By Amanda Rico
Ka La staff writer
When thinking about the College Skills Center, most people think about the Compass placement test administered there, but the center has a lot more to it than that. The staff is eager to share information about the center.
Hanwell Kaakimaka, testing coordinator, explains that the center provides testing help, not just for the placement tests but also for distance education classes and students who need to make up in-class exams.
Although it primarily helps HonoluluCC students, it also offers its services to others in the UH system. If you happen to live in the area and go to another campus, the CSC can administer tests your teacher has set up.
“When I first went in, they were helpful and they made sure I understood how everything worked,” said Selene, a student who did not want to give her last name.
Each test is closely monitored by a high-tech system to ensure there’s no cheating. Two monitors can view what you are doing on the computer. And it’s not just for testing. The center also can provide general help, including all-around tutoring for students and faculty. It has eight to nine tutors to help with anything one might need. HonoluluCC students get priority.
CSC also offers English and math brush-up courses, which are open to everyone.
“The math brush-up course helps students proceed to their major faster, and it helps them with their goal to graduate or transfer,” said Cory Takemoto, coordinator for the course, which is self-paced, costs $40 for six weeks and can be done at home or in the center.
The center also administers the local VISTA volunteer program and offers Jumpstart, a program that gives students 16 and up a chance to earn college credit while still attending high school.
Students appreciate the help they can get at the center. “It’s not only nice to get help here, but it’s also a nice quiet place to study,” said student Jeremy Balmores.
“They’re like a family,” added Aaron Ceaser. “They genuinely care and are willing to help from the most simplistic problem to the most difficult one.”