West Hawaiʻi residents got to “test drive” the Hawaiʻi Community College–Pālamanui campus March 21 and 22 during College Experience Days.

Visitors were able to tour the campus, participate in daily activities and even sit in on classes that were underway.

AriaMarie Tyau, a ninth grader from Waimea, said her favorite part of the visit was seeing the science labs at the campus, because that’s one of the subjects she’s interested in pursuing when she attends college.

“I’m a science geek, so that’s probably why,” she said, laughing. “I’m really interested in it, and moving forward with that would be great.”

The ability to see not just the physical facilities but also seeing the learning that occurs in the classroom made the event especially meaningful, according to Lisa Jacob, who attended the event with her sons.

“It’s been a great experience,” Jacob said. “We didn’t realize we were actually going to be able to see classes in session, which was much more interesting than having someone just talk to us about what would happen. I feel like we all got a good sense of what it’s like to be a student here.”

The Hawaiʻi CC–Pālamanui campus opened in fall 2015 and has seen growth each year in enrollment and in the number of programs offered.

—By Thatcher Moats

Hawaii Community College Palamanui buildings
Hawaʻi CC–Pālamanui buildings