Liberal Arts Programs

Liberal Arts Programs

Program Description

Kapi‘olani Community College Liberal Arts students can graduate with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, complete subject certificates, transfer into a college or university, and best of all continue to be lifelong learners. Liberal Arts students transfer to four-year colleges and universities to complete a bachelor’s degree. Students taking courses for the A.A. degree meet the general education requirements at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and Hilo.  The A.A. degree may also meet the general education requirements at colleges and universities outside the UH system as well. Former Liberal Arts students have transferred locally into the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, West O‘ahu, and Hilo. Others have transferred into Hawai‘i Pacific University and Chaminade University. Liberal Arts students are also enrolling in universities outside the state of Hawai‘i such as Lewis and Clark in Oregon, the University of California Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angeles in California, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to name a few.

Degree and Certificate Programs

  • Associate in Arts - Liberal Arts (60 credits)
    This program is designed to provide students with an Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts and to prepare students for transfer to a baccalaureate degree program at a four-year college or university. Please see an academic advisor for information on current baccalaureate degree requirements at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Associate in Arts – Liberal Arts with a concentration in

  • Art (60 credits)
    The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Art provides students with a strong studio art experience and art history curriculum that integrates conceptual and technical artistic skills with personal and creative exploration. Upon completion of this 60-credit program, that satisfies all the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, students will be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to further their study (BA/BFA) in the various areas of studio art, including ceramics, design, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture or continue on their journey of becoming a professional artist. The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Art requires 21 total credits of which 9 credits are required courses. In addition, a total of 12 credits are required from a list of studio art electives.
  • Business Administration (60 credits)
    This concentration within the Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts is designed for students who intend to transfer to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Shidler College of Business. This AA concentration fulfills the current Kapi‘olani Community College AA Liberal Arts requirements while paying particular attention to the admission requirements to UHM’s baccalaureate program.
  • Deaf Education (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Deaf Education is a 60-credit program that provides personalized advising and a carefully planned course sequence to fulfill all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts. This program prepares students with the necessary competencies to successfully apply to a teacher licensure-track program at baccalaureate institutions, and/or work in entry-level positions (e.g., teacher assistants, educational paraprofessionals, tutors) with deaf students in preK-12 settings. Furthermore, this degree program provides students with strong intermediate skills in American Sign Language and an understanding of the diversity of Deaf education programs in Hawai‘i and the U.S.
  • Economics (60 credits)
    The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Economics prepares students to transfer to four-year institutions. This 60-credit program satisfies all of the requirements for the A.A. degree in Liberal Arts. Additionally, the program imparts students with solid knowledge and skills toward a Bachelor degree in Economics. After successful completion of the program, students will have a strong understanding of the field of Economics, and good foundational knowledge of the research methods and statistics used by economists, as well as a clear sense of the major perspectives, which define the field of Economics. Targeted advising and a carefully planned course sequence will enable students to successfully transfer to baccalaureate institutions in Hawai‘i that have Economics majors, such as the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i West Oahu, the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, or to any other four year university.
  • Elementary Education (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Elementary Education provides students with a 60-credit program that satisfies all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, and prepares them with the necessary competencies to be successful working as an educational paraprofessional in elementary school settings, and/or entering a teacher licensure-track program at baccalaureate institutions. Targeted advising and a carefully planned course sequence also enable students to successfully transfer to university teacher education programs in Hawai‘i that have education-related majors, such as the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, College of Education. Furthermore, this degree creates a pathway for students interested in pursuing other education-related careers.
  • Elementary Education & Second Language Teaching (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Elementary Education and Second Language Teaching is a 60-credit program that provides personalized advising and a carefully planned course sequence to fulfill all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts. This program prepares students with the necessary competencies to successfully apply to a teacher licensure-track program at baccalaureate institutions (i.e., University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, College of Education - Multilingual Learners Program), and/or work in entry-level positions (e.g., teacher assistants, educational paraprofessionals, tutors) with second language learners in preK-12 settings. Furthermore, this degree program provides students with a framework for second language learning and teaching, skills and strategies for second language teaching, linguistic principles to support second language learning, and advocacy strategies to support second language learners.
  • English (60 credits)
    The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in English provides students with a strong foundation in English and fulfills the Introductory Literature Program course requirement for English majors at UH Mānoa. Upon completion of this 60-credit program that satisfies all the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, students will be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to major in English.
  • Human Development and Family Studies (60 credits)
    Associate in Arts – Liberal Arts with a concentration in Human Development and Family Studies (60 credits) Please note that this was previously known as Family Resources The purpose of the concentration in Human Development and Family Studies is to create a clear pathway for students interested in transferring to a 4-year institution with a Bachelor’s degree in the area of Human Development and Family Studies. Entry-level positions in the workplace include academic school counselor or college adviser; community outreach worker; preschool teacher; education coordinator; program administrator or associate; family, physical, or occupational therapist; teacher; social worker; doctor or nurse; university professor.
  • History (60 credits)
    The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in History provides students with a strong History foundation. Upon completion of this 60-credit program that satisfies all the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, students will be prepared to transfer to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to major in History.
  • Psychology (60 credits)
    The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology prepares students to transfer to four-year institutions. This 60-credit program satisfies all of the requirements for the A.A. degree in Liberal Arts. Additionally, the program imparts students with solid knowledge and skills toward a Bachelor degree in Psychology. After successful completion of the program, students will have a strong understanding of the field of Psychology, and good foundational knowledge of the research methods and statistics used by psychologists, as well as a clear sense of the major perspectives, which define the field of Psychology. Targeted advising and a carefully planned course sequence enable students to successfully transfer to baccalaureate institutions in Hawai‘i that have Psychology-related majors, such as the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of Hawai‘i Maui College, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.
  • Second Language Teaching (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Second Language Teaching prepares students to transfer to four-year institutions. This 60-credit program satisfies all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts and also provides students with knowledge and skills to be successful in entering a university program in second language teaching, teacher education, and other closely related fields. The degree provides students with an understanding of a framework for second language learning and teaching, skills and strategies for second language teaching, the diversity of second language learners, legal issues and advocacy strategies to support second language learners, classroom management strategies, linguistic principles to support second language learning, and the importance of assessment for second language learning. The degree also provides students with numerous opportunities to discuss and research current issues and challenges in second language education, advocate for second language students and their families, and engage in a variety of service learning and field experiences working with children and adults in public and private classroom settings. Personalized advising and a carefully planned course sequence enable students to successfully transfer to baccalaureate institutions in Hawai‘i that have language education-related majors, such as the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Second Language Studies Department and College of Education, and Hawai‘i Pacific University, TESL Program.
  • Secondary Education (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Secondary Education provides students with a 60-credit program that satisfies all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts, and prepares them with the necessary competencies to be successful in applying to a teacher licensure-track program at baccalaureate institutions, and/or working as an educational paraprofessional in middle school and high school settings. Targeted advising and a carefully planned course sequence also enable students to successfully transfer to university teacher education programs in Hawai‘i that have education-related majors, such as the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, College of Education and the University of Hawai‘i at West Oahu. Furthermore, this degree creates a pathway for students interested in pursuing other education-related careers.
  • Social Work (60 credits)
    The AA degree in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Social Work is a 60-credit program that satisfies all of the requirements for the AA degree in Liberal Arts. This concentration provides students with the foundation to be successful in entering university Bachelor of Science programs and future careers in Social Work.

