University of Hawaii–West Oahu

The University of Hawaiʻi—West Oʻahu was awarded a total of $14.2 million in Title III grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education for the construction of Native Hawaiian health and wellness facilities and the further development of Native Hawaiian student support services.

The university will receive $10 million for the PIKO Renovation Project—construction of health and wellness facilities and programs that integrate Native Hawaiian values of well-being.

Health and wellness programs

  • A Wellness Center that addresses holistic health and wellness programming
  • A Nursing Simulation Lab for state-of-the-art training in health-related concentrations with the goal of improving Native Hawaiian health equity
  • A Cultural and Performing Arts and Education Amphitheater as part of the UH West Oʻahu Library for student and campus events and activities
  • Community engagement and service-learning support focused on the health and well-being of the campus and community
  • Academic support to increase student retention and success in health sciences

UH West Oʻahu will receive $4.2 million over a five-year period for the development of a Pueo Scholars Program, which will include comprehensive student support services aimed at increasing the retention and graduation rates of the university’s Native Hawaiian students. The UH West Oʻahu Pueo Scholars Program is a continuum of services and support starting from pre-college to graduation.

UH West Oʻahu Pueo Scholars Program

  • Dual enrollment/Early Admit courses for UH West Oʻahu local area high school students
  • Implementation of the ʻOnipaʻa (steadfast) three-part summer program designed to bolster Native Hawaiian student fall enrollment after high school graduation that includes a one-credit SD 100 university experience college preparatory course, six weeks of paid summer employment followed by a one-credit SD 101 Summer Bridge course
  • A dedicated Pueo Scholar advisor who assists new Native Hawaiian and other incoming freshmen and first-year transfer students to ease the adjustment to UH West Oʻahu college life
  • Additional tutors for STEM subjects who are academically capable and knowledgeable about Native Hawaiian history, culture and learning styles
  • Peer mentoring for students during the first year at UH West Oʻahu
  • Continuation of supplemental instruction for general education courses aimed at ensuring successful pass rates
  • Increased student leadership opportunities including a three-credit upper division leadership course, workshops, seminars and projects
  • Service learning opportunities included in coursework to enhance course material and promote civic engagement
  • An educational pathway for students pursuing education degrees providing related services, technology materials and supplies that assist in their persistence to graduation and becoming licensed teachers

“As a University of Hawaiʻi four-year campus with a high percentage of Native Hawaiian students, UH West Oʻahu will offer enhanced services specifically geared for Native Hawaiian student success, with this generous grant funding,” said UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas. “We are truly grateful for this opportunity to better serve all of our students through new health and wellness facilities and support programs. The goal is for UH West Oʻahu students to take this ʻike (knowledge), graduate and go on to serve our West Oʻahu and other communities which benefits the entire state of Hawaiʻi.”

—By Julie Funasaki Yuen