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. The enrollment plans of each campus are projected to meet this goal by 2025.

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

  • Engage K–12 students and their ohana statewide early and often to promote and encourage them to prepare for college
  • Expand outreach services and support to facilitate the completion of college admissions and financial aid applications
  • Emphasize pipeline and college readiness initiatives for Native Hawaiians, rural communities, low-income and under-represented groups, including through UH programs and through partnerships with non-UH entities
  • Expand and align early college programs with degree and certificate pathways
  • Align expectations of Career and Technical Education clusters with degree pathways
  • Design and implement counseling and advising initiative in grades 6 to 16
  • Strengthen private school partnerships, including with Kamehameha Schools
  • Ensure that coursework for public high schools is aligned with programs of study at the UH campuses and workforce needs
  • Implement and scale transition courses to prepare students for the rigor of college
  • Evaluate affordability factors, including food and housing costs, during the tuition-setting process, to assess their impact on access, especially for under-represented populations

HGI Action Strategy 2:

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

Tactics

  • Redesign the first year of each degree pathway to encourage student persistence and create transfer pathways
  • Promote stronger and more comprehensive transfer and articulation policies that are student-centered, transparent and well communicated in order to support student mobility and success throughout the system
  • Initiate a new articulation interface to support consistent articulation of courses across the system
  • Reduce dependence on costly textbooks by utilizing open educational resources and other publishing options
  • Require co-requisite supplemental support and multiple measures for placement
  • Reduce attainment gaps in college completion for Native Hawaiians, low-income and under-represented groups
  • Improve the curriculum pathway registration system to add career information and priority waitlists
  • Use completion goals to drive policies, course scheduling, and financial aid
  • Expand services for Native Hawaiian students, under-represented populations, as well as active military/veterans and their families, returning adults and online students
  • Make more effective use of summer terms and alternative time modules to assist students graduating in a timely manner
  • Create a re-enrollment program for returning adults

HGI Action Strategy 3:

Anticipate and align curricula with community and workforce needs.

Tactics

  • Use workforce and career information to inform advising and student choice of major
  • Utilize feedback from graduates and employers regarding UH students’ preparation for the workforce and careers to improve services and curricula
  • Increase the use of sector convenings to identify ways degree programs can meet students’ career needs
  • Develop new programs that are responsive to community needs, e.g., STEM, data science, sustainability sciences, cybersecurity and digital media

HGI Action Strategy 4:

Increase delivery of online courses and degrees, while maintaining other distance delivery modes (interactive TV, cable TV, and off-campus face-to-face instruction).

Tactics

  • Create fully online degree completion pathways
  • Identify degree programs to develop in online format
  • Develop effective scheduling of online-only pathways
  • Create online student services models to meet the needs of online students, including online tutoring
  • Provide professional development for faculty and student for effective delivery of online courses and services

Metrics for Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative (HGI)