Lack of university hasn't deterred Maui
|||Four-year Maui university speeding toward reality|
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau
In the not-too-distant past, if you lived on Maui, you had to move or commute to Honolulu to get a college degree.
Now, even without a full-fledged four-year university on the island, residents can take upper-level classes, and obtain baccalaureate and post-graduate degrees without leaving their jobs and families.
Nearly 600 people are enrolled in bachelor's and master's degree programs at the University of Hawai'i Center at Maui Community College and the University of Phoenix, which has a campus center in Wailuku. Online classes are also available.
These programs generally are geared toward working adults seeking new skills and training for a career change or wanting to improve their standing at work. Classes are often held at night and on weekends.
The University of Hawai'i Center, established in 1997, offers 10 bachelor's and six master's programs, with degrees awarded from UH-Hilo, UH-Manoa and UH-West O'ahu.
Classes are taught in a combination of ways, such as through interactive television, the Internet and live instruction, often with professors flown in to Maui for classes.
While some of the programs maintain open enrollment, others are closed cohorts small groups composed of students who attend classes and graduate together. Once a cohort has begun, that program is usually closed until the next cycle.
With its campus in a Wailuku office building, the University of Phoenix is another fully accredited option for those seeking bachelor's or master's degrees. Working adults usually meet once a week at night and continue instruction in small groups one course at a time until the degree work is finished. Programs include bachelor's degrees in nursing science and education and a master's of business administration.
Karen Muraoka, director of the University of Hawai'i Center on Maui, said she sees the center as an important supplement to UH-Maui in the years ahead, helping those who have to balance college with jobs and home life.