Colleges by Achieving the Dream.

Campus Closures

As a reminder, most offices on campus will be closed from Monday, December 17, 2012 to January 1, 2013.

Here’s a link to detailed campus closure information from Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Jim Yoshida.

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