By Ricci Franklin, Kapi‘o Staff Writer
For many college students, the idea of transferring to another school can be a nightmare. Trying to figure out the transferability of credits earned at the old school and making sure they are taking the right classes required to enter into a major at the new school can be a maddening and heartbreaking process.
Ka’ie’ie is designed for University of Hawai‘i Community College students planning to transfer to the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Through Ka’ie’ie, students are able to take classes at both KCC and UHM, before they officially transfer to the Manoa campus. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to get to know the Manoa campus and have access to all that UH has to offer prior to being enrolled, and after the transfer is complete, receive priority registration for classes.
Understandably, there are requirements that need to be met to be eligible for the program. A student must have a 2.0 GPA (2.5 GPA for non-residents) at the time of application, have 24 transferrable credits or 12 completed and 12 in progress, and at least one semester left at KCC. Participants may not be on probation or suspension and have no prior bachelor’s degree earned. Meeting these requirements can be fairly easy, so long as a student does not have previous credits from another institution coming back to haunt them.
As wonderful as Ka’ie’ie is, there is one big problem. It is not getting the attention it deserves. While the KCC website does mention Ka‘ie‘ie, the reference is hidden under the “What Makes Us Special” link within the “About” tab. The program might get more attention if it was listed under “Student Life.” Being that KCC is an extremely diverse campus, Ka‘ie‘ie is unique enough to generate intrigue.
The hidden information is not the only issue, though. There is not enough promotion of the program on campus. Some professors mention the application deadlines in their syllabi, but this can be overlooked if a student does not know what it is. Many students do not make appointments to see academic advisors without some sort of plan in mind. If a student expresses interest in moving on to UHM, the option to apply for Ka’ie’ie should be made clear to them. Dean of Arts and Sciences Charles Sasaki says, “The way you make things happen for yourself, is to advocate for yourself.” He is 100 right, but how can students research something they do not know exists?
A student does not have to be a part of Ka‘ie‘ie to transfer. KCC students are still eligible for transfer to UH so long as they meet the UH transfer requirements. Though the counseling staff at KCC is always there to help, it is extremely important that students research all avenues and possibilities prior to making an appointment so they can ask every question imaginable. Many of the UHM majors require certain prerequisites prior to entry and a student could be set back if those courses are not required by their current curriculum. The KCC counseling office carries many of the UH major forms, but students can print them directly from the website of their major prior to counseling, so they have an understanding as to what is required to declare the major. (Students can also access online and print out program sheets for UH Manoa majors at Bachelor Degree Program Sheets and Sample Four Year Academic Plans.)
The road to transfer can be be confusing and frustrating at times, but the ultimate goal is not unattainable. Extra staffing has been added to the KCC counseling and advising center, including Jennifer Brown, a Ka‘ie‘ie and Transfer Specialist for UHM and KCC. (KCC’s Maida Kamber Center has a counseling team available to help students with Career Exploration, Transfer & Graduation Services.)
All of the tools students need are there, so long as they know where to look.