Honolulu Community College, located in the heart of Honolulu, offers a wide array of academic programs.

“We have this amazing blend of career technical education training programs and a very robust liberal arts program for our students,” explained Katy Ho, the vice chancellor of academic affairs at Honolulu Community College.

The liberal arts program offers multiple degrees, such as Hawaiian studies and natural sciences, and pathways for students to easily transfer to a four-year institution.

“You can earn your associates degree knowing that when you go to the Mānoa campus, or Hilo campus or West Oʻahu, that your general education has been met,” said Ho. “Start here and really go anywhere, within the UH System, to colleges on the mainland, even internationally.”


Students can choose from 27 different degrees and 39 different academic certificates from 24 programs that include, along with liberal arts, a broad range of career and technical education—automotive technology, welding, audio engineering and music business, computer and information security, fashion, aeronautics maintenance, carpentry, cosmetology and the list goes on.

“Where students can go right in and get hands-on education and go right into the workforce,” said Ho. “That is a pride and joy of Honolulu Community College and a lot of that has to do with the great faculty and staff that we have that have come straight from industry and have helped build these premiere programs here at our college.”

A number of the programs are taught in off-campus facilities in the same environment the students will ultimately work in and can feature apprentice partnerships with entities like the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Students receive training on the same type of state-of-the-art equipment they have to use in the workplace and receive a lot of individual attention thanks to small class sizes and dedicated instructors.

“They enjoy the benefits of having faculty, that their sole purpose here is to teach students,” said Ho. “They are not necessarily focused on research.”

Annual tuition is just under $3,000 with a lot of financial aid and scholarship opportunities and knowledgeable staff that offer assistance every step of the way. The application process is online and there is no fee for Hawaiʻi residents to apply.

“We’re really here to serve the whole entire community,” said Ho. “Everyone from our recent high school graduates, to folks that are coming back needing some retraining or certification, or maybe folks that have been really busy working or starting a family. We’ve got a place for you here.”

That place may be traditional daytime classes, distance learning classes or evening apprenticeship and journeyworker programs. No matter what route a student takes, academic advisors and support staff will make sure they take the right classes and reach their academic goals in the most efficient way possible, so no time or money is wasted.

“What you will find here is a vibrant student community,” said Ho. “We have student clubs and organizations, faculty and staff here, both on the instructional and student services side that really are here to make our students have the best college experience.”

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