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Kapiʻolani Community College to launch new project to promote study abroad, global careers

Kapiʻolani Community College
Kapiʻolani Community College
Kapiʻolani Community College

Officials at Kapiʻolani Community College hope a new project will encourage more students to study abroad and pursue global careers.

The program is funded by a $33,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. KCC was one of 44 colleges and universities and the only one in Hawaiʻi to receive the grant.

As part of the program, students will attend free sessions at KCC with scholars and community leaders to learn about the similarities between Okinawa and Hawaiʻi’s histories during and after World War II. It will be offered as part of a redesigned introductory ethnic studies class.

Kelli Nakamura, project director and associate professor of history at KCC, said the goal is to help students make connections between their language studies and possible career paths. She said learning about the shared experiences of Hawaiʻi and Okinawa could also help students better understand global and local issues across the Pacific.

“We’re looking at empowering our students locally, of course, nationally, as well as internationally for careers. So this is not just kind of an academic exercise for them but really providing them with culturally relevant approaches…,” she said. “To me, that’s so exciting because community colleges often have this reputation of just providing very specific career paths … but to really empower students to think of global careers, that’s awesome.”

Nakamura said they are in the planning stages and will begin offering the program next spring and summer.

Jayna Omaye was a culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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