New department at KCC combines business and legal education programs

Merger offers opportunities for collaborative projects to benefit students and employers

Kapiʻolani Community College
Louise Yamamoto, (808) 734-9513
Director, Community Relations, Office of Community and Continuing Education
Posted: Jul 20, 2010

HONOLULU – Kapi‘olani Community College is pleased to announce the formation of the Business, Legal, and Technology Education Department. The combination of the former business education and legal education departments creates a new department to “optimize the strengths of the individual faculty and provide opportunities for collaborative ventures that will enhance students’ experiences,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Pagotto.
Chancellor Leon Richards agreed “this merger, which is strongly supported by the faculty, will provide our students with stronger and better support services in terms of achieving their educational goals and completing their degrees.”
The new department will contain Kapi‘olani CC’s paralegal program, the only one in the state approved by the American Bar Association that offers a two-year degree for students wanting to work in a law office or government agency. It will also continue to offer Kapi‘olani CC’s two-year degrees and certificates in accounting, information technology, marketing and entrepreneurship.
Accounting, information technology and marketing students can also take advantage of a recently finalized transfer agreement that allows them to apply their two-year Kapi‘olani CC degree directly to a four-year degree at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu. There are plans to create a similar transfer agreement for paralegal students.
Other plans for the department include the exploration of a certificate in human resources management, combining the business aspect of human resources with employment law, and delivery of the paralegal program to the neighbor islands.
Community colleges nationwide are experiencing a significant increase in its enrollment, and Kapi‘olani CC is working to support employers with qualified, well-trained, entry-level business and paralegal employees. Kapi‘olani CC is in the forefront of this change in Hawai‘i, as it is the largest community college in the state with an enrollment of 9,200 students.