Kūkulu A‘e

"Building up and out"

Grant Budget: $2,663,216
Grant Period: 2021-2026

Increase Native Hawaiian Enrollment in area High Schools

 Early College and Running Start courses We are working to embed Early College and Running Start courses in local high school academies that support students’ educational and career development beginning in grade 9. These pathways will extend to Kaua'i CC, and culminate with transfer to a four-year university. Students may participate in courses as part of an Early College Program at Waimea High School, based around their Natural Resource Academy Pathway. Students will have two pathway options: 1) working with a West Kaua‘i non profit, ‘Iwikua, whose farm, Na Mahi Ho‘oke A‘e, is set on a two-acre parcel at Waimea High School 2) restoring Alekoko Fishpond in partnership with Mālama Hulē‘ia and Nā Pua No‘eau Program (NPN).

This summer 2023, NPN held its annual Summer Institute at ‘Alekoko Fishpond, also known as the ‘Alekoko ‘Āina Academy. Students had the opportunity to earn free college credit provided by Kūkulu A‘e while taking Hawaiian Studies 107 with Kumu Pua Rossi and Kumu Anuhea Piliere. This year's program was extra special because it was the first time it was offered to mākua (parents)! Twelve high school haumāna (students) and two mākua spent time between the ‘Alekoko Fishpond and Kaua‘i CC exploring the unique aspects of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian culture in relation to the larger Pacific including origins, language, religion, land, art, history and current issues.xxxxx

IS 103 Summer 2023 at Alekoko Fishpond

Archive, Preserve, and Digitize the Pila Kikuchi Collection

Pila Kikuchi

The State of Hawai‘i recognized Dr. William Kenji "Pila" Kikuchi as a Living Treasure for his work on early Hawaiian pre-history, and his work remains a baseline archeological research data source on many subjects including the Native Hawaiian fishponds and the Makauwahi Cave Reserve located on Kaua‘i. The Kikuchi Collection is located in the Kaua‘i CC Learning Resource Center (LRC). Students will be involved with archiving a multimedia collection of materials including primary source field note journals, documents, maps, photographs, and artifacts.

The secrets of an ancient sinkhole were his life’s work. A new center will showcase his legacy, Hawaii News Now


Kīpuka Center

Kipuka CenterWhat is a kīpuka? A kīpuka is an area of land that is surrounded by lava flows, creating an "island" within a sea of lava. The forests within the kīpuka serve as a refuge for native plants and animals. Our Title III grant aims to create a student-focused kīpuka that mimics the rich resources of a natural kīpuka. The Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center's vision is to ensure a Hawaiian place of learning at Kaua’i CC. Kīpuka promotes Native Hawaiian student success through the provision of culturally appropriate and responsive student support services and activities; supporting the academic development and success of Native Hawaiians by promoting learning environments that are culturally responsive and appropriate; and implementing community and cultural programs to increase educational opportunities for Native Hawaiians within Hawaiian and Pacific communities.

We have recently acquired a space and will be developing the center this year. Stay tuned for an opening date!

Please reach out to our grant staff with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Margaret Sanchez
Interim Chancellor
Kaua‘i Community College
Email: masanche@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 245-8274
Mariah Opalek
Title III Grant Support Assistant
Kaua‘i Community College
Email: mopalek@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 245-8395
Jason Ford
Kikuchi Archivist 
Kaua‘i Community College
Email: jford9@hawaii.edu

Kūkulu A‘e 1 year report  (To request copy of this report please contact Mariah Opalek)