East Hawaii News

REPORT: Hawai’i High School Students Taking Strides into College Prep

March 29, 2016, 1:02 PM HST
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File photo by Dave Ross.

File photo by Dave Ross.

More Hawai’i public high school students are taking college-level courses than ever.

The Hawai’i Department of Education says that a reported released on Tuesday shows that students are taking more dual credit courses before they exit high school, compared to their 2013 counterparts.

The College and Career Readiness Report, released by Hawai’i P-20 Partnerships for Education, shows that the Class of 2015 increased by four percent from 2013 when it came to earning college credits from the University of Hawai’i system while in high school.

No Big Island schools reached the top five in the chart, which included Waipahu, Kailua, Kaimuki, Farrington, and Waianae high schools.

Waiakea High School was noted in the report, however, as one of the spotlight schools with the highest gains in the CCRI for the Class of 2015.

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Among Waiakea’s gains were in participation, up six percent from eight percent for the Class of 2013. In addition, 69 percent of Waiakea students earned at least six college credits, a number up by 37 percent since 2013.

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“This shows us that efforts towards preparing students for both college and the workforce is getting results. The pride and excitement of having these educational opportunities is evident when I speak with students who are earning college credit,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The college-going rate increase also coincides with more high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP).”

According to the report, a third of students statewide in the Class of 2015 have completed an AP exam. This number is up from 28 percent in the Class of 2013. In addition, 42 percent of students in the Class of 2015 scored a three or higher, earning them college credit for the exam.

“The increase in dual-credit participation and college-level preparation supports our state’s 55 by ’25 education goal,” said Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, an organization that works on programs and policy to strengthen the pipeline from early childhood through post-secondary education.  “It is a testament to HIDOE’s adoption of more rigorous standards, as well as the strong partnership with UH through dual credit courses, that more students are prepared for college.”

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The CCRI report is an annual collaboration between the DOH and UH, coordinated by Hawai’i P-20 Partnerships for Education. Each year, the report presents information on how well Hawai’i public school graduates are prepared for college.

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