HONOLULU, Hawaii—Bank of Hawaii is celebrating the growing success of its College Assistance Program, a tuition-free employee benefit that so far has paid for the associate’s or bachelor’s degrees of eight teammates in Hawaii and the West Pacific Region. Eighty employees are currently enrolled in the program.
Bank of Hawaii launched the College Assistance Program in August 2016 with the mission of helping its employees obtain their first college degree. To lessen the financial cost, the bank provides 100% upfront tuition assistance, including textbooks and fees, prior to each term. Included in CAP is “Focus on Finals Day,” which gives each enrolled participant one paid day off during finals week so they may study for exams. In the first five years of the program, three employees have earned their bachelor’s degrees in psychology, business administration or management, and five have earned their associate’s degrees in business administration or management.
“The success of the College Assistance Program lies with our employees, who wholeheartedly want to provide a better future for themselves and their families,” said Peter Ho, Bank of Hawaii chairman, president, and CEO. “Managing the responsibilities of a career, family and obligations with continuing education is no easy feat, and it is inspiring to see so many of our teammates continue their studies even throughout the pandemic. I’m incredibly proud of their accomplishments.”
The program is open to employees who have been employed at the bank for at least six continuous months and who have not yet earned a college degree. Employees can choose from one of four bachelor’s degree programs (Business Administration, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Historical & Political Studies, and Psychology) offered by Chaminade University, or the Associates in Arts program from University of Hawaii Community Colleges. Majors do not have to be related to an employee’s role at the bank, and there is no commitment to stay with Bank of Hawaii once they have earned their degrees.
“The CAP program provided hope for me. Priorities changed as I became a mother, wife, and full-time employee that, after so many years of being away from school, it felt like I wasn’t ever going back. The CAP program helped put my goals in perspective and reminded me that my future is important and my goals are within reach,” said Sarah Hunt, People Service Center representative and Chaminade University class of 2020 graduate.
“We recognize the cost of a college education can be a barrier for some. We are proud to support our teammates by alleviating that concern,” said Matthew Hunter, SVP and director of learning development. “It brings our entire bank ‘ohana joy to see the success these teammates experience, and the continued growth of the program shows they believe in themselves and the power of education.” (PR)