KAHULUI - UH Center Maui will hold two workshops to assist interested Maui County residents to enroll in a new round of bachelor's degree and certificate programs affiliated the University of Hawaii West Oahu and Hilo campuses.
The workshops will tell prospective students about prerequisites, basic academic foundations, financial aid, counseling services and career-planning help.
LeeAnne Santos, UH-West Oahu distance learning adviser, will lead a UH-West Oahu workshop at 6 p.m. Monday at Laulima 102 at UH-Maui College.
The institution's degree offerings include bachelor's in business administration in accounting, general business or marketing; bachelor's in social science in applied track, early childhood education or political science; bachelor's in public administration in health care administration, disaster preparedness and emergency management, general public administration or justice administration; certificate in disaster preparedness and emergency management, substance abuse and addictions studies, or health care administration.
Candace Wheeler, UH-Hilo distance learning coordinator, will lead a UH-Hilo workshop at 6 p.m. Nov. 18 at Laulima 108.
UH-Hilo's programs include bachelor's in psychology and nursing, and a certificate in secondary education.
UH Center coordinates distance-learning degree programs for students in outlying areas who have family or job commitments but are seeking to enhance their academic profile. There are 35 degree and certificate programs currently offered by the three UH campuses. Regimens include 14 bachelor's programs, 11 master's programs and 10 professional certificate programs.
More than 840 residents of Maui have earned bachelor's and graduate degrees and postbaccalaureate certificates from the UH campuses at Manoa, West Oahu and Hilo - without leaving Maui.
Getting a college degree instills more than new skills and new knowledge; it instills personal confidence, two recent graduates of UH Center programs said.
Her degree led Sulinn Aipa to earn awards for service and cultural knowledge and to have a major role as operations coordinator in the selection of Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas as a finalist for the Pacific Business News' "Innovative Company of the Year" award.
"It has allowed me to make an impact internally with my fellow associates and externally with our guests, business partners and especially the community," Aipa said of her bachelor's in business administration.
She said the UH Center program was affordable with the distance learning technology augmented by teachers who "were truly compassionate and engaging."
"There was the convenience to stay at home near family while continuing to keep my current employment and earning a bachelor's degree at the same time," Aipa said.
Adam Alexander earned his master's in business administration through UH Center-Maui and currently serves as project lead in Hawaii for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He said the academic program was a benefit even while he continued to work.
"The concepts I learned in class at night were applicable the next day at work," he said. "Learning is always more fun and rewarding when you can immediately apply your knowledge to real-world situations."
Both graduates of the program said personal drive is necessary, but the rewards are invaluable.
"The time commitment is enormous - probably a couple hours a day on average after your workday," said Alexander. "So my advice is to do your due diligence and understand the commitment and sacrifices you'll need to make in order to fulfill the requirements of the program."
"Sometimes, I wished I could've strictly focused on school, but I realize now that I wouldn't have learned as much if I wasn't experiencing work and education at the same time," Aipa said. "Playing both roles allowed me to bring one side to the other and vice versa, allowing me to use both worlds to enhance my learning experience even more."
More information on the UH Center programs can be found at uctr.hawaii.edu or by contacting Maui Director Karen Muraoka at 984-3527or firstname.lastname@example.org.