Lewis, along with many other mothers, has taken
advantage of the technological revolution that has created online
Online courses allow mothers to avoid traditional barriers
to acquiring a college education. Child care costs, long
to and from school, parking fees, and rising gas prices are
all obsolete as obstacles to education. Moreover, mothers
time at home with their children.
College tuition is generally the same for online courses as
for in the classroom courses. Before online educational technology,
a mother from the Leeward coast would have to pay a rate of
a day for child care, approximately $20 a week for gas, and
close to $20 a week for parking. That’s $60 a week, $240
a month that mothers and others can avoid in additional educational
by taking classes online.
A Nanakuli mother, Lewis started taking on-line courses last
semester: “I didn’t want to drive to town and go
to school with students less than half my age,” Lewis said. “I
love to stay home and do my homework when and where I want
Online courses take away the wall-enclosed classroom and face
to face meeting with classmates and teachers. Mothers can do
assignments and tests at their own pace and schedule. Dialog
and discussion are replaced by chat rooms and message boards.
Along with avoiding high costs, online courses allow mothers
to do their daily home routines at their own in the convenience
and without leaving their homes. Lewis explains the benefits
of online courses for her: “I’ve stayed home with
my kids for over 28 years. I wouldn’t want anyone else
to care for my children. When they are at school or taking
a nap, I can complete an assignment. When my husband has to
late at work, I can take an exam while waiting for him to come
In Hawai‘i, many teen mothers have had to drop out of school
or end their education with high school graduation. Kristen Ferriman,
20, is grateful for online courses because she thought she would
never have the chance to go to college: “I was sure that
if I wanted to go to college, I would have to wait until my baby
goes to college,” said Ferriman.
Lewis’ and Ferriman’s experiences show that mothers
can balance a hectic schedule and still have time for themselves,
that a college degree is still obtainable.
HPU offers more than 50 online courses. To enroll in an online
course, the students need a computer that has basic hardware
and software and an Internet connection. Currently, HPU offers,
entirely online, the Associate of Science in Management degree
program and the graduate- level Professional Certificate in
Organizational Change and Development.
For more information, call the Registrar’s Office at 544-0239
or visit the distance-learning section on HPU’s Web site
Lewis puts her last child down for a nap, sits again at her
computer and opens up the economics test that she had started
She takes her time, rereads the textbook for the answer,
and begins to type.