Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative

Kapi‘olani Community College, University of Hawaii (UH) System proposes to develop “Hawaii’s Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative” (PEEC) that will support 155 Native Hawaiian (NH) students (females, males, and students with disabilities) pursuing and completing baccalaureate degrees at the UH Manoa College of Engineering (UHMCOE). Since 2006, the UHMCOE has accepted a total of 117 transfer students from the four participating community colleges and UH Maui College (UH MC): Kapi‘olani (50), Leeward (51), Honolulu and Windward (4 each), UH MC (8).
Goal 1: A Quality Pre-Engineering Core Curriculum that prepares NH students for success in progressively higher level courses in their Engineering education, effectively integrating Calculus, and that is available online in every semester during the project and beyond.
Goal 2: A Community of Practice in Engineering connecting NH students, mentors, and undergraduate researchers with nurturing advising, structured cohort experiences, quality curriculum, faculty/researchers, and community partners, through funded positions for students, increased engagement with engineering issues and industries, and online communication strategies.


  1. Faculty leaders in PEEC will review pre-engineering course success rates for NH students, and improve existing and new courses by integrating technology, service, peer mentoring, research, and internship opportunities, preparing NH students for Engineering degree completion and careers in Hawaii.
  2. Develop one new course Engineering 100, Introduction to Engineering, and one existing course, Physics 272, General Physics 2, for online delivery.
  3. Integrate key concepts from “Introduction to Engineering Design” (ME 213), and student projects from “Junior/Senior Engineering Design” (ME 481-482), into successive NH Summer Engineering Experiences (SEE).
  4. Develop three SEE that anchor NH cohorts for successful transfer, degree completion, and careers.
  5. Increase and strengthen recruitment and engagement (service, peer mentoring, undergraduate research, renewable energy and sustainability projects) opportunities for NH students.
  6. Increase NH student engagement with each other and key stakeholders: NH scientists, community experts, UH researchers, local industry, and federal, state, and county government partners.


  1. 170 NH students complete 6 week Summer Engineering Experiences at KCC, UH MC, and UHMCOE.
  2. 50 students complete the ASNS degree in Physical Sciences at KCC.
  3. 155 students complete all of a shared 39-credit pre-engineering core curriculum and transfer.
  4. 124 NH students complete UHMCOE Bachelor of Science degree (80% completion rate).
  5. Improved Pre-engineering core curriculum available online to all ten UH campuses and beyond.
  6. Hawaii’s PEEC curriculum, support and engagement strategies disseminated statewide and nationally.
  7. Hawaii’s PEEC partnerships for sustainability established, program expanded to all UH campuses.

Intellectual Merit: The proposed program implements a comprehensive, six-campus strategy that combines a shared 39-credit pre-engineering curriculum, offered totally online, with best practice student cohort support services and engaged learning opportunities across a continuum of “routine to adaptive expertise” preparing NH engineers to redesign their communities and futures in Hawaii. Post-transfer, NH students will complete degrees in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering and conduct research with faculty from the UHMCOE Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability (REIS) program. Students will also complete REIS internships with industry, and federal, state, and county governments.
Broader Impact: Hawaii’s PEEC will provide evidenced-based practices to help resolve a major national problem for community colleges attempting to develop effective engineering transfer pathways to universities for students underrepresented in STEM. By offering current and developing new physics and engineering courses online, student enrollments in these courses can be consolidated across campuses to make them cost-effective and sustainable for the offering campus. Initially, program activities will support students on Oahu and Maui, and ultimately on all major Hawaiian Islands. Lead faculty will broadly disseminate results in Hawaii, the national EPSCoR, and other NSF supported venues (JAMS, QEM, NCUR, SENCER), disciplinary meetings, publications, and major higher education conferences.