On March 6, the fourth Hawai’i Strategic Institute was held at Leeward Community College on O’ahu. With an emphasis on showcasing strategies for student success, two faculty members and three students from Hawai’i Community College collaborated to present: “Hawai’i Papa o Ke Ao: Student Success Through Hawaiian Cultural Components in Assignments and Curriculum.”
Assistant Professor in Human Services, Sandi Claveria, introduced the session by explaining the new 3 R’s in education: “Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor.” Research has shown that if you establish a personal relationship with students, they will engage with the material you are presenting more readily. Moreover, if you create assignments which have relevance for their families and communities, you further their engagement and depth of learning. With increased engagement and motivation comes the ability of the instructor to “raise the bar” and “increase student achievement.”
Increased achievement leads to greater student retention and graduation rates. Sandi brought students, Jaysha Mauga-Kaili and Emma Villanos who took her HSER. 110 class as entering freshmen in the fall 2014 semester. This class was part of the OneCollege, OneTheme initiative which explored “wai (water)” in different assignments in different classes taught in the 2014-15 academic year. This assignment sparked Jaysha to research the preservation of the Keanalele underground spring located on her family’s ancestral lands in the Pu’uwa’awa’a area. The spring has been faced with pollution by visitors swimming in the water with sunscreen.The spring is fed directly by water from Mauna Kea which flows underground.
Emma Villanos shared her research project about the drying up of the Na Wai ‘Ehā waterways in east Maui due to diversionary actions by the Wailuku Water Company. The privitization of the life-giving resource of water is becoming an important concern for our local communities. Emma talked about how her children and grandchildren have become activated around this issue because of the necessity of access to water for survival.
The last part of the session was introduced by Professor Trina Nahm-Mijo who is Social Science and Public Services Department Chair. She also teaches WS151: introduction to Women’s Studies as a writing intensive course. She invited Kuki Alapai who took her WS 151W class to share her Identity Essay with the workshop attendees. Nahm-Mijo encourages students, especially those familiar with ʻŌlelo Hawai’i, to integrate selected Hawaiian words.
Into their essays in which they select a metaphor to describe their identity.
This workshop will be repeated on Thursday, April 16 from 3-4 pm in Bdng. 379, Rm. 6A for the HawCC Kauhale in conjunction with the April Professional and Personal Development Month.