Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 |
Share this story
PUHI — Next fall, a new Associate of Arts program at Kauai Community College will give working adults the chance to complete their AA degree by taking exclusively night courses — and they’ll be able to do it in under four years.
“We want students who work during the day to be able to come to school and get an Associate of Arts degree entirely at night in the minimum amount of time possible,” said James Dire, KCC’s vice chancellor for academic affairs.
The plan is to offer nine credits in both the fall and spring semesters for three years. The remaining six credits would be taken in the fall semester of the fourth year, meaning that it would take three and a half years to finish the degree.
Dire said that it could take up to 10 years for students who work full-time during the day to earn their AA degree without this type of program.
“Most people who work full-time can’t be full-time students,” Dire said. “We’ve come to the conclusion that someone could take three classes at night in the course of a week.”
So for a 16-week-long semester, students would go to class three or four nights a week, excluding Fridays.
“Some classes meet in just one night and marathon it in three hours, other classes might split between Tuesdays and Thursdays or Mondays and Wednesdays,” Dire said. “So someone should expect to come to school three or four nights a week and earn nine credits a semester.”
Dire and his team set up the program so that most of the elective classes are at the end, which adds flexibility to degree completion.
“If someone can take an elective class in the summer, and do that for two summers, then that eliminates that extra semester,” Dire said.
The other advantage to stacking the courses with the most difficult ones at the beginning, Dire said, is that once you’ve finished the first four terms, it’s all downhill from there.
“If you get through the first four terms, there’s no incentive not to continue because all you have left is electives and a couple of easy courses,” Dire said.
All of the courses in the new AA liberal arts program would be offered on the campus, in person instead of online. While there are online versions of the same classes offered through the college that folks are welcome to take, Dire said that’s not the focus of this program.
“We’re marketing this for face-to-face because some students aren’t comfortable with online (classes),” said Dire. “Or maybe they don’t have a computer or an Internet connection at home.”
Class sizes will be relatively small — there will only be about 20 students accepted in this first group.
“If we have students knocking down the doors to get in, we’ll offer more sections, but we’re going to target one section of each and see how it works to start with,” Dire said.
The scope of classes offered is going to be relatively small as well, Dire said, because the intent of the program is to get students through as quickly and efficiently as possible.
In order to be qualified to start in next fall’s program, potential students have to be what is called “college-ready.”
“That means you’re ready to take college English and college math,” Dire said. “A lot of our students come here and they need remediation to get into a college level course and sometimes that takes a semester or two longer.”
Students who need to take remedial courses in order to qualify as college-ready can do so at KCC, then join in on the all-evening AA program.
That means anyone who is ready to take college-level courses can join the program.
“There aren’t any prerequisites to take the courses, except that you are college-ready,” Dire said. “And even if you’re right out of high school you can be in the program if you want to come to school and work during the day.”
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.