GEAR UP HAWAI‘I is a $22 million, seven-year matching grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education (2011-18) with the mission to significantly increase the number of low-income middle and high school students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college. The program is made up of a consortium of partners including the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, the University of Hawai‘i System and community partners. Between 2011 and 2018, GEAR UP Hawai‘i will provide services to nearly 21,000 students statewide. The program inspires hope and improves futures by increasing Hawai‘i’s students’ access to and success in higher education.
COLLEGE APPLICATION AND EXPLORATION SEASON (CAES) is an initiative of Hawai‘i P-20’s GEAR UP Hawai‘i program designed to assist high school students with college application and exploration. CAES is based on the “College Application Week” program started by GEAR UP North Carolina in 2005 which has since expanded to 24 states and the District of Columbia in 2012. The goal of CAES is to encourage high school seniors, particularly prospective first-generation college students from low-income families, to apply to at least one college before they graduate from high school, giving every student the option to go to college. Local volunteers, college faculty and staff work with high schools in the state to plan events to encourage their seniors to complete a college application.
K-12 TO HIGHER EDUCATION ALIGNMENT Hawai‘i P-20 is focused on increasing alignment between K-12 and higher education by fostering the alignment of expectations in content and practices as defined by the Common Core State Standards, and by supporting the development of a statewide definition of College, Career, and Community Readiness. By nurturing cross-agency partnerships and leveraging multiple funding sources, Hawai‘i P-20 continuously engages in a broad array of activities supporting the aforementioned goals. Through a series of alignment summits focused on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Smarter Balanced Assessments, and the allocation of regional alignment grants, Hawai‘i P-20 strives to increase student success throughout the educational pipeline, easing the transition for students from high school to college and career.
CONNECTING FOR SUCCESS is an initiative is funded through the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and targets over 1,500 struggling middle school students who are off track in attendance, behavior, and course marks. Schools are focused on developing interventions that engage these students and provide the support to grow their connection to their school, improve their attendance, raise their academic performance and successfully transition them to ninth grade and beyond. The CFS Initiative is currently in its second year of a three-year program.
CORE TO COLLEGE aims to foster alignment and collaboration between K-12 and higher ed to improve readiness for college and career, and increase the number of students who continue on to postsecondary education. Hawai‘i is one of twelve states to receive the Core to College grant which is funded by the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL GRANT PROGRAM is an initiative designed to allow more high school students to earn six or more college credits before they graduate from high school. Over the next three years, Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, with the support of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and GEAR UP Hawai‘i, will invest more than $1.2 million of resources to fund tuition and expenses and provide technical assistance to selected high schools working in partnership with University of Hawai‘i campuses, to provide high school-based early college courses.
MY FUTURE HAWAI‘I is a college and career planning portal for Hawai‘iʻs students. Hawai‘i P-20 and the Workforce Development Council of DLIR have partnered together with ConnectEDU to develop this customized college and career access portal. Funded by the Federal College Access Challenge Grant, MyFutureHawaii.org, allows middle and high school students to begin their college and career exploration online.