Hawaii is slowly stepping into the online world through eight pilot programs, funded in 2013, which aimed to provide a laptop computer for every student and teacher, as well as technology integration training for instructors. Currently, Hawaii offers classes through the Hawaii Virtual Learning Network, with more than 1500 students enrolled in supplemental courses in 2013-14; two blended schools that served about 1,850 students; and the online program E-school, which is available to a limited number of students enrolled in public schools.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Hawaii Technology Academy||K - 12||Waipahu||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(808) 676-5444|
|Kihei Charter School||K - 12||Kihei||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(808) 875-0700|
|Myron B Thompson Academy||K - 12||N/A||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||N/A|
|Connections Public Charter School||K - 12||Hilo||Live/Synchronous||Public||(866) 961-3664|
|Hawaii Virtual School||K - 12||Cyber School||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Private||N/A|
Postsecondary students can choose from two public four-year institutions, two public doctoral schools and six community colleges, as well as five large private colleges. A host of technical and vocational schools, as well as smaller colleges, round out the higher education offerings. Although there are some online options available through these schools, many of the offerings come via dedicated online schools, such as the University of Phoenix and Argosy University, which have stepped in to pick up the slack. Students who want to take courses online should be aware of some limitations of the technologies used in Hawaii; for example, many online courses are offered only through closed-circuit television, which might require remote students to attend class in one
The University of Hawaii System encompasses seven public community colleges on multiple islands, in cities such as Honolulu, Hilo, Lihue, Kaneohe, Kahului and Pearl City. These schools offer certificates and associate degrees designed to help students segue into the workforce or four-year institutions, depending on their goals. Students can pursue training in career-oriented and technical fields as well as the liberal arts. Catalogs feature popular programs like automotive technology, the culinary arts, information technology, and travel and tourism, but also less traditional disciplines, like Polynesian voyaging or small vessel fabrication and repair. Most community colleges in Hawaii offer evening, weekend and online course options to support working students.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Hawaii Community College||200 W. Kawili Street||Hilo||+|
|Kauai Community College||3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy||Lihue||+|
|Leeward Community College||96-045 Ala Ike||Pearl City||+|
The University of Hawaii is a public university system with three campuses that together offer nearly 150 bachelor’s degrees, almost 100 master’s degrees and more than 50 doctoral degrees. Each campus has its strengths: Manoa is a research university, for instance, while Hilo and West Oahu are baccalaureate universities. Programs, learning options and student services vary, too. One thing that does remain consistent across the entire UH system is its diversity. UH prides itself on being a major center for international studies and relations; students and faculty hail from all across the globe to create a rich learning environment shaped by its varied cultures, ideas and outlooks.
Hawaii is home to a number of private institutions, from career and technical schools to prestigious universities. These schools expand students’ learning options considerably, both in terms of fields of study and degree types. Most private schools in Hawaii also offer online classes and degrees. These institutions are often more expensive than Hawaii’s public colleges, but have other attributes that can make them attractive, like religious affiliations, specific courses of study, reputation or even unique campus vibes.
University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo Distance Learning)
The Hilo campus of the University of Hawaii offers online bachelor’s degrees in business and nursing and an online Doctor of Nursing Practice. UH at Hilo also maintains a partnership with its sister institution, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, allowing students to enroll in distance learning master’s programs such as human resource management, library and information science, nursing and social work. Each department has its own criteria for admission. For example, a master’s program in indigenous language and culture requires concurrent enrollment in a teacher education program emphasizing similar themes.
Distance learners may use a number of different technologies during the course of their studies, including video conferencing and Laulima, an instructional platform. Laulima software connects students with course materials, assignments and quizzes.
For a full list of distance learning programs, visit the University of Hawaii at Hilo at: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/dl/index.php.
University of Hawaii – West Oahu
UH West Oahu features online bachelor’s degree programs in such areas as business, early childhood education, public administration and social sciences, with various concentrations available within these majors. Distance education offerings are organized as accelerated 3-year programs and require students to earn at least 45 semester hours in upper-division courses as well as 15 semester hours in 100-200 level courses.
For hybrid programs such as the business baccalaureate, courses are delivered via the Internet or through Interactive Television (ITV). Students taking ITV courses meet at one of the UH facilities—Kauai Community College, Maui Community College, or the University Education Centers at Lanai, Molokai or West Hawaii—to participate in classes. Online courses use Laulima, the UH system-wide course management system. Students must have Java or Adobe Reader installed on their computers and are encouraged to use the Mozilla Firefox Browser.
For more information on the University of Hawaii West Oahu’s online programs, please visit: http://www.uhwo.hawaii.edu/academics/distance-learning/.
Hawaii Pacific University
Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) provides a unique online degree program for active duty service members, their family members, veterans and U.S. government civilian personnel. Fully online associate degrees cover disciplines like accounting, economics and military studies. Bachelor’s degree programs include justice administration, management and psychology. The Military Campus program incorporates online and hybrid degree programs taking place partially on base.
