A hidden gem in West Oahu
Sponsored by Hawaii Tokai International College
Established in 1992 as an American two-year liberal arts college, Hawaii Tokai International College (HTIC) is located in the city of Kapolei. HTIC, which is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), is the only American campus of the Tokai University Educational System of Japan. HTIC reflects the combined educational philosophies of TES founder, Dr. Shigeyoshi Matsumae, and Dr. Richard Kosaki, University of Hawaii Chancellor Emeritus, former professor and founder of the UH Community College System. Both men shared a strong belief in active education through which students not only acquire knowledge, but also develop critical thinking, communication skills, and the intellectual curiosity to be lifelong learners.
HTIC’s main program is its Associate in Arts degree program in the Liberal Arts (hereafter referred to as “Liberal Arts” or “LA” program”). The Liberal Arts curriculum is designed to create a learning community with active learning that not only covers subjects, but uncovers minds as well. An important feature of the learning community is that it is a “school without walls,” and, for this purpose, Wednesdays are reserved for off-campus field trips and activities that enhance the classroom curriculum.
Another unique feature of the Liberal Arts program is that courses are offered year round as a part of a quarter system. Students thus routinely graduate with their Associate in Arts degrees in less than the two years generally required at other U.S. colleges. Over the years, students from Germany, Chile, Peru, Thailand, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Korea, Micronesia, Vietnam, Japan, and the U.S. have graduated from HTIC with the Associate in Arts degree. The majority of these graduates go on to successfully complete their baccalaureate degrees at universities in Hawaii, on the U.S. mainland, or at Tokai campuses in Japan.
While the academic programs at HTIC focus heavily on improving students’ English language skills and providing quality and basic general education, the larger impact over the years has been the change in student attitudes and behavior as they experience the “aloha spirit” in Hawaii’s friendly multicultural environment. It is this aloha spirit that results in alumni returning to visit both HTIC and Hawaii, and which frequently is commented upon in alumni surveys.