University of Hawaiʻi community college students are being asked to make a commitment to complete their degree or certificate. It is a pledge drive happening on all seven UH community colleges called, Go Forward! Agree to Degree!
“I just signed it, not too long ago so that I could have a better future,” said Jarrett Kahoʻokele, a Honolulu Community College student
“For me, being a non-traditional student coming back to school, it’s great that we have actually a pledge that we can sign and commit to,” said Leeward Community College student Tammy Cabral.
“This is very unique to all the colleges that are actually doing this,” said Ray Cortez, a Kapiʻolani Community College student. “It will motivate students.”
By signing the pledge, students promise to attend their classes, get good grades, check their UH email at least once a day, talk to instructors when having difficulty, meet with counselors when having academic or personal issues, and commit to making education a priority in their lives.
“It is also our commitment to help those students through those barriers so we will sign that pledge as well and make sure they know about the student services,” said John Morton, vice president of community colleges for the University of Hawaiʻi System.
Student services are available on every UH campus like free tutoring, financial aid, academic advising, learning centers, and computer labs.
“It is kind of nerve wracking,” said Kapiʻolani Community College student Jennifer Awong-Ala. “How do I get the resources and the help that I need? I think this pledge is really good in that way that students get to know what is on campus and what is able to help them.”
The initiative was created to combat what research shows to be the biggest obstacle for students: time. It could be because of a job, family circumstances and/or financial issues.
“The longer it takes, the more likely it is that something will happen that will either postpone or cause the degree not to be earned,” said Morton. “We don’t want that to happen and this is one more way to be sure the students graduate.”
Those who have signed the pledge say it’s already had an impact on how they view their college careers.
“I need to know what is my priority,” said Leeward Community College student Noah Keamo. “It’s not all these different clubs I am involved in. It’s studying and finishing.”
“It really motivates you to finish and you know where you are going to. That pledge, it helps you to have a better future,” said Lailane Tangonan, a Honolulu Community College student.
Read more about the Go Forward! Agree to Degree initiative.