Community college opens One Stop Center

PUHI — Kaua‘i Community College opened the doors to its One Stop Center this week, just in time for fall registration.

The cavernous building now gives the college a front door, said Chancellor Peggy Cha, who retires in September after more than 30 years in the University of Hawai‘i system.

“Now this is the building where students … and the public know if you have a question, come here,” Cha said yesterday from her new office on the second floor.

The center assimilated the offices of the chancellor, student counseling, business, financial aid and student services.

The idea, Cha said, is to offer a more “customer-friendly” experience that’s easier for students.

She expects enrollment to increase slightly over last year. As for programs, they’re growing, too.

The nursing school continues to expand due to demand, and the construction academy is going “full blast,” Cha said.

Among the new faculty, KCC has added an art instructor with a background in digital media, and they are looking at adding courses in that area of study.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, academies will also grow this year. The pilot program begun last year is a partnership between two Kaua‘i high schools and KCC, and has grown from six teachers to the current 19, and Cha expects another five to 10 by next year.

The goal, Cha said, is to align high school and college curriculum to facilitate a smoother transition from one to the other in the areas of math and science.

The college will host a blessing for the One Stop Center Aug. 18, along with the formal introduction of Helen Cox, Cha’s replacement. Cox reports to campus Aug. 12 from Utah, where she spent the bulk of her 25-year career at Salt Lake Community College.

Asked if she’s remiss to leave campus just as she settles into her new digs, Cha said, “This is the perfect time to be able to hand off to a new person something you’re really proud of.”

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