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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 9, 2008

HCC adds computer degree

By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Education Writer


For more information on the bachelor of applied science concentration in computing, electronics and networking technology, go to: http://tech.honolulu.hawaii.edu/cent/index.html.

Or contact Aaron Tanaka, CENT department chairman at HCC, at 845-9109 or aarontan@hcc.hawaii.edu.

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An agreement between Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu allows computer science students to earn a bachelor's degree while completing most of their credits at the community college.

The bachelor of applied science degree with a concentration in computing, electronics and networking technology bridges the technical training of HCC with the business administration expertise of UH-West O'ahu for an affordable, hands-on and well-rounded education, university officials say. The agreement began this semester.

"We're making the best use of our resources," said Aaron Tanaka, chairman of the CENT program at HCC.

"Originally, we wanted to create a bachelor's program on our campus. But that would have cost an extensive amount of resources," he said.

Instead, HCC partnered with UH-West O'ahu, "leveraging the professional business skills students get at West O'ahu with the technical expertise of the community college," he said.

Because UH-West O'ahu and HCC already had established programs, only one course needed to be created to round out the bachelor of applied science degree program.

So how does it work?

Students can take CENT courses and general education requirements at HCC for three years, intended to round out the technical training aspect of the degree program.

The student would spend the fourth year at West O'ahu, taking ethics, statistics, public administration and business courses to round out the professional skills aspect of the degree.

Students may also be dual enrolled, completing their course requirements at HCC and UH-West O'ahu at the same time.

West O'ahu's bachelor of applied science program also has a partnership with another community college: The first concentration developed was in respiratory therapy, in partnership with the Respiratory Program at Kapi'olani Community College.

As opposed to a bachelor of arts or science degree, the bachelors of applied science degree is focused on technical skills.

"We see the bachelor of applied science as a degree for the 21st century," Tanaka said.

Reach Loren Moreno at lmoreno@honoluluadvertiser.com.