Largest Gift To Windward Supports Student Access
Group of people with large check

UH Foundation President & CEO Donna Vuchinich, UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton, Windward CC Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ardis Eschenberg, Windward CC Chancellor Doug Dykstra, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation President & CEO Mitch D’Olier, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Executive Vice President & COO Terry George, and Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Grants Manager Beth Murph celebrate the establishment of Paipai o Koʻolau. (Photo by Peter Tully Owen, Windward Community College)

The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation has awarded a matching grant of $922,815.33 for Paipai o Koʻolau, a new initiative at Windward Community College to increase college access and completion.

The new program will increase graduation rates and transfer rates to four-year baccalaureate institutions for full-time and part-time students by combining a community advisory board along with the efforts of a dedicated cadre of Windward CC educators.

“We are committed to access and success in higher education for Hawaiʻi’s residents and in particular to Native Hawaiians,” said Windward CC Chancellor Doug Dykstra. “Windward CC has been ramping up efforts to reach out to the Windward Oʻahu communities and now 43 percent of its students are Native Hawaiian. Paipai o Koʻolau will help us better support students through graduation or transfer.”

Supporting and encouraging students

Paipai o Koʻolau is a four-year pilot project that will, with community help, identify 200 potential students—50 per year—who may not have been likely to attend college, but have been identified as having potential to benefit from and contribute to college.

Paipai o Ko‘olau means “the support or encouragement of the Koʻolau.” Paipai refers to a supporting structure and can also be thought of as the mountains holding up the island.

Faculty and staff will strongly support these promising students from application through their first two years. The students will benefit from a combination of significant financial aid, community involvement and proven academic strategies, including summer bridge programs, dedicated and proactive advising, cohort scheduling and peer mentoring.

“We have so many community members who could thrive in higher education, building the educational capital of our community,” said Windward CC Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Ardis Eschenberg. “However, for many, college is not a part of their daily reality and may seem unattainable. In our community and our state, college completion disparities generally reflect socio-economic disparities and correlate with race and ethnicity. This program helps us grow holistically as a community, making education accessible to all.”

Read the UH Foundation news release for more information.

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