students with mural
Honolulu Community College Hawaiian students painted this mural to represent the Kapalama ahupuaʻa—past, present and future, in a cultural based training program this summer. (photo courtesy of Honolulu CC)

Campuses across the University of Hawaiʻi System will receive grants for the Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions Program totalling about $6 million a year from the U.S. Department of Education for an anticipated five years. The five year total for the eight grants is more than $31 million.

These funds will be used for priority projects that fit within the University of Hawaiʻi’s Strategic Directions and individual campus mission goals. Federal legislation mandates that these federal grants must be specific to campuses.

UH President David Lassner said, “These awards are a credit to our hard working, dedicated faculty and staff across the UH system who are working collaboratively to advance the University of Hawaiʻi’s goal of becoming a model indigenous serving institution. We also thank our congressional delegation for their critical support of Native Hawaiian education.”

Annual awards

Honolulu Community College, $2,295,706 over five years for Hoʻala Hou-Renewing a Pathway to Student Success Through Culture-Based Learning

Principal Investigator Katy Ho-Middleton, vice chancellor of academic affairs, Honolulu CC; Co-Investigator Kaleialoha Lum-Ho, Hawaiian Center director, Honolulu CC

This grant proposes seven activities to increase access, success and college completion of Native Hawaiian students.

The activities are:

  1. Developing and implementing a culturally appropriate outreach and recruitment plan focused on increasing access and enrollment to the college by Native Hawaiians
  2. Creating a team of peer mentors to outreach to the community and establish community based partnerships
  3. Erecting a hālau (community gathering space) through traditional community building practices
  4. Creating a digital cultural and historical bilingual (Hawaiian and English) tour of the campus and native plant species
  5. Creating a culture and place-based training program based on the Hawaiian resource management system of ahupuaʻa and ʻIke ʻĀina
  6. Establishing a cohort of mentors to sustain what is learned through the training program
  7. Using technology to deliver the training materials for future use

Kapiʻolani Community College, $3,894,015 over five years for Phase II Kauhale Ke Kuleana, the Responsibility of the Whole Village

Principal Investigator Leon Richards, chancellor, Kapiʻolani CC; Project Director Kelli Kealakeonaona Goya, pathways coordinator, Kapiʻolani CC

Coupled with the Title III Part F grant, this project will directly address Native Hawaiian student achievement gaps in course success, persistence, transfer and graduation through one activity—Increasing Native Hawaiian Students’ Access to Success—employing strategies that will increase the success, persistence and progression, degree completion and transfer rates of Native Hawaiian students. The project will provide highly structured pathways for students to advance from basic skills to associate degrees, employment and transfer.

Project activities include

  1. Strengthening Native Hawaiian language preservation and revitalization
  2. Offering place-, community- and culture-based professional development for faculty and staff campus-wide to support an indigenous serving institution
  3. Improving student support services
  4. Hiring new personnel to focus on academic pathways, access to financial aid and career exploration for Native Hawaiian students
Kapiʻolani Community College STEM and Native Hawaiian Coordinator Keolani Noa and students collaborate to identify culturally and scientifically relevant research that impacts community and advance student knowledge. (photo by Kapulani Landgraf)

UH Hilo (cooperative award with Hawaiʻi Community College) $3,984,894 over five years for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant

Principal Investigator Donald Straney, chancellor, UH Hilo; Co-Investigator Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani, assistant professor and coordinator, Hawaiʻi Community College

Promoting and sustaining a Hawaiian worldview in the UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College campuses’ environments, programs, services and leadership to increase the success of Native Hawaiian students—faculty will be the focus of this cooperative arrangement development grant.

The three grant activities proposed

  1. Building capacity through leadership development
  2. Strengthening campus and community engagement
  3. Facilitating Hawaiian language, culture and knowledge learning pathways
UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language

UH Mānoa (cooperative award with UH Maui College), $4,159,895 over five years for Kekaulike: A Collaborative Partnership between UH Mānoa and UH Maui College

Principal Investigator Willy Daniel K. Kauai, director of Native Hawaiian student services at UH Mānoa; Co-Investigator Brandi Jean Nalani Balutski, research and assessment specialist at UH Mānoa’s School of Hawaiian Knowledge; Co-Investigator Lui Hokoana, chancellor, UH Maui College

The partnership between the two campuses will expand multi-disciplinary research and networking opportunities for Native Hawaiian students, faculty and staff; will provide support for UH Maui students transferring to UH Mānoa; and will help UH Maui Native Hawaiian faculty and staff in obtaining advanced degrees at UH Mānoa through fellowships.

UH Maui College, $4,000,000 over five years for Kaiao: Dual Enrollment Program, Creating a Successful First Year Experience, Native Hawaiian Leadership Program

Principal Investigator Benjamin Guerrero, Kaiao project director, UH Maui College

The design of the proposal is to assist underprepared and at-risk students in getting them college ready prior to their first fall semester. To that end the college is proposing to increase college enrollments through pre-college preparation, to create a successful first-year experience and to establish a faculty and staff professional development program, and Native Hawaiian student leadership program.

UH Maui College haumana from the Title III cohort attending ʻawa ceremony with Hawaiian studies faculty Kaleikoa Kaʻeo.

UH Maui College (cooperative award with Kapiʻolani CC), $4,496,726 over five years for Lawelawe Poʻokela: Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Student Success

Principal Investigator Lui Hokoana chancellor, UH Maui College; Co-Investigator Leon Richards, chancellor, Kapiʻolani Community College

Lawelawe Poʻokela, which means “quality service,” addresses institutional challenges for Native Hawaiian student success. Working together, UHMC and Kapiʻolani CC will: 1) Support professional development, and faculty/staff fellowships to assist in attaining advanced degrees; and 2) Strengthen funds management and administrative management by creating “shared services centers.”

UH West Oʻahu (cooperative award with UH Maui College), $4,487,682 over five years for Building and Bridging Hawaiian Futures

Principal Investigator Judy Oliveira, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, UH West Oʻahu; Co-Investigator Lui Hokoana, chancellor, UH Maui College

This grant will fund the design of a curriculum for a BA in Hawaiian studies at UH West Oʻahu. The grant will also enable UH West Oʻahu, in partnership with UH Maui College, to offer the degree to students from Maui, Lānaʻi and

Monterey Pulliam, a 2015 Windward Community College veterinary technology graduate (photo by Bonnie Beatson)

Windward Community College, $3,994,408 over five years for Kahua Hoʻonaʻauao: Foundations of Knowledge Building

Principal Investigator Ardis Eschenberg, vice chancellor for academic affairs, Windward Community College

This application focuses on three activities

  1. Building a foundation of success, as measured by successful course completion, for underprepared students through specific targeted interventions using a coaching paradigm to increase self-efficacy and effective resource utilization
  2. Building a foundation of success, as measured in graduation and transfer rates, for Native Hawaiian students through Hawaiian language based coursework
  3. Building resources, which use technology and flexible scheduling, to increase access and success to post-secondary education for working adults, as measured by enrollment, course success and graduation rates

Earlier this month, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa also received $1.8 million a year for three years for Native Hawaiian Education from the U.S. Department of Education. Read more about it.