UHMC aims for student success with grant for Native Hawaiians

Maui College
Benjamin Guerrero, (808) 984-3362
Project Director, University of Hawaii Maui College
Posted: Oct 11, 2010

University of Hawaiʻi Maui College will expand programs in support of academic success for Native Hawaiian students through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions. The grant will provide $799,990 in its initial year with the program expected to provide $4 million over five years. 
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye notified UH Maui College of the grant award last week and said, "I am very pleased that these funds will be used by the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College to develop culturally based curriculum and expand math and English course offerings for Native Hawaiian students. We must ensure that Native Hawaiian students are well equipped to take on the working world–and creating access to a quality college education is among the most important services government can provide."
UH Maui College Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto credited newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs John McKee, a principal investigator, for his role in grant development and in assisting Title III Project Director Ben Guerrero with this successful application.
Guerrero said the initiative was designed by UH Maui College faculty and staff with three primary components:
  • Providing both peer and online tutoring programs in English and math skills, with the culturally based mentoring Student Success Center
  • Establish a First Year Experience program to help first-time, full-time students to complete developmental coursework and transition to college-level English and math classes with a Second Year Experience program offering career exploration and transition advice and counseling
  • Expand UH Maui College offerings in Hawaiian culture, language and values as components of an additional educational option of an associate of arts degree in Hawaiian studies
“With this award, the federal Department of Education recognizes the need to help a significant percentage of our students overcome inadequacies in their educational preparation and validates UH Maui College’s strategies for outreach and support of its students,” McKee said. “The program design is a result of extensive discussion involving counselors, faculty, department chairs and staff to converge on techniques and processes that can effect long-term student achievement.”
Guerrero said UH Maui College will also establish the Student Success Center called Kaiao–raising consciousness–in a new 2,000-square-foot building located near the campus health center. “It will be open for Native Hawaiian and all other students to assist with developmental education through peer mentoring, tutoring services, and academic and cultural support services to increase retention, persistence and graduation rates at UH Maui College.”
UH Maui College Associate Professor of Hawaiian Studies Kiope Raymond said, “The opportunity to reverse the low retention and persistence rates and subsequent graduation rates among Hawaiian students by implementing the three activities is a boon to the college and will certainly provide even more role models of success in higher education for Native Hawaiians.”
The Student Success Center will utilize an array of UH Maui College departments and programs including The Learning Center, UH Institutional Research Offices, Media Center/Computing Services Center, Lauʻulu Council and faculty and staff of the math, English, Hawaiian studies and student affairs departments.
About UH Maui College:
University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is one of seven campuses in the University of Hawaiʻi Community College System, but is the only campus awarding bachelor of applied science degrees as well as having certificate and associate degree programs. Its newest BAS degree in engineering technology is geared to preparing students for developing careers in renewable energy and sustainability. The College is a pioneer in utilization of distance education technology and in customized workforce training tailored to industry requirements.