Poʻi Nā Nalu

Students in cap and gown during graduation ceremony

PC: Nic Smith

The Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program (NHCTEP) at Honolulu Community College, better known as Poʻi Nā Nalu, is sponsored by ALU LIKE, Inc. and funded through a Carl Perkins Grant from the US Department of Education. Poʻi Nā Nalu has been a part of Honolulu Community College since 1995. The goal of the program is to prepare Native Hawaiian students with options for careers in the global economy through the completion of a vigorous and culturally appropriate career and technical education degree program. Resulting degrees and certificates serve as preparation for employment in high demand, high skill or high wage careers in Hawaiʻi 's sectors of the global economy.

Contact Information:

Program Coordinator: Greg Kashigi, 808-844-2322, gkashigi@hawaii.edu
Academic Support Coordinator: Deb Arellano, 808-844-2323, debralyn@hawaii.edu
Educational Specialist: Kathleen Ballesteros, 808-844-2347, ks@hawaii.edu

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  • ALU LIKE logo

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To participate in Poʻi Nā Nalu, you must be:

  • Native Hawaiian
  • Enrolled in a CTE or STEM (i.e. Natural Science) program
  • Good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA)
  • Honolulu CC is your home campus

Application Form

Applications for Poʻi Nā Nalu are accepted year-round but space is limited. To apply, please complete the application [PDF]. You must bring in a hard copy (signed) application to the Hulili Ke Kukui Hawaiian Center and submit it to a Poʻi Nā Nalu staff member. Staff will review your application and you may be accepted based on your eligibility and availability of space.

  • Student holding an award certificate
  • Students attending a workshop

Poʻi Nā Nalu supports participating students’ academic and professional goals through a variety of services.

Workshops & Huakaʻi

  • Student group photo during a field trip
  • Student working in a marine lab
  • Student group photo during a beach clean up

Poʻi Nā Nalu offers workshops and field trips focused on College and Career Development, Cultural Enrichment, Financial Literacy, and four-year college campus visits. Past workshops and field trips:

  • Lomilomi and Lāʻau Lapaʻau
  • Building Math Skills
  • Personal Statement Writing
  • Hawaiʻi News Now Station
  • Ono Pops Factory
  • Kewalo Marine Lab
  • Kawaiahaʻo Church and Preschool

Tutoring & Mentoring

  • Students working at a table
  • Student receiving mentoring services

Poʻi Nā Nalu also offers Peer Mentoring and Tutoring to support participating students. Peer mentors help students understand and successfully manage the challenging academic rigors associated with their majors. Students who work with peer mentors will:

  • Develop a rapport and level of comfort with their peers and instructors;
  • Review notes, discuss readings and program modules, develop organizational tools, and prepare for examinations;
  • Learn and acquire strategies aimed at strengthening academic performance.

Tutoring subjects vary each semester.

Contact staff to schedule an appointment

Walk-ins based on availability

Students who are ACTIVE in the program (completed an Orientation and attended at least TWO events) may take advantage of the following services:

Loan Out Program

  • Books on a book shelf
  • Laptop computer
  • Binders on a bookshelf

Eligible students may borrow the following items:

  • Laptop loan-out (48 hours)
  • Textbook loan-out (one semester)
  • Toolkit loan-out (one semester)
  • Resource books and DVDs loan-out (one week)
  • Calculators and cameras loan-out (48 hours)


Student holding balloons in the workplace

Engaging in Practice-Based Education or Internships helps students prepare for the workforce by building skills and knowledge and providing networking opportunities. Poʻi Nā Nalu students who complete their internship requirements may earn a monetary stipend.

Makawalu College Transfer

  • Student group photo outside a research building
  • Students in the library
  • Student group photo in front of a ocean mural

The Makawalu College Transfer program prepares participating students for careers in current or emerging professions by offering exposure to various four-year degree programs on Oʻahu.

Participating students will:

  • Engage in information sessions conducted by professionals on relevant career paths, panel discussions of first hand industry experiences, round-table discussions with transfer experience students;
  • Be introduced to student support programs throughout the System Universities;
  • Be introduced to all of the university campuses and the many diverse baccalaureate and graduate educational opportunities;
  • Interact with university faculty, staff and students and acclimate to a university setting

Kau Wela Summer Bridge

  • Students sitting at desks working in a classroom
  • Smiling student holding a collage in a classroom

The Kau Wela Summer Bridge provides participating students with free core classes offered through the program. Course offerings vary based upon demand. Textbooks and course materials are included in enrollment.

Participating students will:

  • Receive individualized instruction through small class sizes, tutoring, and academic advising
  • Engage in cultural workshops

Past course offering have included:

  • English 100
  • Math 50, 103, 115
  • Hawaiian Studies 107
  • Botany 1xx

Class Certification & Licensure Support

Student working on truck tires

Poʻi Nā Nalu students may also receive financial assistance in obtaining:

  • Certifications (i.e. First Aid),
  • Licensures (i.e. Hawaiʻi State Cosmetology license),
  • Memberships in academic associations (i.e. Phi Theta Kappa),
  • Study materials for professional certifications and licensures.