Photo: NHIS students will participate in an Astronomy 110 class offered through LCC-Wai‘anae.
More than half of Nānākuli High & Intermediate School (NHIS) seniors are accepted into college, but when it comes to graduation time, less than 33% actually enroll into a college program. To improve those odds, community partners are sponsoring a duel enrollment program designed to help strengthen pathways to college for Wai‘anae Coast students.
Twenty-eight NHIS juniors and seniors will also be college students next semester. Through a pilot program offered in partnership with Leeward Community College – Wai‘anae, these students will earn both high school and college credit while taking an Astronomy 110 class, offered on campus during the extended learning time period.
“We’re very excited for this opportunity for the kids,” said NHIS principal Darin Pilialoha. “We’re starting something that we haven’t ventured into before.”
“What we’re trying to do with this program is to give these students a taste of what to expect when they leave us so they can be in a better position to really see if college is for them or not. We want them to say that this is what they want. Now, they can get exposed to it. We’re also looking at ways that we can provide this opportunity for years to come for all of our kids.”
The dual enrollment pilot program is the result of a partnership between NHIS, LCC-Wai‘anae, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education. Participating students were recommended by their Science teachers.
“This is the first time a class like this is being offered on the Wai‘anae Coast,” said Jayson Corrales, a counselor with LCC-Wai‘anae. “These students are going to be college students and are going to be challenged with college-level work. Between now and when classes start in January, we’re going to prepare them and make sure that they are ready.”
Upon completion of the class, students will be in the University of Hawai‘i system and will have a transcript with credits earned, whether they decide to continue with LCC-Wai‘anae or decide to attend another university program.
“Hawai‘i P-20 is very excited to partner with NHIS and other community organizations, like KS, to provide students with an opportunity for early access to college,” said Angela Jackson, Associate Director for Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. “By working hand in hand with NHIS and to take advantage of the new extended learning time, we are looking forward to giving these students an opportunity to get a jump start on their college education.”
Kamehameha Schools’ Kui Lei team from the Career & Post-High Counseling and Guidance Department is supporting the development of this dual enrollment program by helping to convene stakeholders, coordinate services and manage resources to bring the dual enrollment course to fruition for the NHIS community of haumāna, ‘ohana and kumu.
Kui Lei/ CPHCG program manager Andrea Dias said, “In the same way that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to provide educational opportunities and support systems to increase student achievement which in turn instills ‘ohana and community pride, thus creating intergenerational change.”
Dias, Kui Lei/CPHCG project analyst Jenny Crawford and CPHCG director Carrie Larger were on-hand to help coordinate and support a program orientation for parents and participating students held in September.
"It is our hope that we can capitalize on this momentum and provide more opportunities for Wai‘anae Coast haumāna to enroll and be successful in college during their high school years and get a head start on the completion of their post-high degree," continued Dias.