Crossing Cultures

Grant Budget: $4,212,358
Grant Period: 2014-2019
Grant type: Part F

Through “Crossing Cultures” we completed activities and objectives that supported three goals to develop and expand the Hawaiian concept of kauhale across our campus.  Kauhale originated in ancient Hawaiian residential compounds, which were organized around hale dedicated to specific functions. Rather than separate the community into individual nuclear families, each in its own house, the extended family all used a common hale as functional gathering places for common activities, resulting in the formation of community. For us, kauhale has meant improving the cultural connectedness across educational programs while expanding our capacity for student services. The end goal of these efforts is to improve success of Native Hawaiian students in college.

Our three grant goals and a summary of accomplishments are provided below:

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We are implementing major renovations and technological upgrades to three spaces located at Kaua‘i CC including creation of a  new state-of-the art distance education “smart classroom”/group area that will serve the expanding distance education population on the island. These investments will enable the Kaua‘i CC to offer an expanded number of programs through an online medium.

  • Goal 1
    To renovate the physical and cultural environment of the Kauai CC campus using the Kauhale (gathering place) approach of group teaching and mentoring to increase success rates for Native Hawaiian students as they transition into and graduate from Kauai CC. 

    Through this grant, we completed 14 location renovations/remodels on campus, and the purchase of much needed equipment and supplies. For example, we renovated the First Year Experience Kipaipai Hale, Pre-Engineering Hale, Pre-Engineering lab, GIS lab, Hale Wa’a (canoe), Creative Media Hale, Hawaiian Language Lab, Hawaiian Studies Lanai (deck), the main Hawaiian Studies classroom, and lobby and student services at the One Stop Center (OSC) with a “wayfinding” theme. 

    Our new and improved physical gathering and mentoring spaces establish our educational approach and also supported numerous annual opportunities for professional development and sharing across cultures and disciplines. Importantly, we improved our First Year and Second Year student services.
  • Goal 2
    To increase Native Hawaiian student enrollment and success at Kaua‘i CC by building on strengths in a place-based curriculum approach by offering new Degree Program options, building Academic Subject Certificates in Hawaiian Studies and new, multidisciplinary pathways in existing programs. 

    Goal 2 was achieved through the development of new native Hawaiian Studies courses and certificates that incorporate indigenous pedagogy and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) content including: Polynesian Navigation, Malama aina (Ethnozoology), Hula and Language Arts, Creative Media, Pre-engineering, Early College Math, and CogsGo!. Renovations to campus common and teaching areas also tied in to support this goal through creation of modern, efficient, and effective learning and meeting places for our students.
    • International Cooperation
      Title III uniquely provided an opportunity for our small rural campus to establish and expand international ties around the theme of Polynesian Voyaging and indigenous pedagogy. To this end, Dennis Chun traveled to Japan and New Zealand to coordinate the development and establishment of international collaborations focused on indigenous seafaring, navigation, and indigenous pedagogy. In Year 5, Dennis traveled to the Ohana Wa'a meeting in Hilo at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center and to New Zealand where he met with voyaging organizations as well as faculty and administration of Otago Polytechnic Institute. In spring 2019, Dennis presented results of his work at the Community Colleges for International Development 43rd Annual Conference to expand ways of connecting resources, ideas, and opportunities to promote global citizenship at community, technical, and vocation colleges worldwide.
    • Professional Development
      Expanding our skills, abilities and awareness to reflect and promote Native Hawaiian culture and values is always of paramount importance for our campus. From 2014-2019 TIII supported professional development and also fostered deeper connections to indigenous culture through La Ku’okoa events for Hawaiian Independence Day in November 2018 and an extended Earth Month celebration in April 2019. La Ku’okoa month featured two cultural practitioners whose travel was supported by TIII. On November 7, 2018 Donovan Preza spoke on the Mahele Crown Lands and property ownership. A week later on November 14, 2018 John Clark spoke on traditional beach and surf sites on Kauai and history of surfing in HI. As part of Earth Week in 2019, cultural practitioner Peleke Flores shared a presentation about the design elements for building a traditional style hale or house.

      During the summer of 2019, we held a week-long intensive workshop for faculty and staff to learn about, plan, and coordinate implementation of our new “One Theme One Community” focus of “mea’ai” or food. As part of this interdisciplinary campus wide efforts, courses across the campus featured the mea'ai theme and engaged students in a variety of explorations, expressions, and research projects centered on this theme. In Fall 2019 we held an exhibition of student projects that was open to the public.
    • Student Services
      The five year grant period saw strengthening in student services, training for staff, and institutionalization of key staff positions in several areas: Kipaipai program staff and peer mentors, STEM embedded tutors, and STEM internships. We also planned and completed the purchase of loaner text books and laptops for a working age adults program called "One Night To Completion".
  • Goal 3
    To Increase the number of students from local high schools enrolling at Kauai CC, by improving their college education entrance level exam scores in Mathematics and Science through an Early College Experience Pilot Project.

    We successfully established and expanded the Early College Experience Math Pilot Project (EC Math). By Year 5, the EC Math achieved an 85% increase in the numbers of participants attending college, well above the grant objective of 60%. Of those who transitioned to college, 16% enrolled at Kauai CC, 7% enrolled at a UH community college, 12% enrolled in a UH 4-year institution, while 50% transferred to other 4-year colleges and universities. These results demonstrate improvement in comparison to the average HI college attendance rate of 61% for non-dual credit students (2013-2017) and Kauai’s 55% college attendance rate (2018).

    Furthermore, EC Math courses exceeded course success objectives by Year 5 with a 92% course success rate (grade of C or higher). These students have qualified for the next level math course for STEM students or have met their math requirement if they are non-STEM students. Since the development of the Math ASC, 20 students graduated with Math ASCs from Kauai CC in spring 2019.

    Another milestone achieved was the exponential interest in other Early College courses that resulted from success of the ECM. In 2019, there were 13 Certificates of Competence in Basic Accounting and five (5) Certificates of Competence in Hospitality Essentials awarded to Early College Students from Kauai High School. In 2018-2019, we established a cohort of Hawaiian charter school students in our Kulanui program who earned 7-11 college credits in their first year. These students recently completed Math 103 (Fall 2019). Six (6) identified themselves as “women in STEM” and are now enrolled in additional college level math courses.