University of Hawaii System newsletter

Step Up Campaign Aims to Increase Career and College Readiness

Posted on | October 22, 2010 | Comments Off on Step Up Campaign Aims to Increase Career and College Readiness

The Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education, Hawaiʻi State Board of Education and the Department of Education opened up the Step Up Campaign pledge period for the classes of 2014 and 2015. Step Up encourages public school students in the 8th and 9th grades to seek the Board of Education Recognition Diploma, also known as the Step Up Diploma. It requires credits in specific math, science and English courses, and the completion of a senior project.

Students must sign a pledge form to earn the board’s Step Up Diploma, which is designed to better prepare them for successful entry into college and a living wage job. Graduates who earn the diploma are rewarded with incentives such as special consideration for scholarships and job application advancement with various employers. Last year, over 6,300 students from the classes of 2013 and 2014 pledged to earn the Step Up diploma.

“To be ready for college and careers, all high school graduates need advanced reading, writing, communications and mathematics skills. Our economic future and quality of life depend on making sure students are well educated and prepared to succeed in a competitive and global economy,” says Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi.

To encourage students to pledge early, schools will also be rewarded with resources if they are able to meet a minimum 50 percent pledge participation for their respective classes by Dec. 31, 2010. Middle schools will receive free bus transportation to a college and career related event and high schools will receive free assessment testing for their students to help prepare them for college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT.

“We need to ensure our students are pushed to take rigorous academic requirements in high school, like the BOE Recognition Diploma, to broaden their college and career options,” says Tammi Chun, executive director of Hawaiʻi P–20.

“The Step Up Campaign encourages rigorous academic achievement and is part of Hawaiʻi’s education reform plan to ensure every public school student graduates college- and career-ready,” says Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Read the news release.