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DOE NEWS RELEASE: Waipahu High School receives third early college grant from McInerny Foundation

Posted on Dec 23, 2019 in Latest Department News

After being awarded two consecutive three-year pledges from the McInerny Foundation – $766,000 (2013-2016) and $891,000 (2016-2019), Waipahu High received a third early college grant of $649,365 for 2020-2022 school years. This brings the total grants received from the McInerny Foundation to $2,306,365 over a nine-year period.

“In 2012, we launched the first Early College High School program in Hawaii with the goal of offering a few college classes to see if students would embrace the opportunity. Due to limited school funds, nine classes were offered to a total of 30 students. Now, through the generosity of the McInerny Foundation, we have been able to grow the program beyond anything we could have imagined and these opportunities have made a tremendous impact on the Waipahu community,” said Principal Keith Hayashi.

With funding from the McInerny Foundation in School Year (SY) 2013-2014, enrollment in Waipahu High’s Early College High School increased by 229 percent. In SY 2018-2019, the Early College program saw exponential growth with 24 percent of the entire high school student body taking at least one or more college classes. Students who enrolled were called “Early College Olympians” and completed a two-year associate’s degree program, accelerating them to junior-year status at the University of Hawaii.

The McInerny-supported Early College program offers two unique design options: non-degree, for students who only want to take a few college classes; and degree-seeking, for students who want to earn an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school. Waipahu High’s Early College Olympian program encourages students to earn an associate’s degree by the time they graduate from high school. In SY 2017-18, twelve Olympian students received both their associate’s degree and high school diplo­ma, followed by ten more Olympians earning an associate’s degree in SY 2018-19.

The McInerny Foundation supported Waipahu High’s implementation of the Early College 2.0 program, aligning high school academy curricula, Early College courses, and higher education degrees that lead to high skill, high wage, and in-demand careers. The McInerny-supported Early College 2.0 currently offers five pathways that lead “Olympians” to on-time graduation and degree completion: Associate in Arts (Liberal Arts degree or Academy of Creative Media degree); Associate in Science (teaching degree); Associate in Science/Natural Science, (pre-engineering degree or pre-medical degree).

The McInerny Foundation established in 1937 is one of Hawaii’s largest charitable foundations. The McInernys named Bishop Trust Company, which was later acquired by Bank of Hawaii, as Trustee of the Foundation. In its fiduciary capacity, Bank of Hawaii manages the investments, administration and grants administration for the Foundation.

For more information about Waipahu High School’s Early College program, click here.