UH Hilo and Windward Community College ink partnership agreement

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Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Windward Community College (WCC) have signed a partnership agreement that will facilitate the completion of baccalaureate degrees at UH Hilo by students who begin their post-secondary education at WCC. The partnership mirrors earlier agreements with Kapi`olani Community College (KCC) and Hawaiʻi Community College (HawCC).

“What is most rewarding about this agreement is that it was faculty driven,” said UH Hilo Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Kenith Simmons. “They took the initiative, did the heavy lifting and deserve the credit for bringing this about.”

The program will improve student access, success, and four-year degree completion by improving academic articulation, offering students the opportunity to be admitted to and receive advising from the four-year program while they are completing their WCC program, and fostering better alignment between learning goals at each institution.

The first program-to-program articulation achieved under this agreement is between Geology programs and spells out the requirements for students at WCC to earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in Geology from UH Hilo. WCC Geology and Oceanography Professor Dr. Floyd McCoy, and UH Hilo Geology Department Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Ken Hon jointly developed the course articulation tables. McCoy described the partnership as a good fit that builds on existing ties between the two schools.

“We have a significant transfer of students from Windward Community College to UH Hilo to complete their undergraduate studies,” McCoy said. “WCC also has a strong science program, including geology, which offers a field course to study volcanoes on the Big Island. So it makes good, practical sense to have a partnership program that will promote successful, undergraduate educational experiences for students who attend these institutions.”

Hon said WCC students coming to UH Hilo have represented their program well. He said the University now looks forward to the additional transfer students that the partnership will encourage.

“I have known Floyd for many years now, and he has built an excellent Geology program at WCC,” Hon said. “Many of our geology majors come from community colleges where they have studied under terrific teachers like Floyd.”

With the signing of the agreement, students in the selected WCC program become eligible for future dated admission to the corresponding UH Hilo program after completing the A.A. or A.S. degree and satisfying the admitting program’s G.P.A. requirement. University Partnerships Coordinator Dr. P. Jayne Bopp said WCC is excited to see the partnership come about after years in the making.

“This is a great opportunity for WCC students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in Geology to continue their education here in Hawaiʻi,” Bopp said. “The agreement will make it easier for our students to transfer to UH Hilo, which has the best location in the world for studying volcanoes.”


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