Students wearing commencement regalia

The Lumina Foundation has awarded the University of Hawaiʻi $400,000 to support adults who want to earn college degrees, certificates, and other quality credentials. To date, Lumina has invested nearly $6.5 million in the Adult Promise effort nationwide.

“This Lumina grant provides national recognition and validation of the work our team has already started and our ability to effect change,” said UH President David Lassner. “Hawaiʻi’s future depends on an educated citizenry, and the additional credentials earned through this work will be critical to personal, career, family and community success for thousands across our islands.”

Vice President for UH Community Colleges John Morton added, “Hawaiʻi competed successfully among 25 other states and joins the nation’s leading states in increasing educational opportunities for working adults.” Morton continued, “In Hawaiʻi, there are more than 169,000 25–64 year olds who started college but have not yet earned their degree, including 34,000 who started at one of our ten UH campuses in the last five years.”

To receive grants, states must show that they have financial aid for adults in place; a strong commitment to achieving fair-and-just educational outcomes among people of color; a clear readiness and intention to promote systemic change benefiting adults; and buy-in among stakeholders such as employers, public colleges and universities, community organizations and state leaders.

The Lumina Foundation award will help UH:

  • Promote the Hawaiʻi Promise program for community college students and advocate for the expansion of the Hawaiʻi Promise program to baccalaureate students.
  • Develop a system that supports adults returning to UH to finish degrees. Returning students will benefit from streamlined services including personalized advising, credit for prior learning opportunities, and expanded online learning options.
  • Implement outreach/public awareness campaigns targeted to adults to finish degrees that they started—at UH and elsewhere.

For more information, see the Lumina news release.