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English essentials to make large gains in student success at Honolulu CC

Program emphasizes basic skills and a sense of community on campus

Honolulu Community College
Billie K. Takaki Lueder, (808) 778-8589
Public Relations Coordinator
Posted: Apr 21, 2011

HONOLULU – Honolulu Community College, like many other places around the country, have students that enter college unprepared for the demands of post-high school education. In celebration of its opening this spring semester, Honolulu CC will be holding an Open House to share the work being done to promote student success.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Honolulu Community College
874 Dillingham Boulevard, Buildings 71A, B & C
Approximately 70 percent of students are underprepared for college level courses and lack the skills to be successful for life and in their future careers. A few years in the making, a committee headed up by Language Arts Associate Professor Jerry Saviano was tasked to find a solution to best prepare students who test into lower English classes. Based on data and national best practices, the Underprepared Student Task Force developed an Essentials Curriculum that has overhauled the way English is taught to provide college students fundamental skills to fulfill their degree programs while also being competitive in today’s workforce.
“We want to create a place where these students, who for their entire educational career, have been told they can’t make it. We are trying to show these individuals that they are capable, that they are able, and most importantly that they are smart. One way we do this is by creating a sense of community,” Saviano explains.
The three building complex was renovated over the winter break to include a student lounge, computer lab and classrooms equipped with flat screen TVs and student laptops. Instruction combines lecture and online computer programs, such as My Writing Lab and Reading Plus, to further develop and improve student skills by teaching them how to read efficiently, correct grammar, and construct sentences and paragraphs.
An urban style mural rendered by artist Prime of 808 Urban will be unveiled at the Open House. Lawe ika ma‘alea a ku‘ono‘ono, which translates to "Acquire skill and make it deep", is the description of the mural’s meaning and is the intended purpose of the Essentials Curriculum Complex. Saviano summarizes the endeavor, “The entire country faces a crisis about the quality of education from people coming out of our secondary school system, and we need a work force that is college educated. It comes down to what kind of country we want to live in.”