As we approach Thanksgiving, the community of the University of Hawaii Maui Community
College would like to acknowledge support from all the segments of Maui Nui in serving the largest enrollment, 4,114 students, in the college's history. Our Maui voters have elected state and county leadership that has supported our higher education development through helping expand our classrooms and labs and adding faculty and staff. Even as funding challenges face our college, university and state, our faculty and staff are extending opportunities for our students through expanding and offering more classes. We are also learning more from employers about where current and emerging industries may be headed.
In addition to meeting our community's and state's work-force needs, expanding global opportunities for student education and employment continues to be a major focus of our 10-year strategic plan. We are pleased to report the establishment of several international collaborative relationships. First, UH Maui CC has been selected to host the annual Postsecondary International Network (PIN) Conference taking place from April 12-16, on Oahu and Maui. The conference, which attracts leaders from higher education institutions around the world, will focus on "Leadership in Entrepreneurship: Optimizing Local Advantages and New Technology." UH Maui CC was selected to host this worldwide conference as a result of winning the prestigious Bellwether Award for its efforts in sustainability and workforce development.
The PIN Conference will focus on how colleges and universities can create sustainable revenue streams that add value to student learning and community economies through collaboration; stimulating students and communities to create and/or strengthen new enterprises; and maximizing distance education technologies. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to tour several University of Hawaii campuses, in addition to some of the most spectacular sites in Hawaii, including Haleakala National Park.
Second, UH Maui hosted two groups of seven academic leaders from Shanghai Normal University and concluded our first Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese institution. This MOU will bring 20 Chinese students to Maui next year and also provide opportunities for UH Maui CC students to study in China. Since China's Hainan Airlines recently received written approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin direct service from Beijing to Hawaii, it will become increasingly important for those in our hospitality and tourism-related industries to have a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and commerce.
In addition, on Nov. 16, UH Maui CC hosted President Miriam Pascual, president of Marianos Marcos State University. The discussions explored study-abroad programs for MMSU and UH Maui CC faculty, staff and students. This initiative stemmed from UH Maui CC sending special assistant to the Chancellor Herman Andaya to the Philippines to examine opportunities for UH Maui CC students to learn Filipino languages and culture by being completely immersed in the culture of the Philippines. UH Maui CC's Kabalikat Council has assembled a community advisory committee and developed an action plan to support Filipino student retention and persistence at UH Maui CC.
Finally, Hyechon University President Young Kee Moe from Korea will visit the campus in December to prepare for a 25 student Hyechon University group to visit the campus in spring 2010. Moe was a former deputy minister of education under President Park Chung Hee, educational attache in the Korean Embassy, and a colleague of mine in the George Washington University's doctoral program in its school of higher education.
As we begin our spring registrations and enrollment, we are already seeing significant increases in the number of students registering for classes. As of Nov. 10, 1,797 students have registered, compared to 1,158 at the same time last year. While it is premature to project our final headcount, current and prospective students must be aware that high demand classes will fill early and that the college will be closed during the Christmas break. All applications, placement testing, registration, health clearances, and housing and financial aid applications should be completed as soon as possible. Access to opportunities at home and abroad continue to expand through our community's college.
At UH Maui CC we are expanding opportunities for Maui's work force to be successful in the global economy. To find out more about the programs and services we offer, contact our admissions and records department at 984-3267. The spring semester kicks off on Jan. 11, so now is the time to begin making plans to enroll and get your degree. Our staff is happy to assist you seek out the educational pathways that will allow you to meet your career goals.
* Clyde M. Sakamoto, is chancellor of Maui Community College. Ka'ana Mana'o means sharing thoughts. The column, which is scheduled to appear on the fourth Sunday of each month, is penned by Maui Community College and UH Maui staff and is intended to provide the community of Maui County with information about opportunities available at the college.