Report shows Hawaii high school students increasingly ready for college


More Hawaii high school students are preparing for higher education, according to a new report.

The College and Career Readiness Indicators Report (CCRI) for the Class of 2016, released Monday by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, shows that Hawaii’s public school graduates have made steady, and in some cases significant improvements in key indicators of college and career readiness.

For example, the report says, more students are earning college credits before graduation, and taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes. (See detailed statistics below.)

While nationwide college enrollment for Hawaii’s students has remained steady over the last few years at around 55 percent, the enrollment rate for four-year colleges has increased over four years, from 26 percent for the Class of 2012 to 32 percent for the Class of 2016.

“Year over year, we see that Hawaii’s public high school graduates are more prepared for success after high school. The College and Career Readiness Indicators report is an important tool that quantifiably measures college readiness of our public high school students, and gives leaders the data they need to make improvements,” said Stephen Schatz, executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education.

One factor, the report says, is a new placement policy instituted by the University of Hawaii. Beginning in Fall 2016, students were able to be placed into college-level coursework based on their achievements as a high school student. Research shows the more quickly students enter and complete these college-level courses, the more likely they are to attain their higher education goals.

“I think one of the things we want to make sure people know is there are fewer and fewer jobs out there for students who don’t have some kind of training after they graduate from high school,” Schatz told KHON2.

“Another part of that is the retention issue, so students, once they come to the university, how do we retain them here as opposed to transferring elsewhere?” added University of Hawaii at Manoa associate vice chancellor Debora Halbert. “We are looking at first-year programs, sophomore programs, expanding opportunities for students connecting them to the university in more detail.”

In the Class of 2016, the number of dual-credit participants (students who enrolled in college-level courses during high school) increased by four percentage points statewide, from 10 percent for the Class of 2015 to 14 percent for the Class of 2016.  Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year.  At Waipahu High School, about one in three students in the Class of 2016 participated in dual credit, for a total of 32 percent of the Class of 2016.  Several other schools increased dual-credit participation by 10 percentage points or more since the Class of 2014:

  • Hilo High School: 24% from 7% (+17 points)
  • Kaimuki High School: 29% from 14% (+15)
  • Kapaa High School: 23% from 8% (+15)
  • Kailua High School: 20% from 5% (+15)
  • Roosevelt High School: 21% from 8% (+13)

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, a rigorous assessment that measures students’ mastery of college-level coursework, which many colleges recognize for college credit.  This continues the trend of the last five years of more public school students graduating having taken AP courses and exams:  24% of the Class of 2012 to 33% of the Class of 2016.  Last year, some schools registered significant increases in AP exam-takers.  The top five schools with the highest increases between the Class of 2014 and 2016 are:

  • Roosevelt High School: 58% from 30% (+28 points)
  • Nanakuli High School: 33% from 11% (+22)
  • Castle High School: 43% from 23% (+20)
  • Aiea High School: 44% from 25% (+19)
  • Radford High School: 47% from 33% (+14)

Nanakuli, Castle, and Aiea High Schools made significant strides, moving from below the statewide average for AP exam participation, to above the statewide average.

Several schools are spotlighted in the Class of 2016 CCRI for gains made in a number of additional areas of college and career readiness, including:

Radford High School

  • Increased on-time graduation rate to 94% for the Class of 2016, from 87% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased participation in AP examinations to 47%, from 36% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 62%, from 51% for the Class of 2012

Lahainaluna High School

  • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 55%, from 47% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 52%, from 25% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 57%, from 45% for the Class of 2012

Nanakuli High and Intermediate School

  • Increased dual-credit participation to 19%, from 3% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased participation in AP examinations to 33%, from 11% for the Class of 2014
  • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 38%, from 29% for the Class of 2012

Farrington High School

  • Increased participation in AP examinations to 22%, from 4% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 34%, from 27% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 59%, from 43% for the Class of 2012

Hilo High School

  • Increased dual-credit participation to 24%, from 10% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 54%, from 26% for the Class of 2012
  • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 63%, from 37% for the Class of 2012

CCRI reports are an annual collaboration between HIDOE and UH, coordinated by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present information on how well-prepared Hawaii public school graduates are for college.

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