The University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu has been awarded a seven-year, $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) that will support a collaborative effort of public institutions and community partners to increase the number of Waiʻanae coast students going to college.
Called Project Holomua, the collaboration of partners including UH West Oʻahu, Kamehameha Schools, American Savings Bank and the Nanakuli-Waiʻanae complex schools aims to improve the academic achievement and college-going rates of students in one of the state’s highest need areas.
“Holomua means ‘moving up’ and provides a great opportunity for UH West Oʻahu to enhance the education opportunities for Waiʻanae coast students from Grade 7–12 and on into the college years,” said UH West Oʻahu Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Joe Mobley, grant principal investigator. “The goal is to increase the percentage of students going on to college from current single digit percentages up to 75 percent for participating students.”
UH West Oʻahu will provide dual credit courses, additional advanced placement courses, counseling, mentoring, test preparation, academic support, advising, credit recovery courses, professional development, college visits, a student leadership conference and financial literacy programs to a cohort of students from Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, Waiʻanae Intermediate and Waiʻanae High School. Participating students will begin the program in seventh grade and continue on through their first year in postsecondary education.
About GEAR UP
Designed to increase the number of low–income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, GEAR UP provides grants to states and partnerships to offer services at high-poverty middle and high schools and provide college scholarships to low-income students.
Read the U.S. Department of Education news release.