HGI is one of four UH Strategic Directions which guides the university’s priorities from 2015-2021. HGI’s goal is to:
Increase the educational capital of the state by increasing the participation and completion of students, particularly Native Hawaiians, low-income students and those from underserved regions and populations and preparing them for success in the workforce and their communities.
HGI was formally established in 2010, at a time when states began setting ambitious goals to boost falling college completion rates. Across the nation, states were recognizing the need for an educated labor force and engaged citizenry to thrive in today’s global, knowledge-based economy. Hawaiʻi’s own 55 by ’25 Campaign goal focuses on increasing the percentage of working age adults with two- or four-year degrees to 55 percent by 2025.
According to the most recent data available, 43 percent of Hawaiʻi’s working age adults hold a postsecondary degree. At the state’s current rate of degree production, that percentage is expected to reach only 47 percent in 2025, resulting in a shortage of 57,000 degree holders. As the state’s sole public higher education system, the University of Hawaiʻi is committed to doing its part to close the state’s projected educational attainment gap through the following HGI action strategies:
- Strengthening the pipeline from K-12 to the university to improve college readiness and increase college attendance by institutionalizing early college and “bridge” programs, aligning high school graduation requirements with college entrance requirements, etc.;
- Implementing structural improvements (e.g., streamlining degree pathways and course scheduling) that promote persistence to attain a degree and timely completion;
- Anticipating and aligning curricula with community and workforce needs through labor data research, community partnerships, etc.;
- Solidifying the foundations for UH West Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi CC at Palamanui, and establishing large-scale student support services for Native Hawaiians, low-income students, and under-represented populations.