Over the next three years, Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, with the support of
the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and GEAR UP Hawaii, will invest more than $1.2 million of
resources to fund tuition and expenses and provide technical assistance to selected high
schools working in partnership with University of Hawaii campuses, to provide high school-based
early college courses.
The Early College High School Program is part of a cohesive effort
to bring an early college high school model successful in other states, where students have the
option of earning both an associate’s degree and a high school diploma by their high school
graduation, to Hawaii. The purpose of these grants is to develop best practices for early
college high schools such that more students graduate with college credits and better
preparation for their future degree/career. The program could serve up to 3,200 students
"This partnership is more than just preparing students for higher education," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "This provides the extra push
needed for students to reach their goals in life. The impact that this program can make is
“Research shows participation in college-level coursework during high school can increase
students’ exposure and aspirations for postsecondary success,” says Karen Lee, Executive
Director of Hawaii P-20. “High school students who graduate with at least six college credits
are more likely to enroll, persist and succeed in higher education, and as a result, move us
closer to achieving our state’s goal of having 55% of working age adults with a two or four-year
college degree by 2025.”
“Many high schools and community colleges in Hawaii are trying the early college approach.
Helping bring these early efforts to scale will prepare many more high school students –
especially those that are low income or first generation – to attend and succeed in college,”
noted Alex Harris, Senior Program Officer for Education at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.
“Exposing young people to a collegiate environment at an early age is a win for the student, the
high school, and the college.”
The selected schools will provide early college courses over a three-year period with the goal
of increasing the number of high school students taking early college courses and the number of
college credits students receive by their high school graduation. Technical assistance will be
provided through the Early College High School Program to assist grantees in understanding
and best using their current resources, as well as offering guidance to grantees to reach their
three-year goals for the program. In addition, a community of learners will be developed to
allow grantees to share their best practices and identify barriers and solutions to common
The selected schools include:
- Hawaii Island: Hilo High School, Kealakehe High School, Kohala High School, and
Waiakea High School
Kauai: Kapaa High School and Kauai High School
Molokai: Molokai High School
Oahu: Farrington High School, Kailua High School, Kaimuki High School, Waianae
High School, and Waipahu High School
Nine of the 10 University of Hawaii campuses are involved in supporting early college classes
at the selected high schools, including: Hawaii Community College, Honolulu Community
College, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College, Leeward Community
College, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the University of Hawaii Maui College, the University
of Hawaii – West Oahu, and Windward Community College.
Schools will start offering early college courses for the program beginning in Spring 2015. Students who are interested in participating should contact their high school counselor.
Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office
on Early Learning, the State Department of Education, and the University of Hawai‘i System.
This partnership is working to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through
higher education so that all students achieve career and college success. Hawaii P-20’s partners
share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawai‘i’s educational outcomes in an
increasingly global economy, and have established a goal of 55% of Hawai‘i’s working age adults
to have a 2- or 4-year college degree and for 100% of working age adults to be prepared for
careers and college by the year 2025. For more information, visit http://www.p20hawaii.org.
GEAR UP Hawaii, a program of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, aims to broaden
college awareness, expand academic readiness and increase postsecondary success among
Hawaii’s low-income public school students. GEAR UP Hawaii collaborates with the Hawaii
State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System as well as
the government, nonprofit and private sectors to provide information, encouragement, support,
resources and services and help eliminate achievement gaps among groups traditionally
underrepresented in higher education.
The Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the largest private foundation headquartered in Hawaii, is
committed to closing the achievement and preparation gaps in public education so that all
Hawai‘i’s children have access to high-quality pre-K-12 education that prepares them for
success in college, career and citizenship. Its grants also focus on restoring nearshore marine
ecosystems and strengthening Windward Oahu communities. Visit http://castlefoundation.org.