UH West Oahu awarded $368,000 GEAR UP grant for seven years

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 454-4870
Public Info Officer, Public Relations and Marketing
Posted: Nov 7, 2011

The University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu (UHWO) was awarded a roughly $368,000 grant from the Federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) for a seven-year period, totaling nearly $2.3 million.

The funding will go to Project Holomua, a collaborative effort of public institutions and community partners to improve the academic achievement and college-going rates of students in one of the state’s highest need areas.

In partnership with Kamehameha Schools and American Savings Bank, UH West O‘ahu 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, Wai‘anae Intermediate and Wai‘anae High School. Participating students will begin the program in seventh grade and continue on through their first year in postsecondary education.

“Holomua means ‘moving up’ and provides a great opportunity for UH West O‘ahu to enhance the education opportunities for Wai‘anae coast students from Grade 7 – 12 and on into the college years,” said UH West O‘ahu Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Principal Investigator Joe Mobley. “The goal is to increase the percentage of students going on to college from single digit percentage currently, up to 75% for participating students.”



Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to offer services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.


UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, regional comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. Construction began in August 2010 on the first phase of a new, state-of-the-art UH West O‘ahu campus in the City of Kapolei. It is expected to serve approximately 2,000 students for fall 2012 classes. For more information, visit uhwo.hawaii.edu, twitter.com/uhwestoahu, facebook.com/uhwestoahu or call 454-4700 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.