New private university
offers diver training

A new private university in Honolulu is offering what is believed to be the first commercial diving program in Hawaii, according to an official.

National University Hawaii is currently accepting students for its next commercial diving program next month and other programs that include health care and education.

An open house will be held at the Myron B. Thompson Academy at 629 Pohukaina St., where most on-site classes will be held, at 6:30 p.m. May 17. Pupus will be served followed by sessions that will discuss each program.

Reservations are requested for the event. To make a reservation, call 599-3597.

For the past six months, university officials have been working with members of the community to determine what programs are needed and beneficial for Hawaii.

The university already has 12 to 13 students enrolled in its commercial diving program that is offered through the National Polytechnic College of Engineering and Oceaneering, an affiliate of the National University system.

Some of the courses commercial diving students undergo include introduction to physics and safety.

Courses are held at Honolulu Community College's Marine Education and Training Center on Sand Island.

"Commercial diving is an occupation that has a high turnover. It is not easy work. It involves physical exertion," said Ella Jean Morgan, vice president of academics at the Polytechnic College of Engineering and Oceaneering.

Some of the fields that involve commercial divers include underwater construction, homeland security and energy. Students can enter the program every two months.

The National University system is based in La Jolla, Calif. It was founded in 1971 with 30 locations accredited under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Other programs National University Hawaii is offering are in multimedia arts and online degree programs. Courses for those on the neighbor islands will be made available through the university's distance-learning technology.

Vice Chancellor Patricia Potter said those who attend National University can obtain their degrees faster than by attending a four-year college.

"Our students move through our degree programs at an accelerated pace," she said.

Potter said that most of their students who attend National University are nontraditional students who have clear goals.

"They know what they want to do when they enroll," she said.

Tuition costs $995 per course, and each program has eight to 14 courses. Financial aid is available.

National University programs

Health care
» Certificate programs are available in alcohol and drug counseling, pharmacy work and medical billing and coding. Classes for the programs are expected to begin later this month. Students can enroll on a rolling schedule.

» Individuals will be able to obtain a Master of Arts in teaching starting this summer. Both online and on-site classes will be offered. Students will be able to complete the program in 10 to 13 months.

Multimedia Arts
» Programs involve Web development, graphic design and video gaming.

Commercial Diving
» The program supports a work force in high demand among offshore energy exploration firms, marine development industries and engineering firms.

Online Degree Programs
» Fifteen undergraduate degree programs will be offered that include criminal science, construction engineering, psychology, global studies, accountancy and business administration. Twenty-one graduate degree programs will be offered that include digital cinema, homeland security and safety engineering, business administration, forensic sciences, English and creative writing.

National University Hawaii

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