KCC drops degree program for low enrollment

KCC drops degree program for low enrollment

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some Hawaii college students have to change their plans as some community college courses are stopped. This as the system pushes students to graduate on time.

For those already in the Exercise and Sports Science Program they'll be able to finish, but the program has stopped for all new students.

After injuring her knee Sanoe Aina's collegiate softball days are over. But her college experience is just beginning. She had applied to the Kapiolani Community College's Exercise and Sports Science (ESS) program and was accepted.

"I was stoked. I celebrated," said Sanoe Aina, Kapiolani Community College Student.

Then less than a month later the school told her the program was stopped.

"There were so many mixed emotions that went into it. At first I was angry, like why?" said Aina. "Then I was in a state of shock. Then it hit me and I was balling crying trying to figure out what am I supposed to do with my life now."

The why is because of low enrollment. Last year 19 students applied for the ESS program. Fewer than 10 actually started. By the end of the year only two had finished.

"On this one we felt the need to make drastic changes given what's happening out there on the industry and given the declining enrollment in ESS," said Leon Richards, Kapiolani Community College Chancellor. "This is the direction the college is going not only in terms of this particular program but other programs too in business administration, in psychology in a whole host of courses."

At the same time the University of Hawaii system is encouraging students to take more classes. It's part of the 15 to Finish campaign, meaning students need to take 15 credits each semester in order to graduate on time. Only 27 percent of UH students finish with a degree and only six percent finish on in either two or four years.

But with Hawaii's high cost of living and rising tuition costs many students also need to work. Add to that Sanoe Aina's problem of her program getting dropped.

"The hard part is I couldn't go to school full time so on top of having to take these classes I'm still working 40 hour weeks," said Aina. "Especially living here in Hawaii the cost of living is ridiculous. It's crazy high."

Educators know 15 credits may not be feasible for everyone but they also know the longer students are in school the less likely they are to graduate.

"Because tuition is going up up up the sooner they finish the better," said Richards.

The University of Hawaii system spends about $110,000 on the 15 to Finish advertisements. The ads are running now and again in august to impact the fall registration.

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