By Dwayne Sakaguchi, Kapi‘o Staff Writer
In an effort to increase the number of high school students enrolling in college after graduation, Kapiʻolani Community College and Kaimuki High School are expanding their existing partnership by offering more college courses on the Kaimuki campus.
The Kaimuki to College dual-enrollment program allows Kaimuki High School students to take college-level courses and earn college credits free of charge. Through the program, students can complete up to an associates degree upon graduating high school.
This Fall, Kaimuki is currently offering students grades 9 through 12 an opportunity to take two classes — English 100 and Biology 101 — while still completing their high school core classes.
As KCC high school outreach coordinator Sheldon Tawata explained, the intention behind this program is to “change the college-going rate and perceptions students have about college.” In the spring of 2015, classes including SP 151 and HIST 151 will be made available to the students.
“I like being in the Kaimuki to College program because it gives me an idea of what college classes are like and teaches you how to work independently,” said Kaimuki High School senior Arianna Onogi.
Onogi said she plans to transfer straight to the University of Hawaiʻi Manoa in Fall 2015.
The Kaimuki High School Status Improvement Report 2012-2013 shows that very few students leave Kaimuki High School and continue their education with college. Of those who do enroll in college, many have to take remedial courses
On October 2, instructors held an open house event to meet the administration team of Kaimuki High School in effort to promote the program. Tawata explained that the main purpose of this program is to provide high school students an opportunity to focus on academics and to have a plan for after graduation.
The Kaimuki to College program is part of a broad-based effort to encourage students to plan for and pursue higher education. To this end, the state Department of Education and the UH system have forged important ties with Hawaii P-20 and the Harold K.L Castle.
According to a webinar presented on August 26, 2014, Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education is a partnership taking place statewide with intentions to “strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success.” By 2025, the partners of Hawaii P-20 plan to establish a 55 percent rate of working adults attaining 2- to 4-year degrees in the state of Hawaii.
The Harold K.L Castle Foundation has contributed multi-million dollar investments to the Hawaii Department of Education to provide 100 level-credit classes for high school students on a dual-enrollment basis.
The Kaimuki High School Status Improvement Report 2012-2013 shows that very few students leave Kaimuki High School and continue their education with college. Of those who do enroll in college, many have to take remedial courses.
Tawata explains from a counseling perspective that many students have the mindset that college is not the place for them.
“We want students to see that there is something big outside of high school,” Tawata said. “There is a place for everyone in college.”