Achieving the Dream


In 2007 the University of Hawai`i Community Colleges launched the Achieving the Dream Initiative supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools (UHCC AtD Website). Achieving the Dream is a multi-year project that is aimed at minority students who encounter significant barriers to their success.  Research and data are used to overcome these barriers and drive change.  Native Hawaiian students are the primary focus of the UHCC's initiatives and in 2007 an implementation plan was submitted to the national coordinators that outlined each college's plan to evaluate student success, propose strategies, and re-evaluate for effectiveness.

At Kauai Community College we have formed two AtD teams; the core team and the implementation team. The core team is Earl Nishiguchi and Ramona Kincaid. The implementation team include the core team and Frances Dinnan, Kimo Perry, Jeff Mexia, Dennis Chun, Will Dressler, Cammie Matsumoto and Pua Rossi. Each team member is responsible for a strategy for student success.

A list of the implementation strategies the college undertook from 2007 to 2010 is listed in a table below. The status of those projects are described in the annual reports to AtD each year:




Priority A: Financial Aid Participation

Financial Aid Outreach:  Counsel individual students and parents on the various aspects of financial aid such as filling out a FAFSA, applying for loans, scholarships, etc.


Require mandatory advising for all new students, probationary students, and basic skills students (in Math and English) for successive semesters until they enter a CTE program or are at the 100 levels of math and English. 

Mandatory advising for all new students and probationary students was adopted.
Priority B: Developmental Intervention

Create a College Success Center with two instructors of Remedial/Developmental Math and English to provide coordination and instruction exclusively for those students who test below college level in those subject areas.  A counselor will be assigned part time to the Center to help identify students, once criteria have been agreed upon by the college.

College Success Center was created and staffed.  The current initiatative is to propose mandatory college skills courses for all incoming freshmen.

The CSC instructors will develop curricula, contextual learning opportunities, linked courses, learning communities as needed.  The need will be determined by programs, math or English instructors and CTE faculty, or individual faculty.

Learning communities, contextual learning, project-based learning, and linked courses are options made avaiable to faculty. The learning community was a two year experiment that met with some success though the number of students impacted each time was low.

Hire Assistant English instructors.

Assistant English instructor strategy was not scalable but an online tutoring utility, Smarthinking, was adopted to supplement English and other subject areas.

Provide peer assisted program (PAP) tutors for English 18, 22, and 100.  Supplement Math/Science lab tutoring with PAP tutors for Math 22/24/25.


Create Math/Science Lab with a dedicated math/science coordinator.


Priority C:  Successful Progress and Graduation or Transfer


Implement an Early Alert system to provide support for students within the first two weeks of instruction.

The Early Alert system is continuing with some sporadic use.

Provide professional development to educate staff in Hawaiian values and strategies for teaching, as well as strategies for teaching basic skills to students.  Currently the college has a Title III Teaching and learning Coordinator, a professional development coordinator, and Hawaiian resource people.  Workshops are incentivized but further incentives such as release time, funding for conferences, etc. will also be made available through our professional development fund.


Priority Area D:  Data Collection, Analysis and Utilization


Re-evaluate the need for an institutional researcher to improve data capacity and process through normal budget procedures.

Institutional Researcher hired.

Develop evaluation instruments associated data collection systems to measure effects of intervention for each work plan initiative and assist in implementation.


Train faculty and staff on data analysis through the use of SAS/Cognos in conjunction with assessment, program review, and AtD projects.

Not fully implemented.