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Two people seated with ti leaves
UH Hilo Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center staff teach students how to make lei lāʻī (ti-leaf lei), and kūpeʻe or adornments for their wrist and ankles.

Thirty-four University of Hawaiʻi Native Hawaiian education programs across the 10 campus system, including 20 new programs, are being awarded more than $17.7 million in federal funding. The funding is from the U.S. Department of Education Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions program that was established to expand programs at Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote college completion and success.

Sen. Brian Schatz serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and helped secure $7.3 of the $17.7 million to continue funding for 14 of the programs.

“This new funding will help Native Hawaiian students navigate college life and earn a degree that will help them find a good-paying job,” said Sen. Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “When we provide targeted support services to Native Hawaiian students, it helps them graduate on time and puts them on a path to success.”

Fellow Hawaiʻi Sen. Mazie Hirono announced the federal funding in an October news release.

“Colleges and universities have faced tremendous challenges throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sen. Hirono. “This funding provides critical support to Native Hawaiian students in their ongoing education. I will continue to support programs that help Native Hawaiian communities.”

These UH Title III grants, aimed at providing funds to strengthen academic quality for low-income Native Hawaiian students can be used to develop curriculum, renovate and improve classrooms or other facilities, support academic instruction, provide education or counseling services and more.

“He maka au, he ʻupena kākou (I am but a single eye in the net—together we are a strong net),” explained UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham. “Title III grants provide us the opportunity to weave a net of services to support our haumāna (students). Utilizing the brilliance of our faculty and support staff, programs link students to ʻāina/place, to genealogy/history, and to actions that create opportunities for success.”

The grants were awarded to programs at UH Mānoa, UH West Oʻahu, UH Hilo, UH Maui College and Leeward, Kapiʻolani, Honolulu, Windward, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, some for joint projects between campuses.

“These awards demonstrate the commitment and creativity of our amazing faculty and staff to provide new opportunities and pathways that will help Native Hawaiian students across the UH system achieve their hopes and dreams through higher education,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are grateful to senators Hirono and Schatz for their persistent and successful work to help UH support those who need us the most.”

UH programs awarded funds

UH Mānoa

Kapaʻakea: Engaging Hawaiian Research & Multi-Disciplinary Collaborations at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa ($543,646) proposes to increase Hawaiian student educational attainment by transforming institution-wide instructional practices, co-curricular core services and student engagement opportunities to be a Hawaiian place of learning.

Mai ʻŌ A ʻŌ: Meeting the Needs of Native Hawaiian Educators and Students through Remote Learning Professional Development ($549,950) will provide graduate assistants and grant staff the opportunity to attend workshops, webinars and other educational training sessions to expand the scope of Native Hawaiian Online Academy Series offerings.

UH West Oʻahu

ʻUpena Moananuiākea: Establishing the Hub Pasifika to Empower Native Hawaiian Futures ($550,000) focuses on increasing enrollment, retention and graduation of UH West Oʻahu students.

Wailau Ola Pathway ($600,000 with Windward CC) will increase on-time degree attainment and transfers between the UH West Oʻahu and Windward CC campuses.

Hoʻopūliko Kumu Hou Educational Pathway Project ($501,714) will allow UH West Oʻahu to partner with other stakeholders in the region to significantly increase the number of Native Hawaiian and Part-Hawaiian teachers earning their bachelor’s degree and entering the region’s secondary classrooms.

UH Hilo

Hoʻolana: Access and Enrollment, Retention and Graduation Success for Native Hawaiian Students ($518,346) will target Native Hawaiian students from freshmen to seniors through three proposed activities: facilitate student success through an Indigenous framework, enhance campus and community engagement, and strengthen leadership development.

E Halakau ai nā manu: Native Hawaiian Student Engagement and Support ($546,179) aims to renovate the UH Hilo Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center in an effort to increase Native Hawaiian student engagement.

Pāʻieʻie: Indigenizing the UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC Campuses ($599,969 with Hawaiʻi CC) will build an Indigenous learning environment, enhance campus and community, and foster a community of scholars with the goal of increasing Native Hawaiian student enrollment and retention; Native Hawaiian student, faculty, and staff engagement; and increasing Native Hawaiian student graduation and transfer.

Kūkulu: Strengthening Native Hawaiian Leadership by Building Retention and Graduation Efforts ($556,000) will strengthen leadership development, empowering campus and community Engagement, and enhance Hawaiian language, culture and knowledge learning pathways.

UH Maui College

Kahokuala: The Rising Star ($550,000) will build capacity to better serve Native Hawaiian students with the goal of increasing enrollment and degree completion.

PUUHONUA: Native Hawaiian Center—Phase I ($550,000) proposes creating a learning space for faculty, staff and Native Hawaiian students that allows them to explore, discuss, and reinforce their Hawaiian identity which can be integral to student success.

Hōkūpaʻa: Charting the Pathway for Student Success ($550,000) will build capacity to better serve Native Hawaiian students through four primary activities such as establish remote learning sites, develop and align Early College and Dual Enrollment Pathways, provide faculty with professional development and, support students success through peer mentoring and coaching.

Hulihia Center for Sustainable Systems ($550,000) engage Native Hawaiian students and increase retention and graduation through three primary activities: establish the Hulihia Center for Sustainable Systems; provide real-world experiences for sustainable science management students; and offer in-person experience for distance education students.

