The University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu, together with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, hosted the 2016 inaugural Early College High School Conference today.
Early college programs are an important way for students from across the state to get a head start on their college careers by getting college credit for courses taken while still in high school.
According to the College and Career Readiness Report (CCRI), released by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a growing number of Hawai‘i’s public high school students are taking college-level courses and earning dual credits – for both high school and college – before they graduate. Up to 10 percent of the Class of 2015 statewide earned college credits from the University of Hawai’i (UH) while attending high school, up four percentage points from the Class of 2013.
The increase in dual-credit participation and college-level preparation is a boost toward achieving Hawai‘i’s “55 by ‘25” education goal of 55 percent of working age adults holding a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025.
Education leaders from around the state, including First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz, Hawaii P-20 Executive Director Karen Lee and chancellors from University of Hawai‘i campuses across the state contributed to the national dialogue about early college–accelerated learning opportunities for high school students. Attendees also included about 100 students from Waianae, Nanakuli, Waipahu and Kapaa High Schools.
Research shows that participation in college-level coursework during high school can increase students’ exposure and aspirations for postsecondary success. High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.
The top five high schools with the highest percentage of students completing dual-credit for the Class of 2015 are:
- Waipahu High School: 32% (from 13% in the Class of 2013)
- Kailua High School: 18% (from 5% in the Class of 2013)
- Kaimuki High School: 16% (from 6% in the Class of 2013)
- Farrington High School: 15% (from 3% in the Class of 2013)
- Waianae High School: 15% (from 4% in the Class of 2013)