Return to Program Profiles Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade focused its CIC/Walmart College Success Award project on recruiting and retaining Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and other first-generation students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college. Specifically, the award provided tuition assistance grants for first-generation students to attend the university’s summer bridge program. Thirty-four scholarships were awarded to first-generation students to attend classes in summer 2010 and 2011. In addition, the grant allowed for six scholarship awards to students for the summer bridge program in 2012.
The summer bridge program includes seminars and workshops that focus on academic and social issues, personal development, and financial management. Counseling and psychological services are offered, including stress management strategies.
The grant funds also were used to enhance tutoring for gateway courses in collaboration with the university’s Trio-supported Academic Achievement Program.

One of the more unusual aspects of the program was the university’s translation projects. Chaminade initially planned to create written translation of materials from the student handbook and admissions materials into the various Pacific Island languages; however, this turned out to be much more challenging than originally envisioned because professional translators were unavailable. The university then revised the plan and used native speaking students for translations at much lower cost and without significantly sacrificing translation quality.

As the university worked with students on discovering meaningful communication methods for their families, a video component to the program was developed in order to convey to island families what it means to be a Chaminade student. The video project provided a means by which each family could take a visual tour of campus and gain some insight into both academic and social aspects of campus life. The first video was made with the Samoan Club and engendered a real passion among the Samoan students working on the project. In the first year, the video was viewed 1,191 times by Samoan students, their families and friends in Hawaii, on the mainland, and in American Samoa. The Samoan Club assisted the communications department faculty in creating the narrative and planning the scenes. The Micronesian video, encompassing the Marshallese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, and Chuukese languages, was completed. There are plans to create a Hawaiian-language video as well. Through the taping of the videos, staff and faculty members received in-depth acculturation lessons on island protocols, hierarchies, and appropriate use of language.

Program Outcomes

The retention rate of the scholarship recipients in the summer bridge program was notably higher than that of other conditionally admitted students. The CIC/Walmart-funded summer bridge students were retained at a 69 percent rate versus 59 percent for classmates in the control group.

Videos and brochures translated into native languages of the Pacific are now in wide use at Chaminade in the admissions program. This has improved admission rates among the targeted campus population (Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders), and strengthened the institution as a whole.

Program Updates

Chaminade is committed to funding the summer bridge program and has written numerous grants to fund scholarships for students. Funding also has been obtained through the Kosasa Foundation and the Chaminade University Educational Foundation. The university’s goal is to fund all students with financial need attending the summer bridge program. The university also received funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Student Support Services program.