Ka‘ie’ie bridges the gap between WCC and UH-Manoa

Photo by Wayne Ricks

Ka’ie’ie transfer specialist Nicole Iwasaki.

If transferring to UH-Mānoa has you “dazed and confused,” the Ka‘ie‘ie Program might be just what you need.

Ka‘ie‘ie transfer specialist Nicole Iwasaki helps WCC students make the move to UH-Mānoa as smooth as possible.

Iwasaki is here Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hale Ākoakoa, Room 130. She splits her time between WCC, HCC and UH-Mānoa.

Iwasaki’s job is to advise students pursuing a bachelor’s degree by getting them on the right track. That includes knowing what to take at WCC that would be transferable to UH-Mānoa and “making the whole process smooth and successful,” she said.

Here at WCC, students may be focusing on their associate degree credits and haven’t even thought about their bachelor’s requirements.

“You have to start thinking about your major early on because there are requirements that need to be taken care of before you go to UH-Mānoa,” Iwasaki advised.

“UH-Mānoa operates one semester ahead of time so students have to plan one semester ahead before they actually go there.”

Many times, students don’t know what is required of them and are undecided about a major. Iwasaki can help sort out that information so they can make the “best decision possible.” She advised students to keep working with their WCC counselor for their associate requirements and to work with her on the mandatory requirements for transfer to UH-Mānoa.

Iwasaki can also help to connect students with a counselor at UH-Mānoa and consider practical questions such as transportation and parking passes. With Ka’ie’ie, students can register earlier than one week before classes start at UH-Mānoa.

Iwasaki sends out an email explaining the Ka’ie’ie Program. If students are interested, they can contact her at (808) 235-7464 or by email at niwasaki@hawaii.edu. There is a $70 fee, and the deadline for application for each semester is Feb. 1 for fall and Sept. 1 for spring.

A program goal of Ka’ie’ie is for students to graduate close to within four years, but the timing depends on the requirements for each program. Ka’ie’ie doesn’t drop students once they have transferred to UH-Mānoa. They monitor the student’s progress by keeping in touch via email.

Grace Shimabukuro, a Ka’ie’ie student, said the program is excellent and helped her transfer smoothly to UH-Mānoa. “Nicole helped me fill out my application and classes I had to take.”

An exit survey is conducted to evaluate the program so it can be improved. Iwasaki said, “Students are excited, saying it’s a great program.”

Iwasaki said there are two definitions of Ka‘ie‘ie. The first is the name of an actual channel that bridges the gap between Kauai and Oahu.

The second meaning involves Ka’ie’ie as a native Hawaiian vine that once it attaches, continues to grow—meaning, once students attach to the program, they continue to grow throughout the process.

by Wayne Ricks, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter