Kealaikahiki is the first and only Native Hawaiian serving program at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu.  Prior to being established, Kealaikahiki began as “Noʻeau at Night” in January of 2011, funded by a one-time award granted by the U.S. DOE Title III, Part A, Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution Grant.

Housed in the Noʻeau Center for Writing, Math, and Academic Success (tutoring center), “Noʻeau at Night” offered extended evening hours and introduced tutoring in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language), ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Studies), and ʻike Hawaiʻi a me ka ʻike Pākīpika (Hawaiian-Pacific Studies).  Throughout the 2011 Spring Semester “Noʻeau at Night” continued to expand and transitioned from a tutoring service into a Native Hawaiian Student Support Services program at the University.

The name Kealaikahiki was given to the program by Amber Kalua (sister of Heather Kalua, founding member) who felt it was befitting of the program’s origin and mission.  Kealaikahiki literally translates as “the pathway to Kahiki”.  Kahiki is a reference to the place our ancestors migrated from and is also the name of one of the island channels located in between Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe.  Therefore, Kahiki is the pathway connecting us to our piko i luna, our kūpuna (ancestors), reaffirming our identity as Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and recognizing the place of the indigenous peoples and its culture in this sphere of education.

To build an ala (pathway) bridging the past and ʻike (knowledge) of our kūpuna (ancestors) within the University.

The Kealaikahiki Native Hawaiian Student Support Services Program is dedicated to promoting the academic success of students at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu in a Hawaiian environment through cultural education and practices.  Services and activities provided by Kealaikahiki actively preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and values creating opportunities for leadership, growth, and advancement for Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike.

The Kealaikahiki staff will uphold, embody, and actively demonstrate the life force of aloha in our kūleana (responsibilites) and hana (work).

“Modest, gentle, unassuming, unpretentious, unobtrusive.”

“Unity, agreement, accord, unison, harmony; agreed, in unity.”

“Pleasant, nice, amiable, satisfied, contented, happy, affable, agreeable, congenial, cordial, gracious.”

“Humble, meek, unpretentious, modest, unassuming, unobtrusive; lowness, humility.”

“Patience; to be patient, enduring, long suffering; to tolerate.”


  1. Increase retention and graduation of Native Hawaiian students at the University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu.
  2. Implement culture-based tutoring, support, and encouragement from other Native Hawaiian students and staff.
  3. Foster a sense of community responsive to the Hawaiian culture and continuously building upon and expanding cultural knowledge through program services.
  4. Innovate and implement new services and technologies to support student retention and success.
  5. Provide professional development for faculty and staff incorporating Hawaiian values, practices, and culture into curriculum and campus initiatives.
  6. Advocate for the permanence (institutionalization) of the Kealaikahiki Native Hawaiian Student Support Services, its staff, and a future Puʻuhonua (Native Hawaiian Center).