Early College brings University of Hawaii professors into public high schools to teach college-level coursework, and enables participating students to earn credit to satisfy requirements at both. The courses also can be taught by qualified high school teachers.
The program began in 2011 at Waipahu High School thanks to a partnership with the school’s two neighboring colleges: Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. In 2013 the program became free for participating students with a grant from the
The program expanded to
12 high schools statewide in 2014 with funding and support from Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and GEAR UP Hawaii. Ongoing funding for the program is sought in our budget requests of the Legislature.
Running Start is a program that allows “eligible” high school students to take a college course at a University of Hawaii system campus as part of their high school coursework. The unique partnership between the Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System allows public and charter high school students to attend college classes during the fall, spring, and summer while earning both high school and college credits.
Good to know
UH courses at or above the 100-level are available to Running Start students, provided the student meets any individual course prerequisites. To see all available UH campus classes, click here. Students enrolled in Early College programs can take the courses being offered at their high school.
Students need to complete the Dual Credit Application, which requires authorization from the student's parent/guardian, high school counselor and high school principal. The student’s high school counselor should review the need for placement scores and other prerequisites, as applicable, for the college campus where the student plans to enroll. The counselor will also help to determine if the college course is fulfilling a specific requirement or elective for high school graduation. Once all approvals have been received, the student will submit their Dual Credit application form, along with a University of Hawaii Application Form, to the UH campus they wish to attend. Once admitted, the student should meet with the University of Hawaii Running Start counselor to receive additional assistance in registering for courses and ensuring that all college admission requirements are met.
Although Dual Credit programs provide a great opportunity for early access to college, they also comes with great responsibility. A student who decides to drop or withdraw from a college course mid-semester runs the risk of not fulfilling high school graduation requirements. It is important for students and parents to review all resource material and seek additional information, if needed, from their high school and/or college counselors before committing to participate.
- University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (includes the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center)
- University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu
- Hawaiʻi Community College (includes Hilo and Palamanui campuses)
- Honolulu Community College
- Kapiʻolani Community College
- Kauaʻi Community College
- Leeward Community College
- University of Hawaiʻi Maui College
- Windward Community College