Kupuohi i ka Lā: Increasing Capacity for Continual Growth ($556,000) is a cooperative arrangement project between UH Maui College and Hawaiʻi CC to provide solar panel installation and train students; sustain and expand the Shared Service Center to increase extramural awards; and provide financial literacy training.

Kahua Hana ($465,000) proposes activities to train new Native Hawaiian students to manage identified success barriers, build skills to better manage their finances on and off campus, and develop practices to reduce their time to a degree.

Leeward Community College

E Hoʻakea i ke ʻIke: Extend the Vision ($550,000) will transform two key lab sites into spaces that are safe, welcoming and equipped for active and culturally relevant learning.

He Loa Ke Aho: Systematic Practices Reenvisioned for Native Hawaiian Student Success ($471,341) will increase Native Hawaiian student enrollment, persistence and graduation rates by indigenizing Leeward CC and creating a sense of belonging for Native Hawaiian students.

Waʻa Kaulua: The Foundational Journey to Success ($550,000) will focus on providing G2FO program students with stipends to help cover tuition and living expenses and also help expand the program’s ability to provide free textbook loans, and cover e-textbook and computer program fees for online courses.

Ke Ala ʻAnuʻu: The Path of Steps ($385,286) will increase student support services and activities that promote retention, transfer and matriculation of students currently enrolled in STEM pathways at Leeward CC to UH West Oʻahu.

Kapiʻolani Community College

Creating an Ecology for Innovation: Transformative Funds Management Strategies through Shared Services Centers to Support Native Hawaiian Student Success ($599,976 with Leeward CC) will establish shared service centers to improve funds management to increase capacity to apply for and manage extramural funding.

Kūlia—Advancing Indigenous Scholars for Success ($489,397) will incorporate the Kaao Transformation Framework for faculty to indigenize student engagement and learning by creating authentic meaningful curriculum and prove academic peer coaching and tutoring support.

Kūloaʻa—Advancing Indigenous Innovators ($337,302) seeks to develop Indigenous innovators and expand distance education opportunities for Native Hawaiian students with a focus on promoting engagement, re-enrollment and academic achievement through academic pathways and co-curricular activities with an emphasis on Indigenous innovation, especially in relation to business and industry.

Huliamahi—Joining Together to Support Guided Pathways to Success: A Collaborative Partnership between Kapiʻolani Community College and the UH Mānoa ($385,312) seeks to increase Native Hawaiian student engagement, retention, graduation and transfer to UH baccalaureate institutions; and increase the preparation and participation of Native Hawaiian students in high-demand careers in Hawaiʻi and Hawaiʻi’s workforce.

Honolulu Community College

Kūkalahale: Building an Indigenous-Serving Institution through Professional Development ($555,981) seeks to increase Honolulu CC and Kapiʻolani CC‘s capacity to implement Indigenous education frameworks and support student success on both campuses; and increase access to training on Indigenous education methodologies to other campuses in support of UH‘s mission to become a model Indigenous-serving institution.

Windward Community College

Na Muo Hoopakela: Blossoming Through Online Education ($549,895) will build upon best practice strategies in online education, including the incorporation of video and virtual reality.

Nā Pali Hāuliuli: Growing Community Leaders ($549,575) will develop community leaders through online mālama ʻāina (caring for the earth) based curriculum, campus based, hands on curriculum and activities and internships with local ʻāina (environmental) organizations.

E Oi Mau: Increasing Knowledge Through Application ($556,000) will support Native Hawaiian student success through the development of traditional Native Hawaiian career pathways and Indigenous education including financial literacy and on-campus student employment.

Kauaʻi Community College

Kūkulu Aʻe: Building Up and Out ($543,795) sets out to increase enrollment and success for Native Hawaiian students in area high schools by creating an articulated sequence of Early College and/or Running Start courses offered by Kauaʻi CC faculty.

Kahua Paepae Ola: Foundation to Support Success ($531,816) will address the increased need the COVID-19 pandemic created for students by helping with the transition to online learning and provide an increase in tutoring and mentoring.

Kelekaʻa Hoʻonaʻauao: Education Delivered Through Distance Education ($251,880) seeks to continue support of satellite classrooms established to increase access to reliable internet service for distance education coursework, and provide classrooms for students across Kauaʻi to participate in synchronous distance education classes without the requirement of driving to the main campus.

Hawaiʻi Community College

Nauane ($550,000) aims to increase enrollment rates of Native Hawaiian students by improving access to comprehensive services through the renovation of a proposed One-Stop Center, Halau Kauwaa.

Nāʻū II ($550,000) seeks to increase enrollment of Native Hawaiian students by offering more opportunities for place-based education to enhance the remote learning experience.

Ulu Kini ($556,000) aims to increase course completion and graduation rates of Native Hawaiian students by expanding distance education, increase engagement and retention rates through campus-wide participation in an Indigenizing curriculum model, and increase enrollment by expanding distance education capabilities and support in rural areas.

Mānai-a-Māui: Transforming Institutions with an Indigenous Framework ($556,000) is a cooperative arrangement proposal among Hawaiʻi CC, UH Hilo, UH Maui College to transform the student experience through an Indigenous student development model; transform administrators, faculty, and staff; and transform campuses into Hawaiian places of learning through Hawaiian protocols.

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