Does the West Hawai’i population support the need for a college campus?
Yes. West Hawai’i is the only remaining major geographic area and population center in the State of Hawai‘i that does not have a permanent facility for higher education. The population in West Hawai’i is similar to the population on the island of Kaua’i where the University operates Kaua’i Community College. The University of Hawai’i at Hilo and the Hawai’i Community College campus in Hilo are located on the east side of the Big Island, but the distance and the high cost of fuel make it difficult for the residents on the west side to regularly attend classes in Hilo unless they are able to relocate. As a result, West Hawai’i is an underserved area in terms of higher education opportunities.
What degrees would be offered at Hawai’i Community College — Pālamanui?
Programs of study currently offered in West Hawai‘i will be relocated to the Pālamanui campus. These include Liberal Studies, Nursing, Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Hawaiian Studies, Early Childhood Education, and a variety of public service programs. New program offerings at the Pālamanui campus will be added based on community needs, space availability, funding and curricula development. An Academic Master Plan (ADP) specific for the Pālamanui campus is currently under development. Based on community input, workforce demands, and other University of Hawai‘i offerings, regular updates to this ADP will provide ongoing direction for program development at the Pālamanui campus.
What is the University Center?
The University of Hawai‘i system operates three University Centers, including the UH Center, West Hawai‘i. Currently located in leased space in Kealakekua, the UH Center, West Hawai‘i is administered by Hawai‘i Community College. It will move to Pālamanui after construction is complete. UH Centers offer distance learning programs provided by the system’s four-year institutions. Through these programs students can earn bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certificates.