UHCCs launch ‘Agree to Degree’ initiative

Photo of Agree to Degree banner and students faculty, staff.

Students, faculty and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jason Cifra pose with the Agree to Degree banner during Welcome Week, which took place the first week of classes.

Students, administrator sign the Agree to Degree banner.

Jason Cifra, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, joins students in signing the Agree to Degree banner.

Photo of three students

Three of the roughly 400 Hawai’i Community College students who signed the Agree to Degree Pledge and committed to getting their degree or certificate.

About 400 Hawai’i Community College students and 120 faculty, staff and administrators signed the “Agree to Degree” pledge between Aug. 22 and Aug. 29, and those who did not are encouraged to sign.

The seven community colleges in the University of Hawai‘i system (including Hawai‘i CC, of course) are launching the Agree to Degree initiative this fall.

This initiative is designed to get more students to graduate with a degree or certificate by:

Making students aware of all the resources available to help them graduate.

Highlighting the benefits of getting a degree.

Helping students focus on their long-term goals. 

Bringing all the student success and graduation strategies under one recognizable brand, i.e. 15-to-Finish, Do it in 2, STAR.

Providing an opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to show support for and encourage students’ success.

Currently, the graduation rate is too low. After three years, just 18 percent of Hawai‘i CC students have graduated, while 12 percent are still enrolled and 12 percent have transferred out. Those students who don’t graduate miss out on much of the value associated with a college education.

“Students who get an associate degree benefit in numerous ways, including higher wages and lower unemployment rates when compared to those with a high school diploma, as well as gaining valuable knowledge about the world around them,” said Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane. “With this initiative we hope to help students reach graduation so they can reap the benefits of higher education.”

This fall Hawai‘i CC is launching the Agree to Degree Pledge campaign. The campaign asks students, faculty and staff to sign the Agree to Degree Pledge, affirming the commitment to student graduation.

As students pledge to get their degree or certificate, college staff will make them aware of the resources at Hawai‘i CC that are designed to help them reach their goals, such as UH’s Information Technology Services, Halaulani Transfer Success Program, and Counseling, Advising and Support Services.

“I encourage all members of our Kauhale to sign the pledge as a way to rededicate ourselves to seeing our students cross the higher education version of a finish line – graduation,” Yamane said.

For information about signing the Agree to Degree pledge, please contact Thatcher Moats at tmoats@hawaii.edu or Kehau LeeHong-Mauga at leehong@hawaii.edu.

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