Senator Jill Tokuda; GG Weisenfeld, Executive Office on Early Learning; David Lassner, UH System; Karen Lee, Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education, Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; John La Forgia, Hawaiʻi Pacific Health; Governor Neil Abercrombie; Rep. Roy Takumi; and John Komeiji, Hawaiian TelCom at the 55 by ’25 initiative launch. Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr
We launched the second phase of Hawaiʻi P-20’s public awareness and action campaign January 28 with a news conference at Honolulu Community College. 55 by ’25 aims to have 55 percent of working age adults holding two to four-year college degrees by the year 2025. We hope this campaign raises awareness and creates urgency about the need for students to pursue education beyond high school or Hawaiʻi will not be competitive in the 21st century.
Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr
In my remarks, I said, “When the state needed the University of Hawaiʻi most during the recent recession, we stepped up, enrolled more students, and increased the graduation rate by 27 percent… and we’re ready to do more!”
Hawaiʻi P-20′s Karen Lee with Governor Abercrombie. Photo via the Office of the Governor on Flickr
Thanks to all who attended our news conference, with a special thanks to Governor Neil Abercrombie, GG Weisenfeld, Director, Executive Office on Early Learning; Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; John La Forgia, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer of Hawaiʻi Pacific Health (our platinum sponsor); Karen Lee, Executive Director, Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education; and Richard Mizusawa, Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH).
VIDEO: Educated workforce critical to Hawaiʻi’s future
I am very pleased to report to you that results of one of our major initiatives—the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative—are garnering national attention for the University of Hawaiʻi.
Part of our progress can be seen in the 20 percent increase in UH graduates since 2008. More recently, in fall 2012, there was a 14.7 percent increase in the number of students taking 15 credits or more systemwide.
Because of these and other measures, Hawaiʻi was one of only three states chosen by Complete College America for an academy to develop next steps and specific strategies to improve college completion outcomes. Complete College America brought about 16 staff to the state capital and UH chancellors, vice chancellors and staff from across our 10 campus system—about 100 in all—participated in planning for specific completion goals.
In addition, the University of Hawaiʻi has been invited to present our 15-to-Finish campaign at Complete College America’s annual conference in December. The president of Complete College America says Hawaiʻi is among the top 5 to 10 states in making progress toward increasing graduation rates.
We have a video that was shot at the recent two-day Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative Summit II at the State Capital and explains why all of us at the University of Hawaiʻi should be very proud of what we are accomplishing in this area.