group shot of volunteers at the College Application and Exploration Season event

University of Hawaiʻi staff volunteers at Farrington High School CAES Event, October 28, 2013

More than 200 Farrington High School seniors received assistance in applying to a University of Hawaiʻi System campus earlier this week to kick off College Application and Exploration Season (CAES). An initiative of Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education, CAES encourages high school seniors, particularly prospective first-generation college students from low-income families, to apply to at least one college before they graduate from high school, giving every student the option to continue their education and attain a college degree. Over 25 college personnel from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Kapiʻolani Community College and Honolulu Community College were on-hand to guide the Farrington High School students in filling out an online application to a University of Hawaiʻi campus of their choice. A second event targeting the remainder of the senior class—an additional 200 seniors—was also held at the school.

“Our goal at Farrington is to increase student achievement and our college going rate, so the help we received during our first CAES event from the UH campuses was incredible,” said Farrington High School Principal, Al Carganilla. “We are trying to change the mindset of our students from if you are going to college to when you go to college and these are the steps you need to take.”

“In order to reach the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative goal of 55 per cent of working age adults with a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025, it is essential that our young people pursue postsecondary education, whether that means a four-year university, a community college or other additional training beyond receiving their high school diploma,” says Karen Lee, executive director of Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education. “We must encourage our students to pursue education beyond high school, or as a state, we won’t be positioned for competitiveness in the 21st century. Helping students with their college applications is a key component.”

During CAES application events, local volunteers, staff, and personnel from the University of Hawaiʻi campuses and other Hawaiʻi colleges will work with over eleven high schools statewide during the next few months to plan activities that encourage their seniors to complete a college application. Among the schools participating this year include: Castle High School, Farrington High School, Kahuku High School, Kailua High School, Ke Kula ʻo ʻEhunuikaimalino, Kohala High School, Konawaena High School, McKinley High School, Roosevelt High School, Waialua Intermediate and High School, and Waiʻanae High School. Each school coordinates its own application event with the goal of every senior completing and submitting at least one college application. In addition, some schools are planning pre- and post-application activities that target younger students to get them thinking about college early and start them on track toward the college application process.

About College Application and Exploration Season

College Application and Exploration Season is an initiative of Hawaiʻi P-20 funded in part by GEAR UP Hawaiʻi and the College Access Challenge Grant. This effort is based on the College Application Week program, in association with the American Council on Education and the Lumina Foundation, started by GEAR UP North Carolina in 2005, and has since expanded to 30 states.

For more information on Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education and upcoming CAES events read the UH System news release.

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