Graduation day for 15 students who completed the Individualized Career Achievement Network or iCAN program run by Kapiʻolani Community College in partnership with the McKinley Community School for Adults.

The free, fast track career training program attracts a wide variety of students. This group of graduates is made up of 10 women and 5 men, who range in age from 18 to 74.

iCAN graduate

Fifteen students celebrate graduation from the Individualized Career Achievement Network or iCAN program.

Related UH News video: iCAN prepares students for college and
careers, February 5, 2012 (Read full story)

“I am from Micronesia,” said iCAN graduate Julie Johannes. “And I am a wife, mother and grandma.”

“I recently came out of jail in February and ever since then, I just been on a straight path, just trying to change my life,” said fellow iCAN graduate Nathan Paoa.

iCAN’s mission is to help participants improve their lives by finding career pathways, whether that’s college or some type of workforce training.

“We realize that students don’t have the basic skills that sometimes they need to get into those career pathways or to find the jobs that they are looking for,” said Roya Dennis, the Kapiʻolani Community College iCAN coordinator.

The 135-hour program focuses on career skills like teamwork and communication along with reading, writing, math, computer skills and a broad range of support services.

The students also tour college campuses. The iCAN program is a gateway to the world of possibility—a bridge to higher education or a fulfilling career.

“I learned that I can be myself and what I want to do for my goal, I can do it,” said Johannes. “That’s iCAN program.”

McKinley Community School for Adults and Waipahu Community School for Adults are piloting the iCAN program in a partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges and Department of Education Community School for Adults.

It’s part of the Community College Career Training program funded by a $24.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

At every iCAN graduation ceremony, each student gives a presentation on their career goals and how they will accomplish those goals. A big part of iCAN is to leave with a detailed plan.

“Well right now, I’m not sure what I want to do,” said Paoa. “That’s why on my presentation I had like three different things. But I know that whatever I do choose, it’s going to be worth it.”

The iCAN program is available every spring, summer and fall.

Graduates receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and a Certificate of Professional Development. They also have an option to earn a Healthcare Foundation certificate by taking an additional 30-hour course that covers the skills needed for entry-level positions in the healthcare industry.

Just like any graduation ceremony, there are a lot of laughter, tears, hugs and one last group shot.

“Now we’re done and I just go on, I want to continue on,” said Johannes right after she graduated. “So never be scared. Just go for it.”

View the photos on the University of Hawaiʻi Flickr site.

This Post Has 8 Comments
    1. I am from the other KCC (Kauai) where we offered iCan last year, and I worked as the English instructor, but the federal funding was cut on September 30, so I am curious to know how you are still offering this program for free. It is a great program, and I was happy to be part of last year, and disappointed that it wasn’t refunded for this year, but it from this news release, it sounds as if you were able to offer it for free again this semester. How did you do that?

      –Geoff George, Lecturer
      English Department
      Kauai Community College

      1. Hi Geoff,

        Thank you for your comment.
        My name is Jarret and I’m with the C3T Round 1 consortium team based at Honolulu Community College.
        Our one year TAACCCT extension request which was granted in September 2014, has allowed us to continue grant activities until September 2015. In accordance with the WIOA, one of our larger initiatives is to work in collaboration with the Department of Education’s Community Schools for Adults in this type of workforce training. As Kauai County falls under the McKinley Community Schools network, we are working closely with our DOE partners and are looking forward to having a similar program established on Kauai.
        Thank you for your contributions and continued interest in our program.

        Jarret Yip
        Honolulu Community College

  1. Congratulations to the recent iCAN graduates and to KAPcc faculty for a job well done! The media coverage and storyline is superb! Hopefully this will be viewed by many more people in the community who will be inspired to enroll in the upcoming Spring 2015 iCAN program at MCSA.

    Mahalo to Scott Murakami and staff, Admin Staff of KAPcc, Sally Pestana, Roya Dennis, Cedric Chun, Hieu Stuart, Todd Rentz, Laura Rosas Leong, Jonathan Nosaka, Tracy Nakama, Charlis Lee, Lianne Auyong-Imamura and James Risser for all the hard work, time and effort in seeing that this workforce development/career skills program continues to thrive!

  2. This is very nice. I am a ABE teacher at McKinley Community School for Adults and the iCAN classroom is next to mine. Several of my students transitioned to iCAN and I was happy to know they were receiving quality college and career readiness education and training. iCAN is a step higher in my ABE class where I also teach similar college and career readiness English reading and writing skills. Many of my students, after one or more semesters, successfully land jobs throughout Honolulu and I see them often when I patronize businesses that hired them. I am so happy for them and they are excited to see me when we meet! iCAN teachers come and speak to my students when they recruit students and I can testify to the quality and effectiveness of their teaching skills. iCAN is a wonderful program. I hope all appropriate educational institutions, remedial training programs, and college and career readiness programs have a chance to interact with iCAN teachers and get their students to sign up. Students can only move up and become successful peoples because iCAN takes time to provide quality and effective instruction to the young people we serve. Mahalo nui loa for the governmental agencies that fund iCAN.

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