(BIVN) – Hawai‘i Pacific University and Honoka‘a High School kicked off a new partnership on Friday that gives Honoka‘a students access to HPU’s new, virtual college-credit program. The 17 students currently enrolled in the program will connect with HPU professors using video technology that allows for real-time learning.
“This innovative partnership with Hawaii Pacific University helps us equip students for success at the next level, empower them to explore their potential, and inspire them to reach their aspirations,” said Suzanne Mulcahy, Hawai’i State Department of Education, in a media release. “Together, as a community, we can meet and exceed our goal to successfully guide students to become leaders for Hawai’i’s future.”
“We are grateful to HPU for this partnership as it gives our students direct access to a post-secondary education trajectory,” said Rachelle Matsumura, principal of Honoka’a High & Intermediate School. “Programs like this encourage our students to strive for their highest potential and provides a valuable head start on earning college credits that will potentially save them time and money.”
HPU provided Big Island Video News with video of the announcement and the ceremonial signing of the agreement. They say its the first program of its kind for the private university. The news release states HPU tuition has been waived “to increase access and opportunities for Honoka’a students.”
“HPU is deeply committed to making higher education increasingly cost-efficient, attainable, and expedient for the students in our local communities,” said John Gotanda, HPU president. “We recognize an opportunity to not only provide our keiki o ka ‘āina with their best chance to attain their desired goals, but also attract and cultivate high achievers within our islands who will one day be leaders of our community making a profound impact on Hawai’i and beyond.”
From the HPU news release:
Dual Credit allows Hawaii DOE high school students to take classes that satisfy requirements for both a Hawaii high school diploma and a University degree.
The Dual Credit program is also made possible through generous support from Carol Mon Lee, a retired lawyer and educator. Ms. Lee’s investment makes higher education more attainable for local students. She noted, “President Gotanda’s vision for educating the youth of Hawaii, especially those in our public schools, is not just inspiring but vital to our state.”
Ms. Lee currently volunteers as executive-vice president and chief operating officer of ThinkTech Hawaii, a non-profit media company. She also sits on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Governors, UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco.
The partnership highlights HPU’s expertise as the state leader in online education and expands its services to support public high school students. The university has been providing online education for deployed students in the military and have provided dual-credit programs with high schools around the state. In 2016, HPU became the first school in Hawai’i to be approved by a state agency to participate in NC-SARA, a national authorization program to reciprocate online education across state lines.