Maui Community College awards first bachelor's degrees

Three Maui residents are the first recipients of the college's bachelor's degree in applied business and information technology

Maui College
David Grooms, (808) 984-3348
ABIT Program Coordinator
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: May 11, 2007

KAHULUI, Maui — The awarding of degrees to Maui Community College students Ryan and Krissy Garcia and Sunny Cabello during the college‘s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 13, will mark a momentous occasion for the college. Cabello and the Garcias, who are husband and wife, will be the first students to receive a four-year degree from Maui CC and the first recipients of the college‘s Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT).

"Our Maui CC Commencement this Sunday will be historic. It will be the first time that a community college in Hawaiʻi has ever graduated students with bachelor‘s degrees," said Maui CC Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto. "We‘re excited about our graduates and our ABIT program‘s prospects. We‘re extremely proud of our graduates who bravely completed a brand new program."

Since 1993, bachelor‘s and master‘s degrees from UH Mānoa, UH Hilo and UH West Oʻahu have been offered to Maui County residents through the University of Hawaiʻi Center on the Maui CC campus. This is the first time that a bachelor‘s degree will be granted by a community college.

Also, the degree itself is unique within the UH system as it is a business degree, emphasizing small- to medium-sized business management, with a strong information technology component. It covers the two areas of high interest and demand amongst Maui County residents indicated in responses to a county-wide survey conducted in 2002.

"This is truly an exciting time for our first graduates and, with the training they have received in our ABIT program, I am certain they will be successful in their future endeavors," said ABIT Program Coordinator David Grooms.

With their ABIT degrees in hand, the graduates, who all started on their degree path at Maui CC through the Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology program (ECET), look forward to a promising future. The Garcias plan to expand their computer repair service to all of Maui County while Cabello has been accepted to graduate school at UH Mānoa and will pursue a master‘s degree in educational technology through the University of Hawaiʻi Center at Maui CC. She also plans to develop an online community for golfers that will provide a forum for Maui golf enthusiasts to chat with each other and even reserve tee times at golf courses.

The ABIT graduates presented their business plans, which served as their final project, to a group of administrators, ABIT advisory board members, and community members, who were all impressed with their entrepreneurial visions.

The ABIT graduates will be honored at a special ABIT graduation dinner on Saturday, May 12, at the Class Act restaurant at Maui CC. Gene Bal, executive director of the Maui High Performance Computing Center, where both Ryan Garcia and Sunny Cabello have worked, will serve as the keynote speaker.

They will receive their bachelor‘s degrees on Sunday, May 13, at the Maui Community College commencement ceremony at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center at 1 p.m.

For more information about Maui CC‘s ABIT degree, visit

The ABIT Program of Maui Community College has been recognized as a Candidate for Accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. This status is a preliminary affiliation with the Commission awarded for a maximum period of four years. Candidacy is an indication that the ABIT program of MCC is progressing toward Accreditation. Candidacy is not Accreditation and does not ensure eventual Accreditation.