My top objective for our campus for 2015 was and continues to be the enhancement our student-centered environment. Students are our priority, and in alignment with the Western Association of Schools and College’s recognition of our improved student success initiatives and recommendation to continue to emphasize them going forward, we need to continue our hard work in this area. This month, I want to focus on our numerous Student Success Initiatives that our Interim Vice Chancellor, Judy Oliveira, and her team are leading, along with implementing the Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao plan.
Margy Ledward, Adam Kainoa Nahulu, and Loea Akiona launched this year’s ‘Onipa‘a Summer Bridge Program today. The intent is to maintain students’ academic momentum after they graduate from high school. By enrolling in UH West O‘ahu (and Leeward Community College), incoming freshmen from Nānākuli High and Intermediate School, Wai‘anae High School, or Kamaile Academy, can earn college credits. It allows students numerous touch points with faculty, staff, and peers, who help to connect and prepare them for enrollment into their freshmen year of college in the fall 2015 semester. It is an opportunity for students to learn about campus resources, build relationships, and learn and further develop life skills. An additional component of ‘Onipa‘a is student employment, where students can earn a stipend of up to $1,200, contingent upon meeting specific criteria based on attendance, performance, and overall ability to utilize skills learned in class at their assigned jobsite(s).
Jim Cromwell and the Enrollment team are working on a 15 to Finish scholarship, which was established to promote graduating from UH West O‘ahu in an expeditious manner by completing a minimum of 15 credits per semester while acknowledging the student’s academic achievement. The recipient must be a classified, degree-seeking student at UH West Oʻahu and must successfully complete 15 or more credits in the previous semester at UH West Oʻahu. Preference shall be given to students with current GPA of a 3.0 or greater. Students need not submit a separate application for this fund. The Financial Aid Office will determine awards based on fulfillment of requirements and availability of funds.
This past academic year, Jean Javellana, UH West Oʻahu, and the GEAR UP on the Leeward Coast Program continued its longstanding tradition of servicing the community by supporting the Early College High School Program (ECHS). In 2012, the UH West Oʻahu was one of the first post secondary educational institutions to support the ECHS program at Waipahu High School. Since then, the program has grown to offer college courses such as Student Development, College Success: Learning Strategies, and Psychology to high school students at Nānākuli High and Intermediate School and Wai‘anae High School. Approximately 41.3% of students participating in the program were of Native Hawaiian decent, with a good portion coming from other ethnic groups who are largely underrepresented in higher education.
According to Javellana, GEAR UP on the Leeward Coast Program’s mission is to increase the number of students from the economically depressed Leeward Coast who are prepared to enter and succeed in post secondary education. The ECHS Program is gaining nationwide attention for raising high school graduation and college retention rates, with a mission to reduce the barriers to college, while instilling and cultivating a college going culture in students who would otherwise never achieve post-secondary success.
Late last month, you could see and hear the newest cohort of our PUEO leaders learning the ropes, literally, as they went through training exercises to prepare them for their obligations for the upcoming school year. The PUEO (Peer Undergraduate Engagement and Orientation) Leadership Program is a peer mentor program dedicated to helping freshmen adjust to the social, personal, and academic aspects of college life. Freshmen are connected with a support group of fellow new students as well as PUEO Leaders: experienced, positive and helpful current UH West Oʻahu students who offer attention and guidance throughout the first year of college.
Congratulations to Katie Landgraf!
Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Accounting, Katie Landgraf, who was awarded with the Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, which is given to “faculty members who exhibit an extraordinary level of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity and personal values that benefit students.” This honor is well deserved and a testament to all of Katie’s hard work and willingness to go beyond her duties to connect with her students and the community. Katie also served as a faculty marshal for the 2015 spring commencement.
Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige announced late in May that May 24-31 was “Hurricane Preparedness Week.” Be prepared by signing up for the UH Alert system (https://www.hawaii.edu/alert/), which allows you to opt-in to receive text messages along with an automatic email subscription, and at home, put together an emergency preparedness kit and talk with your family about an emergency plan. The 2015 hurricane season (June 1 through November 30) is expected to be an above normal season (there is a 70 percent chance it will be above normal, with five to eight storms).
Your safety is of the utmost concern to UH West Oʻahu. To guide your planning process, here is a list of some helpful websites:
- Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (f.k.a. Hawaiʻi State Civil Defense): http://www.scd.hawaii.gov/preparedness.html
- Oʻahu Department of Emergency Management: http://www.honolulu.gov/dem.html
- National Weather Service (NOAA), Honolulu: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/
- University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College's Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards
- Ready.Gov (federal guidance on how to be informed, make a plan, build a kit, etc.): http://www.ready.gov/