HPU also has online graduate programs available to all students, not only those in the military. For example, the online MBA curriculum takes an interdisciplinary approach to the aspects of business administration. The program consists of condensed 8-week terms that focus on one course at a time.
HPU’s online courses are delivered through Blackboard and require a computer, high-speed Internet access and an up-to-date web browser. Resources for off-campus students include online tutoring in English and statistics.
To learn more about HPU’s off-campus programs visit: https://www.hpu.edu/military-campus/index.html.
Windward Community College (WCC)
One of the two-year colleges within the University of Hawaii System, Windward Community College does not currently offer degree programs online. However, students can enroll in web-based classes in areas like American government, composition, world civilization and website design. Online science courses are available in areas such as astronomy, biology and chemistry. Most courses are asynchronous, which means that students can view course materials and lectures at any time. WCC also has Hawaiian Studies courses, such as Hawaii: Center of the Pacific.
Online classes at WCC are administered through the UH Laulima system. Students have access to a guide that covers all the features of the system, including tips on how assignments, chat rooms and private messages work. Exams for online courses must be taken in the presence of an approved proctor.
More information about online education at WCC can be found at: http://windward.hawaii.edu/online/.
4 Year Online Colleges in Hawaii
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||Public||2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall||Honolulu||+|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Private not-for-profit||1164 Bishop Street, Suite 800||Honolulu||+|
|University of Hawaii at Hilo||Public||200 W Kawili St||Hilo||+|
|Chaminade University of Honolulu||Private not-for-profit||3140 Waialae Avenue||Honolulu||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Hawaii’s military roots run deep, as does its commitment to supporting service members and their families. Online schools in Hawaii have embraced this mission. Online learning can be immensely helpful for military members and loved ones who want to invest in higher education, but might be deployed or relocated before completing their studies. Many online colleges offer additional programs and services exclusively for active and veteran military members, including virtual tutoring and more. The following list highlights some high-ranking online schools in Hawaii for military service members of all branches.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|Brigham Young University-Hawaii||$4,630||Laie||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Hawaii-West Oahu||$5,592||Kapolei||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||$8,664||Honolulu||Yes||No||Yes|
|Hawaii Pacific University||$18,500||Honolulu||Yes||No||Yes|
|Chaminade University of Honolulu||$19,200||Honolulu||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Online schools in Hawaii push the boundaries of college accessibility significantly, but students need not sacrifice learning for convenience. Many online programs leverage various types of communication and collaboration technologies–like video conferencing, discussion boards and cloud-based project tools–to help students stay connected with instructors and each other. Some classes live-stream lectures so that students can interact with instructors in real time. Another way online schools in Hawaii support a high-quality, individualized learning experience is by capping class sizes; this allows instructors more time to review student work, answer questions and provide feedback, both in and out of set virtual office hours. Here are some of the top online schools in Hawaii for students who prefer this type of one-on-one support.
|University of Hawaii Maui College||17 to 1||5,948||$2,424||Public||Kahului|
|New Hope Christian College||16 to 1||117||$7,680||Private not-for-profit||Honolulu|
|University of Hawaii-West Oahu||16 to 1||2,104||$5,592||Public||Kapolei|
|Brigham Young University-Hawaii||16 to 1||3,771||$4,630||Private not-for-profit||Laie|
|University of Hawaii at Hilo||15 to 1||4,179||$5,880||Public||Hilo|
|Hawaii Pacific University||15 to 1||8,070||$18,500||Private not-for-profit||Honolulu|
|Chaminade University of Honolulu||13 to 1||2,785||$19,200||Private not-for-profit||Honolulu|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||13 to 1||16,886||$8,664||Public||Honolulu|
Best for Women in Technology
Study after study has shown that in the world of technology, women remain grossly underrepresented. A number of colleges–in Hawaii, nationally and worldwide–have made a conscious effort to attract and better support women pursuing technology degrees, minimizing the gender gap in school and beyond. They might, for instance, feature more women instructors with technology experience who can serve as role models and mentors, or invite female students to special networking events and industry conferences. Below are some of the online schools in Hawaii that support women in tech, breaking through gender boundaries in STEM fields.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||$9,404||Honolulu||86||14,693||Public|
|Chaminade University of Honolulu||$19,330||Honolulu||18||2,151||Private Not for Profit|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Becoming a social worker is a great career step for anyone wanting to positively impact the lives of others. These professionals can work in a variety of fields–think: hospitals, schools, private practices and government entities–but only after investing in the right education. Several online schools in Hawaii offer social sciences coursework and degree programs led by professional, experienced professors, with flexible class delivery rounding out the perks. Here are some of the most noteworthy online social work programs in the state, based on program reputation, academic facilities and school ranking.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||Honolulu||207||135||72||$9,404||14,693|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Honolulu||58||51||7||$18,600||4,351|
|University of Hawaii at Hilo||Hilo||31||23||8||$6,184||3,282|
|Brigham Young University-Hawaii||Laie||21||15||6||$4,630||2,586|