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ASU Local, KS Kaiāulu gear up for 2nd year of higher ed learning in West Hawaiʻi

June 18, 2024

Applications are being accepted now for the fall semester of ASU Local, in partnership with KS Kaiāulu. The four-year higher education program is based out of Keauhou in West Hawaiʻi, but with asynchronous classes being conducted online, students anywhere in Hawaiʻi pae ʻāina are welcome to enroll. 

Debuting in the fall of 2023, Arizona State University Local - West Hawaiʻi offers something that didn’t exist previously on that side of the island; a chance to earn a four-year degree without having to leave home, with in-person guidance from a success coach based out of the ASU Local office in the Keauhou Shopping Center. 

Damon Yoshida is the site director of ASU Local – West Hawai’i, located in Keauhou.

Site director Damon Yoshida says the program offers, “The flexibility of accessibility to help keep our students here. We’re working towards being an integral part of the West Hawaiʻi community as a whole.” 

Caleb Labo, who lives in the remote area of Miloliʻi, is one such ASU Local West Hawaiʻi student who is taking advantage of this “flexibility of accessibility”. He just finished his freshman year as a mechanical engineering student. Labo says he decided stay home to be close to ‘ohana, including his one-year-old and three-year-old siblings. 

Caleb Labo (far right) says being with ʻohana, especially his 1-year-old and 3-year-old brothers is a big reason he chose ASU Local.


“A big part of my life is spending time with them as well as my family. I also work and having to balance all those things could be kind of challenging if I was attending scheduled classes, which they don't really have in my area,” Labo said. 

Affordability is another component of ASU Local. Federal and other financial aid puts the cost on par with in-state tuition for schools in the U.H. system. The Kamehameha Schools Mauō Scholarship, which is geared specifically for eligible ASU students, is another opportunity to lower students' financial burden. 

Yoshida says that’s a huge advantage once students get their degree. 

“Being able to help support yourself and possibly your family as well and not having to look back and worry about whether or not you're paying student debt.” 

Labo says he’s excited for year two and offers rave reviews for the program and his success coach, Aaron Hashimoto. 

Aaron Hashimoto, a success coach at ASU Local – West Hawaiʻi provides one-on-one support for students.

“If I need to meet or if I have questions, even during the summer, he's been extremely available and he puts in a lot of work to make sure that his students stay on track and that we're not getting lost in this online realm. I would strongly recommend attending this program over other online schools because the quality of education is pretty high.” 

Application information can be found here. There’s a soft deadline of July 1 for the fall semester, however admissions happen on a rolling basis allowing students the chance to come in mid-semester or mid-year.  

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