Parent Review: Hawaii Pacific University for Dual Enrollment

Special thanks to HS4CC parent Gordon F. for sharing his review of Introductory Oceanography at Hawaii Pacific University. This science course earns 3 college credits (non-lab) and you’ll award your teen 1 high school credit. Oceanography is a great science to consider if you’re looking for an interesting variation of Earth Science!

Oceanography contains a little bit of astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. For high school transcript purposes, you can classify it as a (physical) science with the title Oceanography.

Hawaii Pacific University

1164 Bishop Street Suite 800, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 544-0202

This university holds Regional Accreditation, the highest type you’re looking for in a dual enrollment course. Check any college you’re considering in the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Class: MARS1000 Introductory Oceanography (3 credits)

Cost: $500 (about $514 with tax). Textbook listed on their site was approximately $120 but we found it on Amazon for around $80. Total cost for us about $600

What was the application process like? I used a link from a Facebook ad and it took me to a page with a list of courses. I chose the Oceanography class and then paid for it. He was basically “instantly” approved.

How long did it take from application to acceptance? Almost immediate, a few days at the most. Very informal and all web-based.

What kind of homeschooling records, transcripts, placement tests did you have to provide? No records, no transcripts or tests. It was very open to accepting all high schoolers.

How old is your son? 14. It had you choose the students grade level, and 9th was the lowest level. When we signed up for the course, he was in our estimation beginning 9th grade.

How was the information delivered to your son? Mostly independent reading. The course was heavily based on the textbook. There were a few videos, but they honestly felt more supplemental for the chapter readings. There were a few short videos for the discussion assignments. All videos were short, many only a minute and a half! Many were outdated. Some were dry content from official sites such as NOAA. They were most rich when they talked about something you were either not aware of or had little knowledge about (such as the ocean preserve off the NW coast of Hawaii, or fish farming, which I knew little about). There were no lectures, and instructor feedback was a mixture of personal feedback (a little) and group feedback (majority). There were PowerPoint slides that were simply outlines of the chapters you had been assigned.

Format and dates: class was in the 8-week format from late October through the second week of December. All assignments were based on Hawaii Standard Time (HST). Assignments were given point values so that cumulative points would result in your final grade (standard 90% and up is an A, 80% and up is a B, etc.). There were 8 definition assignments that were due late on Thursdays, and other assignments were due late on Mondays. There was a midterm, final, and 2 quizzes. In addition, there were three short written discussions. Each discussion had a 100-word summary, a 100-word personal impact section, and the need to comment and respond to at least 2 other classmate’s post. There was also a 500-word project topic (of your choice) that required the use of two references to be cited. The workload and number of assignments was appropriate, and my son was able to also complete another course with ASU Earned Admissions concurrently.

Arizona State University Earned Admission program is a popular dual enrollment option in our community. Learn more here.

The quizzes and exams are open book and timed. (The final had 50 questions to be answered in 80 minutes). All quizzes and exams were multiple choice, no catches. They were geared specifically toward the textbook, and google searches could lead you to misleading answers.

The course was well-structured, but the syllabus and course content had not been updated. This was quickly resolved through contact with the professor, who was very responsive. It seemed standard for a typical online class.

Other notes: HPU uses Blackboard (learning platform) so this was a helpful experience for my son to get used to in preparation for future community college classes. It played out more like a traditional online college class. We felt that if he worked toward the course assignments and deadlines that he should be able to get the grade he wanted; this did in fact happen, and we are satisfied with the result.

The courses aren’t as cheap as other options. There are some videos, but they aren’t as rich or as interactive as the ASU classes (a.k.a. the future). When we signed up, we imagined something as immersive as “Blue Planet” with Sir David Attenborough, but it was simply a straight-from-the-book type college class with a few videos and links to ocean-related websites. That being said, my son really enjoyed it and learned a lot. We pelted us with facts and issues related to ocean life, and that is always a good barometer for if actual learning is taking place. Plus, it is a unique class, and another science.

Like patrons of the arts, we are also patrons of credits. We saw a chance at a unique credit that was affordable, and we wanted to reward HPU for offering it. Our son is still 14, and there aren’t a lot of course options that don’t also have age and/or grade restrictions. At the very least, their course offerings are worth looking at.

Thanks Gordon, for that excellent review! Here is the relevant link if you want to register for this class or explore other Hawaii Pacific University courses.

*special note: I’ve used the text color orange to distinguish the courses that I predict will have the highest transferability at the greatest number of target universities for high school students. If you are already enrolled at a university (post-high school), you can contact your university directly to confirm transferability of any course.

Hawaii Pacific University for High School Students


Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)PSCI 1400American Political System3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)SPAN 1100Beginning Spanish I3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)SPAN 1200Beginning Spanish II3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)PH 2060Comparative Healthcare Systems3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)CSCI 1041Digital Literacy in a Global Society3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)CSCI 1041Digital Literacy in a Global Society3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)HIST 1002Global Crossroads 1500 to Present3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)HIST 1002Global Crossroads 1500 to Present3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)HRD 1000Introduction to Human Resource Development3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)HRD 1000Introduction to Human Resource Development3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)PADM 1000Introduction to Leadership in America3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)PSCI 2000Introduction to Politics3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)PSCI 2000Introduction to Politics3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)PSY 1000Introduction to Psychology3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)PSY 1000Introduction to Psychology3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)ARTS 1000Introduction to Visual Arts3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)MUS 1000Introduction to Western Classical Music3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)BIOL 1000Introductory Biology3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)BIOL 1000Introductory Biology3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)MARS 1000Introductory Oceanography3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)HIST 1558Living History of Hawaii3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)MATH1130Pre-Calculus I3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)PHIL 2090Principles of Logic3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)ENG 1101Representations of Pacific Life3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)WRI 1200Research, Argument, and Writing3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)WRI 1200Research, Argument, and Writing3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)MATH1123Statistics3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)MATH 1123Statistics3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)MATH 1123Statistics3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)HIST 1402The American Experience: 1865 to Present3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)ENG 2000The Art of Literature3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)ENVS 1000The Sustainability Challenge3
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)ENVS 1000The Sustainability Challenge3
Spring 8A (01/11-03/07)HIST 1001Traditions and Encounters: World Cultures to 15003
Spring 8B (03/15-05/09)CJ 1000Violence in American Society3
16-Week (01/11-05/09)WRI 1100Writing and Analyzing Arguments3

Has your teen taken a class through a university as a dual enrolled student? If so, consider sending me a review so I can share it with our audience!


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

One thought on “Parent Review: Hawaii Pacific University for Dual Enrollment

  1. Excellent review I enjoyed reading this

    Please excuse the brevity, Sent from my iPhone


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