Step Up Campaign launched at Washington Place today
Statewide movement aims to increase career and college readiness for public high school studentsUniversity of Hawaiʻi
Community & Business Outreach Coordinator, Hawaii P-20
“As these students ‘step up’ to the challenge of earning the BOE Step Up Diploma, it shows their commitment to using their high school years to prepare themselves for more choices in life whether they decide to work, join a training or apprenticeship program or enroll in college after high school,” said Tammi Chun, Hawai‘i P-20 executive director. “This movement is required now more than ever, with recent statistics citing Hawai‘i’s need to encourage students to pursue a more rigorous high school course of study to better prepare them for success in career or college.”
In 2008, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems reported that out of 100 ninth graders in Hawai‘i, 68 graduate from high school on time and of these, only 40 enter college, and 12 earn a college degree on time (or within ten years after starting ninth grade).
“From the studies we have conducted and a recent study by the University of Hawai‘i, we found that student motivation is absolutely critical to the learning experience. Students who are motivated are willing to go above and beyond what is in front of them. They are able to aspire to what will make a difference and what will impact their lives,” said Patricia Hamamoto, Hawai‘i Department of Education superintendent. “Students want classes that are not just challenging, but relevant. This more rigorous course load provides challenging courses that will help all those who graduate with the BOE Step Up Diploma.”
Nearly 40 people showed their support of this campaign today, implemented jointly between Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships in Education, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (DOE), Board of Education (BOE) and the University of Hawai‘i System. Speakers included Board of Education Chairman Garrett Toguchi, DOE Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto, University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood, Hawai‘i P-20’s Tammi Chun, President and CEO of Kaneohe Ranch and Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Mitch D’Olier, City and County of Honolulu spokesperson Bill Brennan, and students from Waialua High School.
“By embracing the Step Up Diploma, businesses will be making a direct investment in their future workforce,” said BOE Chairman Toguchi. “Graduates who complete its strict requirements will become career and college ready, and ultimately, high-skilled, competent workers who will help ensure Hawaiʻi businesses thrive. Naturally, when schools and colleges produce students who are ready to enter the workforce, the community will benefit from having educated residents with good jobs.”
“For those businesses that question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ I say this - You will spend less money and time finding qualified workers and training them, and you will be more likely to hire local employees who understand island culture and are committed to improving the social and economic status of the state. The students you are encouraging today to sign up for a more challenging and rigorous education could be working for you, or helping run your company, in just a few years.”
For more information, visit: http://www.stepuphawaii.org