FAQs

What is Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui? 

By action of the Board of Regents in 2009, the new campus is designated as Hawai’i Community College – Pālamanui, a fully accredited branch campus of Hawai’i Community College. In addition, the new campus will continue to be a University of Hawai’i Center which provides support for the delivery of bachelor’s and master’s degrees from other campuses of the UH system.  The translation of Pālamanui is “foundation of profound enlightenment.”

Why a branch campus and not a separate independent community college?

For any college to become accredited as a standalone institution, there has to be a significant investment in administrative infrastructure to meet accreditation standards, an investment that could easily reach $750,000 to $1,000,000. Right now, the better investment is not to add administrative costs but to invest instead in programs and support for students so that the program offerings and enrollment can grow.  The branch campus model allows the accreditation status of Hawai’i Community College to immediately extend to Hawai’i Community College – Pālamanui without having to add the additional large administrative expenses.  All programs approved for offering by Hawai’i Community College are also immediately available to residents of West Hawai’i.

What is a University of Hawai’i Center?

In 1996 the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents created the UH Center model to make bachelor’s and graduate-level degrees available to Hawai’i residents living in Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai’i Counties. This model leveraged Hawai’i’s early adoption of video technologies and communications bandwidth infrastructure. Facilities, equipment, and staffing were established to support a Center at Kaua’i, Maui, and Hawai’i Community Colleges. A broad range of degrees are now available in West Hawai’i from University of Hawai’i at Hilo, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu via video conferencing and online technologies. Visit http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/ucwh/ to view current program offerings. 

What is the relationship between the UH Center and Hawai’i Community College?

For administration purposes, the staff and infrastructure of the UH Center, West Hawai’i are organized under Hawai’i Community College. The UH Center Director is a member of Hawai’i Community College’s administration team. Similarly, the UH Centers on Maui and Kaua’i are also administered under their local University of Hawai’i Community Colleges.

What is the relationship between the UH Center and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo?

UH Hilo currently offers several programs that are available through the University Center, including degrees in Business and Nursing. As Hawai’i Community College — Pālamanui opens, UH Hilo looks forward to expanding its offerings in West Hawai’i.

What is the relationship between the UH Center and other UH Institutions?

UH Hilo, UH West O’ahu and UH Mānoa are able to enroll students based in West Hawai’i in certificate/degree programs. The University Center provides the infrastructure and support for these local students, such as the library, counseling and academic advising, video classes, computer networks and labs, and placement testing. Students are enrolled in the institution (such as UH Hilo or UH Mānoa) that is providing their certificate or degree program, and their tuition and fees go to the institution that originate the courses they are enrolled in. Courses are often transferable to other degree or certificate programs within the UH System, providing maximum flexibility for students. Students are encouraged to seek and follow advice from Student Services Staff and Faculty Advisers whenever selecting courses to ensure they are tracking towards their certificate/degree goal within optimal time frames and costs.

When will Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui be operational?

Currently, Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui is expected to be open for classes in time for the Fall 2015 Semester. Daily progress may be viewed via web cam at http://www.workzonecam.com/projects/palamanui/palamanui/workzonecam

What is required to grow and advance Hawai‘i Community College – Pālamanui?

Phase 1 of the 4-phase master plan is currently under construction. Additional funding for future phases is contingent upon the State of Hawai’i response to priority requests from the University of Hawai’i System. In practical terms, the pre-requisite for either of those to happen will be substantial enrollment growth.

Will there be dormitories provided? Will there be faculty housing provided?

At this time there are no residential facilities planned in Phases 1 through 4 of Hawai‘i CC  – Pālamanui.

Will there be day care available?

There are no current plans for on-campus day care. Hawai‘i Community College has curriculum in Early Childhood Education, which might be offered to build the skills base to support childcare providers to establish in the vicinity of the Campus. This would meet the needs not only of students and staff but of the wider West Hawai’i community.

Will food be available on the campus?

The need and options to supplement what the culinary program and kitchens will provide intermittently during semesters are under consideration. Options available include lunch wagons, which could park on non-university property if there is space; vending machines; and/or contracts for food services vendors to be on-site (university property).

How do new courses and degrees for West Hawai’i get started?

A major component of the UH Center Director’s responsibility is to consult with the community to identify higher education needs which can be met by the University of Hawai‘i System. From across the 10 accredited UH campuses there are a great number of certificates and degrees with approved curriculum already in place.  Wherever possible, adapting existing curriculum to be delivered via the UH Center is the most efficient way to meet local needs in the least amount of time. If there are demonstrated needs which cannot be met by existing certificate/degree programs, new curriculum can be proposed. Approval of a new degree or certificate is a lengthy process that requires approval by Faculty and Administration of one of the accredited campuses as well as the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents.