Written By Gregory Fischbach

February 22, 2024
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HPU faculty and staff joined forces with Trade Media Hui representatives to commemorate the launch of Hawai'i's first-ever master's degree in construction management

HPU faculty and staff joined forces with Trade Media Hui representatives to commemorate the launch of Hawai'i's first-ever master's degree in construction management.

HPU is set to launch their new master of science in construction management degree in the fall 2024, making it the pioneer and sole university in Hawaiʻi to provide this specialized program. The one-year degree program is designed for early- to mid-career professionals who have earned a bachelor's degree in any field. The program aims to provide advanced training and education to enhance their leadership capabilities. Trade Media Hui, located in Honolulu, has partnered with HPU in the creation of the degree program, making a significant investment in the University from their Carl and Christine Hebenstreit Fund.

“We are absolutely thrilled to offer this innovative master’s degree program in construction management at HPU,” said HPU Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D. “The contribution from Trade Media Hui’s Hebenstreit Fund is instrumental in bringing HPU’s construction management degree to fruition. This generous gift specifically addresses the pressing workforce needs within the construction management industry and will provide invaluable support for the program’s development.”

Established in 1954 as Trade Publishing, Trade Media Hui remains a family-owned business and continues its commitment to the level of quality established by Carl “Kini Popo” and Christine Hebenstreit, who built the company into one of the only remaining locally owned joint magazine publishing and printing houses in Hawaiʻi. 

“Our success over the decades is due in large part to the support of the construction industry, and we’ve never taken their support for granted,” Trade Media Hui President Faith Freitas said. “To express our appreciation, the Hebenstreit Fund will aim to grow the pool of talent that is the lifeblood of this critical industry. We are excited to share our goal of creating a learning space for Hawaiʻi’s students to help secure their futures in construction, and we are also humbly grateful for HPU’s partnership and commitment to providing this one-of-a-kind program to help bridge a pathway from academia to vocation. This collaboration offers a fantastic opportunity to fulfill our mission and give back to our industry.”

The new program will be delivered in-person at HPU’s College of Business in Pioneer Plaza. Key highlights include a distinguished faculty with extensive industry experience in Hawaiʻi, guest lectures from construction and project management professionals, site visits to active construction projects in Hawaiʻi, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and access to the college's resources for entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The construction industry in Hawaiʻi is at a pivotal juncture, with an ever-growing demand for skilled workers and effective managers,” Walsh said. “However, traditional recruitment methods have proven insufficient to bridge the widening gap. The changing demographics, coupled with the unique challenges posed by the geographical isolation of the islands, have prompted the need for innovative strategies to attract and retain a capable workforce. HPU is responding to these challenges by launching a comprehensive degree program.”

The core curriculum of the Master’s program covers a wide range of essential subjects, including construction, project management, advanced project scheduling and control, construction cost management, legal aspects of construction, risk management in construction, construction safety, compliance, and sustainability, and the culminating construction project management capstone.

“The construction management program at HPU encompasses a deep understanding of construction techniques, project management, sustainability, and innovative practices, ensuring that our graduates are well-prepared to drive positive change within the industry,” said HPU Dean of the College of Business Mark Rosenbaum, Ph.D. “The focus on project management sets the program apart from an engineering-focused degree, making it an ideal choice for students looking to secure employment in construction or project management roles. I believe the program will empower our graduates with the skills to thrive in leadership roles within the construction industry, particularly in project management and leadership positions. Hawai'i's unique position provides an unparalleled environment for studying construction management, with a focus on project management in residential and retail construction and environmental sustainability.” 

The new master of science in construction management degree is the latest in a series of academic programs designed to equip the early- and mid-career professional. In addition to this degree, in the next few months HPU is launching online degrees in product management, health communication, cybersecurity, and data science.

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