North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center (NHERC)

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Phase 2 Blessing

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The North Hawai'i Education and Research Center (NHERC) in Honoka'a is located 40 miles North of Hilo. NHERC is open Monday thru Friday from 7:45 am to 4:30 pm.

Where Are They Now?

We are always thrilled when students who grew up here and took classes at NHERC go on to successfully graduate with a degree. This month we highlight the Kahakalau sisters, I‘ini and Polani Kahakalau, daughters of Ku and Nalei Kahakalau of Kukuihaele and Waipi‘o.

Iini and Polani Kahakalau

I‘ini was a Running Start student at NHERC and took Hawaiian Studies 175, Intro Music of Polynesia and Hawaiian Studies 111, Hawaiian Ohana. Later, as a full time student, she took Business 100 and Anthropology 100 at NHERC. Polani was a Running Start student and took History 152.

Both sisters shared similar experiences at NHERC. Both said that attending college classes at NHERC was an important transition to college after growing up in a project based learning environment at  Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Charter School in Waimea. Classes at NHERC were small and many of the classmates were familiar friends which gave NHERC a similar feel to the school they had grown up in. Access to the professors was easy and professors were able to offer much more personalized input due to the low student to teacher ratio. In addition to this, attending classes near home alleviated I‘ini from having to drive into Hilo everyday while lovingly helping to take care of their Oma (Tutu). Both women attribute their successful transition to UH Hilo’s main campus and Hawaii Community College to their beginnings at NHERC.

In addition to receiving the prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship specifically for graduates from Hawai‘i High Schools that covers four years of full tuition, I‘ini was an honors student. We congratulate her for graduating this year from UH Hilo with a Bachelors of Arts and Science: Liberal Studies Emphasis in Hawaiian Language, Computer Science, and Business E-Commerce.  She also graduated with a minor in Hawaiian Studies and a Certificate in Computer Application Development Specialization. Her desire is to continue her studies and earn a Master’s Degree in Hawaiian Language, Culture and Technology. Her dream is to use her education and experience to promote the Hawaiian language through the use of technology by assisting Hawaiian companies with effective and appropriate use of technology.

Congratulations to Polani who graduated from Hawaiÿi Community College with an Associates of Arts Degree in Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis on Hula. Her goal is to continue her studies at UH Hilo and pursue a major in Performing Arts and a minor in Anthropology. Polani was an honors students and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She dreams of being a change agent in education by helping to creating a school that spans pre-school up through college that specializes in performing arts and nurtures artistically gifted children to pursue their passion in the arts throughout their educational careers.

Congratulations to the Kahakalau ‘ohana for the amazing achievements of these two fine young women!

Classes, Services and Opportunities

NHERC offers the following classes, services and opportunities:

UH Hilo College Credit Courses - College in Honoka'a

UH Hilo credit courses are offered face-to-face and online formats. High school students are eligible to take UH Hilo courses at NHERC through the Running Start program. Check out our upcoming classes on our Credit Courses page.

Lifelong Learning Courses

Non-credit courses are offered for personal development each semester.

Computer Lab

NHERC offers a computer lab available for use by students enrolled at any UH campus and for community members.

Facility Use

A conference room and classrooms of various sizes are available for UH and community use.

Test Proctoring

Proctoring is available for UH system students and out of state students.

Heritage Center

The Heritage Center houses an Archives & Resource Center, a changing exhibit gallery, and a permanent exhibit gallery (coming soon!) for Hāmākua and North Hawai‘i History.

Upcoming Events

Check out what's happening at NHERC!



Find out how you can support special projects, events and activities at NHERC.

Lifelong Learning Feedback Survey


Have a Facebook account? Become a fan of NHERC!

Annual Security Report Availability

The University of Hawaii at Hilo's (UH Hilo) Annual Campus Security Report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus, in certain off-campus buildings, property owned or controlled by the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contact UH Hilo Campus Security, (808) 974-7911, located in Room 104 of the Auxilary Services Building, or by visiting the Annual Security Report website.