Kapiolani Community College

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University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College
University of Hawaii seal.svg
MottoKūlia I Ka Nuʻu (Strive for the Highest)
TypePublic Commuter College
ChancellorLouise Pagotto
Vice-ChancellorSusan Kazama
Brenda Ivelisse
Brian Furuto
Location, ,
ColorsBlue and White[2]
AffiliationsUniversity of Hawaiʻi
Kapi'olani CC logo.png

University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College, formerly Kapiʻolani Technical School, is a public community college in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It is one of ten branches of the University of Hawaiʻi system anchored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.


Originally located at Pensacola Street and Kapiʻolani Boulevard (from which the school gets its name), adjacent to President William McKinley High School in the Makiki community, University of Hawaii Kapiʻolani Community College was established in 1946 as Kapiʻolani Technical College. The school was administered by the Territory of Hawaiʻi as one of its chief vocational schools, specializing in food service. In 1965, its curricula was modified and became an open-door public college administered by the University of Hawaiʻi. As part of the realignment of programs, the school adopted its current name.


Experiencing rapid growth in the 1970s, University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College needed larger facilities. In 1974, the Board of Regents acquired a 52-acre (210,000 m²) parcel of land on the slopes of Diamond Head in Waikīkī, formerly owned by the United States Army. University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College opened its second campus at Fort Ruger, the only college in the University of Hawaiʻi system to have two campuses of its own. The Board of Regents then agreed to move with a complete transfer of programs to the Fort Ruger campus and close the Makiki campus. University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College finally completed the transfer in the late 1980s.

National acclaim[edit]

University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College gained national attention in 1976 when radiology instructors Roland Clements and Harry Nakayama developed a new hip x-ray technique.  In 1986, University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College's respiratory care program won a national award as an outstanding vocational education program.  Also in the late 1980s, Gallaudet University Regional Center opened at the Fort Ruger campus.

Recent developments[edit]

University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College is currently in the process of establishing the Culinary Institute of the Pacific,[3] already challenging other notable culinary schools in the world to provide quality talent. Among the alumni of this program are Alan Wong, Sam Choy, and Wayne Hirabayashi, cofounders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Other notable alumni are Alan Tsuchiyama of Sheraton Waikīkī.

The school is working on expanding the curriculum to include such classes as culinology and perhaps a Bachelor's in Applied Sciences.


University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College is the state's largest comprehensive community college with technical, occupational and professional programs in business education, food service and hospitality education, and nursing. It offers the state's most successful university transfer program as well as a well-respected STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. Nationally, University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College has been recognized for its programs in health sciences and education for emergency medical services. Locally, KCC is well known for its culinary program. Other students attend University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College as a starting point before moving on to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and other four-year universities to complete a bachelor's degree.

Of all the community colleges in the University of Hawaiʻi System, KCC has the largest liberal arts student body with over 6,000 students enrolled annually. Some of the most popular majors for students transferring from KCC to universities are Business, Nursing, Art, Psychology, English, Biology and Pre-Med. The campus has one of the nation's largest international student bodies and attracts students from over 100 nations including very large numbers of students from Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong because of its programs of study, links to the University of Hawaii - Mānoa, and proximity to Waikīkī. It is also a leading community college campus in Hawaii for business education programs such as information technology, accounting and marketing.

Points of interest[edit]

Campus art includes:

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Jason Tom is musician, teacher and inspirational & motivational speaker known for beatboxing.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ https://www.hawaii.edu/campuses/kapiolani/
  2. ^ https://www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Kapiolani_CC_Brand_Guide.pdf
  3. ^ "UH Foundation".
  4. ^ "Hawai'i's Human Beatbox". University of Hawaiʻi Foundation Office of Alumni Relations. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Kapiʻolani CC alum stays on beat spreading message of perseverance". University of Hawaiʻi News. December 13, 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. ^ Yamashiro, Lexus (15 July 2017). "KCC Alumnus Inspires Community Through Beatboxing, Motivational Speaking". Kapiʻo News. Retrieved 31 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°16.29′N 157°48.03′W / 21.27150°N 157.80050°W / 21.27150; -157.80050