$225K iPASS grant helps Honolulu CC students succeed in STEM

September 21, 2015  |   |  Comments
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After a highly competitive national award selection process, Honolulu Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi System emerged as one of 24 institutions to receive a $225,000 Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success in Higher Education (iPASS) grant from Achieving the Dream in partnership with EDUCAUSE.

Funding was provided by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Helmsley Charitable Trust funding will support Honolulu CC and the UH System and three other institutions to focus specifically on the unique needs of community college students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Promoting student success

iPASS is the next step in the ongoing work of the University of Hawaiʻi System to promote student success and completion through the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded” said John Morton, vice president for UH Community Colleges. “With real-time data we will be able to inform Honolulu Community College students, advisors and faculty of timely preventative measures and interventions that will lead to greater success.”

Critical to students’ ability to succeed in a STEM discipline and attain a workforce-ready degree is a cohesive support system of proactive student advising. With this award, Honolulu Community College will pilot a program to integrate separate software systems for student registration, counseling and progress monitoring that are currently in use to better recruit and retain underrepresented students in STEM fields. Through a proactive student advising system, interactive software, and predictive analytic intervention, advisors will be able to identify at-risk students before they run into academic obstacles and target services such as counseling or tutoring to help students get back on track.

The university anticipates seeing increased enrollment and retention, increased graduation rates and increased participation of Native Hawaiian and underrepresented students which aligns with the university’s Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative to increase the number of degree holders in the state.

iPASS will foster University of Hawaiʻi systemwide collaborations to integrate student services, advising and registration through existing student support systems,” added UH System President David Lassner. “Advisors will be able to reach out earlier to identify, intervene and target services to at-risk students who may benefit from counseling, coaching or tutoring in order to progress towards completion.”

Honolulu Community College’s findings will guide iPASS implementation throughout the UH System in order to challenge current practice and drive changes in behavior in both students and advisors leading to greater student success and completion.

Cindy Lenhart, Achieving the Dream vice president for community college relations said, “We are confident that the emerging community of innovators and implementers pursuing iPASS will make a difference to the millions of students who stand to benefit from improved advising. All the collaborators in this program—Achieving the Dream, EDUCAUSE and our research partner the Community College Research Center, in concert with our funders, the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—are looking forward to working with the University of Hawaiʻi and celebrating this initiative’s success.”

Why the focus on STEM?

  • STEM jobs represent 20 percent of all jobs in the United States, contributing to the nation’s well-being as a significant portion of our employment, economy and cutting-edge advances.
  • A Brookings Institution analysis has shown that half of all STEM jobs are available to workers with sub-baccalaureate credentials, meaning that community college students are a primary source for filling these critical jobs.
  • Middle-skill STEM jobs represent a huge opportunity for our nation’s historically underserved students, who disproportionately enroll at community colleges and are underrepresented in STEM pathways and jobs.

For more read the Honolulu CC story.

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Category: Academic News

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