Written By Gregory Fischbach

September 29, 2022
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HPU students at HPU's Aloha Tower Marketplace.

HPU students at HPU's Aloha Tower Marketplace..

HPU has received a $3.35 million grant over five years from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the Ho‘Okō Project to help support the University’s Native Hawaiian and low-income, under-represented undergraduate students. The Project will provide enhanced support services for students earning an associate or bachelor’s degree who place into one or more developmental courses administered by the University during their first two years of college.

The Ho‘Okō Project will provide HPU students with enhanced advising, tutoring, career counseling, success seminars, and programmatic infrastructure that will facilitate self-sustaining and long-lasting institutional support for Native Hawaiian, low-income, first-generation undergraduates who come from under-resourced and/or under-represented backgrounds. Participating students will also be eligible for free textbooks and free summer tuition during their first two years of enrollment. These services will be available for up to 200 undergraduate students.

“We are proud to offer our Native Hawaiian students and low-income, under-represented students the ability to receive additional support in their academic pursuits,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D. “At HPU, we embrace our values of pono, kuleana, and aloha as representative of the spiritual, ethical, and philosophical guiding principles that support our community.”  

“This Project and the services it provides to our students will promote faster completion of developmental coursework,” said Walsh. “It will also support increased credit accumulation, stronger academic performance, and improved, timely completion of lower-division and bachelor’s degree requirements.”

The Ho‘Okō Project grant will fund four (4) new full-time staff positions and four (4) peer tutors who will provide instructional support in developmental math and writing courses. Training and professional development for HPU staff will also be provided. 

Components of the Ho‘Okō Project were based in-part on the successful City University of New York’s (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs that focuses on assisting students in developmental education courses. CUNY’s program found positive student results in progress through developmental education, credit accumulation, improved academic achievement, increased transfer rate, and increased degree attainment.

HPU’s Ho‘Okō Project will be evaluated annually by using quantitative and qualitative measures.

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