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Chancellor's Wala'au: Grading Policy, ACCJC Letter, Relief Fund, Earth Day Video, All-College Meeting


With just weeks away until the end of this semester, now is the time for that second wind to the finish line.  Spring 2020 is definitely one for the books of Kauhale memories.  So, let us finish strong and healthy…. Here are a few updates. 

We posted new information relating to COVID-19 planning.  They include:

Credit/No-Credit Grading Policy and FAQs

The Executive Policy memorializing the emergency grading policy for the spring 2020 semester that includes a Credit/No Credit option has been officially adopted and is now available for review. FAQs on the new policy, one for faculty and one for students, are also available.

ACCJC Letter on Distance Education

ACCJC has shared this letter regarding programs that are transitioning to distance learning for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19.  Colleges are asked to notify ACCJC of all programs provided via distance and/or correspondence education for Summer 2020 by June 1, 2020. For fall 2020 classes that may need to change modalities, the deadline to submit that list of programs is August 1, 2020.  

VPCC Erika Lacro is coordinating our response on this, including compiling information that we already submitted or in BANNER.  We await her guidance.  For the meantime, I will continue to work closely with ALO Liaison extraordinaire, Kalani Flores for next steps. 

Student COVID-19 Relief Fund 

The Urgent Student Relief Fund has been providing an important resource for students who are struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Our foundation has raised up to $1 million.  With this fund, we are able to award up to $500 to students seeking help with housing, food, technology, and transportation.  In fact, as of today we received a total of 112 applications.  

In addition to this, we also have our Hawaiʻi CC Kakoʻo (Emergency Student Relief) Fund This fund started with $15,000 from Central Pacific Bank. VCSA Dorinna Cortez reported that we have exhausted these funds as well.  Please consider making a donation to the fund, so we can continue to support our students by DONATE HERE.

Finally, we successfully applied to receive our allocation for the Federal CARES ACT, providing another $573K relief to students.  We are still sorting federal requirements of these funds but we hope to release it to students soon. 

A big Hulō Hulō to Wailani Walker, who leads and navigates all these funds on behalf of our students.  

Earth Day Video

Mahalo to our Sustainability Committee and Earth Fair Coordinators for finding ways to celebrate even though we couldn’t come together in the typical way. They produced a great video in which Kauhale members respond to the prompt, What does La Honua - Earth Day Mean to You? 

May 8 All-College Zoom Meeting

Finally, please save this date for our End of the Year celebration. During this time, we will honor outstanding alumni, faculty, staff and community partners for their service to our Kauhale.  It will be a virtual celebration so please stay tuned for details.

Once again, I extend my deepest gratitude to all that you do for our students.  It seems like just yesterday, we faced the impossible tasks of finishing the semester within the pandemic setting. Although, we are still learning and adapting, we are almost there.    


Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas