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Who We Are…Online Learning with Local Support!

  • The University Center, West Hawai’i works in partnership with University of Hawai‘i campuses to deliver online programs locally.
  • Students receive degrees or certificates awarded by the UH campus offering the program of study.
  • The University Center is located in the Ēlama building of the Hawai'i Community College – Pālamanui campus in North Kona.
  • The University Center, West Hawai'i provides UC online students with local support and other services to help students meet their educational goals and objectives.
  • UH offers over 60 degree and certificate programs through the University Centers using a variety of technologies.


university center graduate

More about University Center, West Hawai‘i

The University Center, West Hawai’i at Hawai’i Community College – Pālamanui is a Board of Regents instituted program (RP 5.215) that facilitates intercampus cooperation and serves as a receive site and community point-of-contact for bachelor's and graduate degrees and certificates.

The University Center, which is located in the Ēlama building of the Hawai’i Community College – Pālamanui campus, works in partnership with University of Hawaiʻi campuses – namely Mānoa, Hilo, and West Oʻahu – to offer online and distance learning degrees to local residents on Hawai’i island. The University Center provides local support services for the delivery of programs and facilitates communication among campuses.

The University Center programs and services are provided by staff employed by Hawai'i Community College and funded by the University of Hawaiʻi system. The University Center facilities and equipment provide a permanent university presence in communities that otherwise lack access to programs offered on university campuses.


Comprehensive student support; Advocacy for community educational needs; Equitable access to higher education.

University of Hawai'i Centers Mission

Through comprehensive local student centered support and advocacy for the higher education needs of our communities, University of Hawai'i Centers serve as a conduit for equitable access to higher education opportunities through the University of Hawai'i System.


Create VIBRANT, THRIVING and SUSTAINABLE communities by providing the University of Hawai'i opportunities to serve our local residents.

Local Support

Locally, the University Center facilitates cooperation and partnerships with UH bachelor’s and graduate programs. The University Center provides a broad range of support services to help students navigate their distance education journey. This includes local point-of-contact for pre-admissions advising, library, proctoring, technology services, tutoring, classroom scheduling, publicity and recruitment.

The University Center does not confer credits or degrees, but provides support services for the delivery of accredited bachelor’s and graduate programs to Hawai’i Island to sustain students in these programs. Students receive degrees or certificates awarded by the UH campus offering the program of study.

Commencement and University Center, West Hawai'i

Congratulations! Graduation is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have on your career journey. Completing an online degree is no small feat and we co-host commencement ceremonies to celebrate YOU.

In recognition of this milestone, the University Center invites degree and certificate candidates from our distance learning facilitated programs to participate in commencement exercises in West Hawai'i.

Commencement exercises are held once a year in mid-May. If you obtained your degree at the end of the previous Summer or Fall semesters, or will be obtaining your degree in the Spring, you are encouraged to participate.