graduates in caps and gowns

Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative (HGI)

Goal

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.

An educated labor force and engaged citizenry are essential in today’s global, knowledge-based economy. Across the nation, states have set ambitious goals to boost college completion rates. 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.

student in Hawaii
UH News video: More students earning college credit in high school

The university plans to address this gap through expanded access to postsecondary education and training throughout the state and strengthened support for student success. Vigorous support for Native Hawaiians, low-income students and underrepresented and underserved populations and regions remains a top priority for the university.

HGI Action Strategy 1:

Strengthen the pipeline from K-12 to the university to improve college readiness and increase college attendance.

Tactics
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Hawaiʻi high school students get help applying for college
  • Engage K-12 students and their parents statewide early and often to promote and encourage them to prepare for college
  • Emphasize pipeline and college readiness initiatives for Native Hawaiians, rural communities, low-income and under-represented groups, including through UH programs (e.g., Na Pua Noʻeau) and through partnerships with non-UH entities
  • Institutionalize early college and “bridge” programs
  • Align high school graduation requirements with college entrance requirements and readiness
  • Expand outreach services and support to facilitate the completion of college admissions and financial aid applications
  • Enhance professional development for K-12 teachers and counselors in support of student preparation for higher education
  • Strengthen private school partnerships, including with Kamehameha Schools

HGI Action Strategy 2:

Implement structural improvements that promote persistence to attain a degree and timely completion.

Tactics
  • Establish pathways for all degree programs, including transfer pathways from the community colleges
  • Strengthen developmental education initiatives that increase preparation, improve placement methods and reduce time spent in developmental education
  • Reduce gaps in college completion for Native Hawaiians, low-income and under-represented groups
  • Transition from a course-based to a curriculum pathway-based registration system
  • Schedule courses to facilitate timely degree completion
  • Strengthen and align financial aid resources, policies and practices for increased access and completion
  • Improve and stabilize student support services for Native Hawaiians, veterans, returning adults and part-time students.
  • Make effective use of summer terms

HGI Action Strategy 3:

Anticipate and align curricula with community and workforce needs.

Tactics
  • Obtain accurate information about workforce, employment and salaries from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Economic Modeling Specialist International and other sources
  • Follow up with graduates and employers regarding UH students’ preparation for the workforce and community
  • Engage systematically with community-based groups to inform program offerings and curricula
  • Develop new programs that are responsive to community needs, e.g., STEM, data science, sustainability sciences and cybersecurity

HGI Action Strategy 4:

Solidify the foundations for UH West Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi CC at Palamanui, our “startup” campuses, and establish large-scale student support services for Native Hawaiians, low-income students, and the under-represented populations they serve.

Tactics
  • Develop complementary academic and strategic plans that promote UH mission differentiation with applied baccalaureate degrees, offerings of regional interest and need, 2+2 and 3+1 programs with community colleges, programs for returning adults, statewide online and distance learning programs and development of strong University Centers
  • Develop financial and operational plans that support the expected rapid increases in enrollment as the communities embraces their new campuses
  • Create capital development plans for facilities that support expected enrollment growth and campus academic and strategic plans
  • Develop plans for utilization of non-campus land assets to generate revenue and/or reduce university costs through complementary and compatible activities such as development of a university village and alternate energy generation

Productivity and Efficiency Measures for Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative (HGI)

* Measure is tracked internally.