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Hawai'i CC Updates: More Online Options, New Opportunities in Business Programs

NOTE: This column appeared in the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) monthly newsletter.

Aloha,

Photo of Rachel Solemsaas This year Hawai‘i Community College Business Education Professor Gordon Ching is celebrating an amazing milestone: 50 years of teaching at Hawai‘i CC. That’s more than half of Hawai’i CC’s existence! Professor Ching teaches in the Business Education and Technology (BEaT) Division. He began teaching in 1972 and remains an active, energetic, positive teacher and member of the campus community five decades after he started. Congratulations, Professor Ching, and mahalo for your continued service to our students and community! 

With Professor Ching’s amazing milestone in mind, this month I’d like to highlight the BEaT division.

BEaT consists of four degree programs: Accounting, Business Technology, Information Technology and Marketing. Students can choose to earn a short-term certificate, an associate degree or even take just one class that would boost their skills. Here are some updates.

ONLINE OPTIONS CREATE MORE OPPORTUNITIES

We began offering online BEaT classes even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the public health crisis has resulted in more online options than ever. This helps us support students with busy schedules and collaborate with sister UHCC campuses to help students statewide complete their BEaT degrees effectively and efficiently.

As we move forward, we are finding the balance in offering the course formats that work best for our local community – asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid, face-to-face. All of our online BEaT instructors are trained in best practices of instruction and engagement for distance education. Regardless of the format of the course, our instructors are all willing to meet with students in person and virtually support them throughout the semester. Instructors are hardworking, knowledgeable, experienced, value real-world learning, and are most of all caring.

Visit Hawai‘i CC’s Class Availability site to see the classes being delivered this fall, and stay tuned for the Spring 2023 offerings that will be posted on the same page.

IT PROGRAM BOLSTERED BY GRANT

IT professionals, including those with cybersecurity skills, are in high demand in Hawai‘i as this IT Workforce Needs Analysis by UH and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii shows.

Hawai‘i CC is helping to meet that need with our IT program, which was recently one of 14 colleges nationwide awarded a $20,000 Cyber-Skills for All Grant through a partnership with Microsoft and the American Association of Community Colleges. The funding will be used to update curriculum and instruction and help students pay for certification exams that, once achieved, make them more competitive in the workforce.

Get more detailed updates on the IT program in this Hawaii Tribune-Herald article.

REAL-WORLD LEARNING

Hawai‘i CC prides itself on offering real-world learning opportunities, and the BEaT division is no exception. We continue our longstanding partnership with the County of Hawai‘i through our Cooperative Education internship program.

In addition, students who take Accounting 134 have been volunteering each tax season since 2017 to help offer free tax preparation at Goodwill in Hilo. Before volunteering, students earn their tax preparer certifications through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).

Supporting low- and moderate-income families and individuals while using their accounting and business skills was “definitely the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in any class,” said one student volunteer. We look forward to continuing this partnership in 2023.

NEW CLASSES, NEW SKILLS

It’s important to adapt to community needs and changes in technology. This fall we’re offering a new Human Resources Management class, which is fully enrolled.

We’re also offering a Social Media and Cloud Collaboration course in which students learn about online file management strategies using cloud-based storage services, collaboration websites, social media tools, and more.

In addition, one of our BEaT instructors participated in the Financial Management for Entrepreneurs Curriculum Initiative, a partnership between Intuit (the maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint) and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

Thanks to this partnership students were introduced to key financial management concepts for entrepreneurs, and also benefited from learning a number of prominent Intuit software programs such as QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint through the class instructional modules at no cost. The BEaT division and our college as a result can continue to scale and integrate the relevant financial management contents into various business courses.

Kudos to members of our BEaT Division for their talent and hard work as they serve Hawai‘i CC students and help them achieve their goals!

Sincerely,

Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas