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“Comm” and Stay: Creating and Sustaining the First-Year Experience at a Community College. Kapi`olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii Colette Higgins, Assistant Professor Keith Kashiwada, Professor Paige Wilmeth, First-Year Experience Coordinator.

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comm and stay creating and sustaining the first year experience at a community college

“Comm” and Stay: Creating and Sustaining the First-Year Experience at a Community College

Kapi`olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii

Colette Higgins, Assistant Professor

Keith Kashiwada, Professor

Paige Wilmeth, First-Year Experience Coordinator

slide2
One of 10 campuses in the University of Hawai`i system
  • The largest community college with over 7,000 students
  • Established in 1946 as Kapi`olani Technical College; renamed Kapi`olani Community College in 1965 when it became part of the University of Hawai`i system
  • Student to faculty ratio of 15:1
  • Forty-three programs offered, including 23 associate programs, 10 certificates of achievement and 10 certificates of completion
  • Nationally recognized programs in culinary arts, health sciences, emergency medical services and legal assistance
kcc students
KCC Students
  • Mean age of 25 years
  • Approximately 56% are enrolled full-time
  • Nearly 11% are international students
  • Diverse student population
    • 21% Japanese
    • 14% Filipino
    • 13% Caucasian
    • 12% Mixed ethnicity
    • 11% Hawaiian/Part Hawaiian
    • 8% Chinese
    • 3% Pacific Islander
    • 18% All Other
first year students at kcc
First-Year Students at KCC
  • Local (State of Hawai`i) high school graduates
  • High school graduation in academic year preceding KCC enrollment
finding comm on ground faculty and staff
Finding Common Ground: Faculty and Staff
  • Support of administration vital to success
  • Ability to justify the need
  • Spread the word: administration, department chairs, faculty senate
  • Self-selection of participants, making it a grass roots effort
  • First year spent “finding ourselves”
finding comm on ground students
Finding Common Ground: Students
  • What we’ve done:
    • Identified “first-year” population
    • Mandated New Student Orientation attendance
  • Challenges
    • Extending FYE beyond orientation
    • Creating a “singular” first-year experience
  • Future planning
    • Collaboration with Academic Affairs to infuse FYE into curriculum
    • Creating programs that carry FYE into the co-curriculum
fostering comm unication faculty and staff
Fostering Communication: Faculty and Staff
  • Task Force as vehicle for campus-wide communication
  • Discussion in Task Force meetings leading to recurring themes
  • Defining commitment for volunteer Faculty Advisors
  • Allowing members to define their intended level of involvement
  • Collaboration between FYE and other campus programs to strengthen presence
fostering comm unication students
Fostering Communication: Students
  • What we’ve done
    • Primary communication about NSO
    • FYE statement on syllabi: Are you a first- or second-semester student with questions about campus services available to you? Do you need to know who to contact for advising about courses for your major? If so, you are invited to visit the First-Year Experience (FYE) office at `Ilima 104C, email them at <kapstart@hawaii.edu> or call 734-9245.
  • Challenges
    • Identifying effective communication strategies
    • Ensuring consistency of messages
  • Future planning
    • High School Advisory Council
    • Newly created Communications Team
building comm unity faculty and staff
Building Community: Faculty and Staff
  • Creation of strategic plan and Task Force
  • NSO Dream Team
  • Participation in Faculty Advisor training
  • Serving at New Student Orientation
  • Kahikoluamea
building comm unity students
Building Community: Students
  • What we’ve done
    • Welcome Bash
  • Challenges
    • Commuter population
    • Full-time enrollment can be as little as two classes
  • Future planning
    • Network of peer leaders, starting with NSO
    • Articulating hallmarks of FYE, so that FYE at KCC can be seen in action
sustaining comm itment faculty and staff
Sustaining Commitment: Faculty and Staff
  • Debriefing meetings to evaluate and improve
  • Thank you letters to faculty for dossiers
  • Public recognition for volunteers in the campus bulletin
  • Hiring a full-time FYE coordinator
  • Goal of additional funding and support for facilities and personnel
sustaining comm itment students
Sustaining Commitment: Students
  • Future planning
    • Curricular requirements built into academic programs
    • Mandatory NSO for all students
    • Mandatory first-year seminar
    • Infusion of peer mentors/leaders into more elements of curriculum
questions
Questions?

Colette Higgins

chiggins@hawaii.edu 808-734-9742

Keith Kashiwada

kashiwad@hawaii.edu 808-734-9181

Paige Wilmeth

paigekw@hawaii.edu 808-734-9581