Academic Subject Certificate

  • Hawaiian Language (38-41 credits)
    The Academic Subject Certificate in Hawaiian Language will provide students with a strong foundation of Hawaiian Language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading through traditional and contemporary resources. This certificate will encourage students to complete an Associate in Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies and continue their education earning a baccalaureate degree. In addition, this certificate will enhance the Hawaiian speaking community in Hawaiʻi that fulfills one of the University of Hawai’iʻs goals to foster and promote Hawaiian culture and language on all campuses.
  • International Studies (38-41 credits)
    Kapi‘olani Community College offers its students a unique opportunity to study the languages and cultures of the world in an interdisciplinary program leading to an Academic Subject Certificate in International Studies. An Academic Subject Certificate in International Studies is a credential awarded to students who successfully complete a short-term structured series of courses in an interdisciplinary program. Students who earn a grade of “C” or higher in the required two years of coursework in a European language, and who earn a grade of “C” or higher in each course in 18 credits of related academic coursework, will be eligible for this certificate.
  • Marine Option Program (12 credits)
    The Marine Option Program (MOP) is a unique University of Hawai‘i (UH) system-wide program available to students at all UH campuses. Through MOP, students from any field of study can obtain a marine-related focus within their own degree while earning an Academic Subject Certificate. MOP emphasizes experiential-based, cross-disciplinary education and provides opportunities to apply traditional coursework to practical hands-on skills through a marine-related internship or research project. This certificate includes four credits of required coursework, six credits of marine-related electives, and two credits of independent study/research to facilitate a unique MOP skill project where students (with faculty guidance) design and conduct a personal marine or aquatic project related to their educational goals. Completion of the MOP certificate will enhance student success in obtaining employment in any occupation where enhanced ocean awareness is applicable, or for further study at a 4-year institution.
  • Sustainability (14 credits)
    The Academic Subject Certificate in Sustainability is designed to provide an interdisciplinary lens on local and global issues of sustainability, and connect students with an interest in sustainability to appropriate courses and majors. The Sustainability Option (Academic Subject Certificate in Sustainability) also includes a service-learning or independent study option to engage students with real-world solutions in an island context.

Contact Information

  • Maida Kamber Center
  • 808.734.9500
  • ‘Ilima 104; Monday-Thursday: 8:30am – 4:30pm (unless otherwise specified due to professional development meetings)

As a graduate student of Liberal Art, I think the degree helped me establish a basic foundation to achieve my goals. It also helped me with my bachelor’s degree in Microbiology at University of Hawai`i at Mānoa as well as pharmacy school.

Henry Huang

Former Kapi‘olani CC student, Pre-Pharmacy - UH Mānoa

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