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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have entered into a formal partnership to create a college-focused pathway for public high school students seeking engineering majors. Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), both institutions have identified requirements and necessary preparation for high school students to be accepted directly into a designated engineering major in the college’s professionally accredited program.

“This partnership falls in line with our goals to provide more college-level courses for high school students that will hopefully nurture students’ interests in future professions,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE superintendent. “Working with the College of Engineering will ensure that our high school engineering courses correspond to college level standards, and help to ease the transition for our graduates into higher level courses towards future success.”

Engineering Technology I and II courses and standards were developed to be consistent with the knowledge base of the college’s entry-level engineering course objectives.

“With the increase in interest in engineering from scholastic robotics, innovation competitions, design competition, etc., creating a ‘direct’ pathway to an engineering education from high school is a necessity,” said College of Engineering Assistant Dean Song Choi. “The agreement between the Hawaiʻi Department of Education and the College of Engineering, will help high school students maintain their interest and enthusiasm in engineering by manifesting an early indication of acceptance to the college. We want to continue to expose, encourage, educate, empower and create expectations for these exceptional students!”

The academic pathway MOU was the result of collaboration between HIDOE and the College of Engineering and was funded through an Office of Naval Research grant administered by the Director of the Office of Naval Research and the Educational Leadership Program at Chaminade University.

The Engineering Technology I and II courses are part of HIDOE’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which prepares students for careers through the exploration and practical application of academic and technical knowledge. CTE courses can help committed students get a head start on career preparation with course content that is developed cooperatively with business and industry input.

Read the full memorandum of understanding (PDF).

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