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University of Hawai`i at Hilo courses to North Hawai`i

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Date: Friday, December 3, 2004
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo , through its North Hawai`i Education and Research Center (NHERC), is reaching out to residents of North Hawai`i this coming Spring by offering general education classes in Waimea. The spring semester courses include Introduction to Psychology (Psychology 100) and World History (History 151). Both courses meet general education requirements for graduation and are required for several majors.

Courses are open to adults pursuing university credits or a university degree. The courses are also available to qualified high school juniors and seniors trying to get a jump start on their college education. UH Hilo has secured over 30 “Gear Up” scholarships for Spring 2005 to assist current high school juniors and seniors to begin their college education while still attending high school. Through the Running Start program, high school students are able to enroll in college courses and earn both high school and college credits.

The Spring 2005 courses will be held at Parker School in Waimea in the evenings. According to UH Hilo Psychology Professor Dr. Becky Thurston, “we scheduled each
course to meet once a week in the early evening to accommodate working adults, such as educational assistants, as well as current students who have other classes during the day. We want to be as helpful as possible to people in North Hawai`i who are interested in higher education.

“This is a great way for students to begin their university studies without having to drive all the way to Hilo,” she added. “It’s also an efficient, convenient way for charter school instructors and educational assistants to meet their professional development requirements. As a Waimea resident myself, I’m thrilled to be able to offer the same course I teach on the Hilo campus up here in a location more accessible to North Hawai`i students.”

Professor Ruth Sturges, another Waimea resident who will teach the World History course, expressed concern for North Hawai`i residents who struggle to balance jobs, families and a long commute to Hilo while pursuing higher education.

“I am delighted that we can help students receive the same high-quality educational experience they would get in Hilo without facing the hours of drive-time, the rising cost of gasoline and the crowded conditions on our roads” said Sturges. “The North Hawai`i Education and Research Center is going to be a fantastic addition to educational opportunities here on the north end of the island, but students don’t have to wait for its completion. UH Hilo and Parker School have collaborated to create a way for Hawai`i students to take classes right now, right here.”

Interested residents and high school juniors and seniors students should contact the UH Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) for more information at 974-7664.

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