Representatives from Hawai‘i Pacific University met with KSK career counselors, haumāna and their ‘ohana to launch a new partnership for a dual credit program at KSK this year.
Thanks to an innovative dual credit partnership with Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU), more than 100 haumāna from KS Kapālama will graduate next spring with high school diplomas and an associate of arts degree in general studies.
The haumāna are part of the inaugural cohort of students in the dual credit program that provides dedicated students the opportunity to simultaneously earn college credit while high school.
Fully funded by KSK, haumāna continue their Hawaiian culture-based education on campus with kumu with their master’s degree and who have been vetted by HPU to teach college-level courses such as literature of the pacific, ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i and astronomy. Nearly 1000 students across kula ki‘eki‘e – from freshmen to seniors – are currently taking college-level courses.
With encouragement and full support from KSK Head of School Dr. Taran Chun KSK ’95, Dean of College and Career Kathryn Kekaulike, spearheaded the creation of the unique program which she called a “phenomenal opportunity,” four years ago.
“The structure of our partnership with HPU means haumāna don’t have to choose getting ahead academically over a KS education,” Kekaulike said. “They can have all that KSK has to offer while earning their associate degree.”
Kapālama senior Ava Pasa agrees. “To graduate with your AA degree is a huge accomplishment,” says Pasa, who hopes to pursue a degree in the medical field or environmental studies. “It shows how you persevered. You made a goal, and you really accomplished it.”
Reflecting on her journey, Pasa says the AA program built her self-confidence, especially in her study habits and her ability to tackle schoolwork at a college level. “This is the cherry on top of my high school career. I couldn’t be happier or prouder of myself,” Pasa adds.
In addition to helping students and families save money on two years of college tuition, haumāna who decide to continue their education at HPU are eligible for significant tuition discounts and scholarships.
Kapālama senior Macyn Hanawahine plans to make the most of that scholarship opportunity by pursuing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at HPU, where he hopes to study business and law.
“I still can’t fully grasp the opportunity that has been laid out before me,” says Hanawahine, who will be the first in his ‘ohana to graduate with a college degree. “Mahalo Ke Ali'i Pauahi for these 13 years of knowledge, growth, kuleana and experiences that I will take with me into my next chapter.”
Learn more about the KS-HPU dual credit program here: https://blogs.ksbe.edu/khsdualcredit/