College prep programs help students transition into college life, making it easier for them to be successful right through to graduation.
A high priority at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is to improve significantly the recruiting, retention and graduation of our students. Two programs are showing great progress on recruiting and the success of UH Hilo students: the Running Start and Early College programs.
The Running Start program has been around for years. It allows local high school students to take a college course at one of the 10 UH System campuses across the state. In this way, high school students are attending classes with college and university students and getting acclimated to college life and demands. Students receive dual credit, high school and college credit, for successful completion of the course.
Prior to spring 2015, UH Hilo had a small number of students in Running Start. It was after UH Hilo started offering Early College classes a couple of years ago that the university had a significant increase in enrollment.
In the Early College program, university courses are taught by a university professor on the student’s high school campus. Upon successful completion of the course, the student receives both high school and college credit.
The purpose is to have more high school students graduate with college credits so they are better prepared for their future degree and career.
In 2015, twelve high schools statewide were selected to participate in the Early College DOE program so as to increase the number of high school students earning six or more college credits before they graduate from high school. Four public high schools on Hawai‘i Island are participating. Kamehameha Schools also entered into a partnership with UH Hilo.
Some of the introductory classes provided by UH Hilo in the last two years are in astronomy, psychology, and sociology at Kohala High. Anthropology, art, communication, English, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and math are offered at the Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i campus.
Hawai‘i Community College also has partnerships with high schools on the island and UH Hilo is working closely with them to bring the Early College program to the whole island.
Read more about the programs in Chancellor Straney’s monthly column on the Chancellor’s Blog.