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Hilo High School Students Taking More AP, College Courses

Posted March 20, 2017, 09:32 AM HST
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Hilo High School. File photo by Dave Smith.

Hawai‘i’s students continue to reach higher levels of achievement, with more students taking college-level courses while in high school and graduating with college credits, according to the College and Career Readiness Indicators Report, which measures student readiness for college and careers.

Hilo High School students who enrolled in college-level courses during high school increased 24% from 7% since 2014.

The class of 2016 report, released today by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, shows that the state’s public school graduates have made steady, and in some cases, significant improvements in key indicators of college and career readiness, including earning college credits before graduation (often referred to as “early college”), Advanced Placement (AP) participation and completion of career pathways.

While nationwide college enrollment for Hawai‘i’s students has remained steady over the last few years at around 55%, the enrollment rate for four-year colleges has increased over four years, from 26% for the class of 2012 to 32% for the class of 2016.

Remediation rates for both English and mathematics have been steadily declining with each graduating class since the reports’ inception with the class of 2008. Following a decade of collaboration on improving educational outcomes for the sate, the University of Hawai‘i System’s 10 campuses instituted a new placement policy beginning in fall 2016 that allows students to be placed into college-level coursework based on their achievements as a high school student.

Research shows that the more quickly students enter and complete these college-level courses, the more likely students are to attain their higher education goals.

“More high school graduates entering into college-level courses immediately after high school demonstrates that the changes we’ve initiated from Hawaii Common Core to early college programs and the collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i are paying off for our students and community,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “These results are a clear testament to the commitment of our school leaders and teachers who stayed the course in raising the rigor and setting high expectations for our students.”

Collaboration between the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and UH to provide opportunities for students to access and be successful in higher education is making an impact. Research shows that participation in college-level coursework during high school increases students’ exposure and confidence to pursue postsecondary opportunities. High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.

In the class of 2016, the number of dual-credit participants (students who enrolled in college-level courses during high school) increased by four percentage points statewide, from 10% for the class of 2015 to 14% for the class of 2016.

Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year.

At Waipahu High School on O‘ahu, 32% of the class of 2016 participated in dual credit.

Several other schools increased dual-credit participation by 10 percentage points or more since the class of 2014:

Hilo High School, Big Island: 24% from 7% (+17 points)
Kaimuki High School, O‘ahu: 29% from 14% (+15)
Kapa‘a High School, Kaua‘i: 23% from 8% (+15)
Kailua High School, O‘ahu: 20% from 5% (+15)
Roosevelt High Schoo, O‘ahul: 21% from 8% (+13)

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, a rigorous assessment that measures students’ mastery of college-level coursework, which many colleges recognize for college credit. This continues the trend of the last five years of more public school students graduating having taken AP courses and exams: 24% of the Class of 2012 to 33% of the Class of 2016. Last year, some schools registered significant increases in AP exam-takers. The top five schools with the highest increases between the Class of 2014 and 2016 are:

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Roosevelt High School, O‘ahu: 58% from 30% (+28 points)
Nanakuli High School, O‘ahu: 33% from 11% (+22)
Castle High School, O‘ahu: 43% from 23% (+20)
Aiea High School, O‘ahu: 44% from 25% (+19)
Radford High School, O‘ahu: 47% from 33% (+14)

O‘ahu’s Nanakuli, Castle, and Aiea High Schools made significant strides, moving from below the statewide average for AP exam participation, to above the statewide average.

Several schools are spotlighted in the class of 2016 CCRI for gains made in a number of additional areas of college and career readiness, including:

Hilo High School, Big Island
Increased dual-credit participation to 24%, from 10% for the class of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 54%, from 26% for the class of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 63%, from 37% for the class of 2012

Radford High School, O‘ahu
Increased on-time graduation rate to 94% for the class of 2016, from 87% for the class of 2012
Increased participation in AP examinations to 47%, from 36% for the class of 2012
Increased nationwide college enrollment to 62%, from 51% for the class of 2012

Lahainaluna High School, Maui
Increased nationwide college enrollment to 55%, from 47% for the class of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 52%, from 25% for the Cclass of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 57%, from 45% for the class of 2012

Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, O‘ahu
Increased dual-credit participation to 19%, from 3% for the class of 2012
Increased participation in AP examinations to 33%, from 11% for the class of 2014
Increased nationwide college enrollment to 38%, from 29% for the class of 2012

Farrington High School, O‘ahu
Increased participation in AP examinations to 22%, from 4% for the class of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 34%, from 27% for the class of 2012
Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 59%, from 43% for the class of 2012

“Year over year, we see that Hawai‘i’s public high school graduates are more prepared for success after high school,” said Stephen Schatz, recently appointed as executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. “The College and Career Readiness Indicators report is an important tool that quantifiably measures college readiness of our public high school students, and gives leaders the data they need to make improvements.”

CCRI reports are an annual collaboration between HIDOE and UH, coordinated by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present information on how well-prepared Hawai‘i public school graduates are for college.

Hawai‘i’s CCRI reports are continuously recognized by national organizations, including the Data Quality Campaign, Achieve and the National Governors Association, as a leading example of collaboration between K-12 and higher education and for providing useful information on college readiness.

The full reports can be found online.

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