New Four-Year Degree at Maui CC Approved by UH Board of Regents

Degree in Applied Business and Information Technology to be first-ever baccalaureate degree offered by a community college in Hawaii

Maui College
Posted: Jun 26, 2003

In an effort to meet the increasing demand for postsecondary education opportunities on the neighbor islands, Maui Community College will become the first community college in Hawaiʻi to offer a four-year degree. A proposal to establish a new four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) at Maui CC was approved by the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) at its monthly meeting last week.

"I thank the Board of Regents for their support of this tremendous new opportunity for the residents of Maui County. This is a significant step forward for the community colleges, especially for the neighbor islands," said UH President Evan S. Dobelle. "The mission of the community colleges is to ensure access to all, and, in living up to that mission, Maui County residents will soon have the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree at home in a high-demand field within the Maui community."

In support of the development of baccalaureate degrees at the community colleges, Dobelle committed $500,000 in August 2001 to what is now called Project 2+4. Maui CC received support for its provost, Clyde Sakamoto, to be assigned to direct the project for the community college system. Support was also included for the appointment of an acting provost and acting dean of instruction, faculty curricular and program development, baccalaureate faculty appointments, student services and library needs, travel, and other baccalaureate start-up requirements.

"In addition to the resounding support we have received on this endeavor from President Dobelle, I also must commend the excellent work and efforts of numerous faculty and staff at Maui Community College who have spent an enormous amount of time and energy to see this project through thus far," said Project 2+4 Director Clyde Sakamoto, who will be returning to his position as chancellor of Maui CC effective July 1. "This degree will be of immeasurable benefit and offer great opportunities to the people of Maui County."

A Maui CC baccalaureate advisory committee and a baccalaureate curriculum development team were formed to assume leadership and work collaboratively to develop the degree program. Residents of Maui County were sent surveys asking them to voice their opinions on a proposed four-year baccalaureate degree, and results showed that computer science and business were both high demand areas of study.

The ABIT degree was developed in response to the needs voiced by the community and is unique within the UH system as it is a business degree, emphasizing small to medium sized business management, with a strong information technology component.

Approval of the degree by the BOR was required of Maui CC by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (ACSCU). It now allows Maui CC to proceed with filing required substantive change and eligibility application documents with the ACCJC and ACSCU to be considered for candidacy as a community college offering a single baccalaureate degree.