One of the reasons, I am writing these information pieces is that I know most of you are like me; I retired from the job but I didn’t retire from the profession. There is a great deal of activity in the DOE that is new to many of you and I thought this might be a good opportunity to bring you up to date on one initiative.
Often you hear people lament the loss of industrial arts programs in our high schools in favor of the “more academic” math and science classes. The belief is that a significant segment of the student population is not being fully served because the DOE has given up on the industrial arts classes so there is little for students who wanted these courses. Where are our auto mechanics, plumbers and carpenters coming from they complain? Not every student is college bound so what is available for them, they ask.
Actually, a great deal is available to non-college bound high school student. Right now, there are two programs in the Department that are attractive to students for whom technical classes are a significant reason for them to stay in and enjoy high school.
The first program is Running Start. This program allows eligible high school students to take a credit course in the University of Hawaii system, usually at the community college level as part of their high school program. Many of these classes are technical. Concurrently community college class work will also count as high school credit. At the present time, there are nine campuses that are in the Running Start program including UH West Oahu and UH Hilo.
The second program is Early College. In this program, students who successfully complete college classes while in high school receive both high school credit as well as college credits. Early College programs vary by high school. Some high schools may offer the program as part of their career academy while others may offer Early College programs to achieve a college certificate or associate’s degree. Those students interested in technical programs may find that earning an associate degree from one of the community colleges is to their liking.
Though technically not a dual enrollment program, there is one more avenue for students interested in technical education and that is Jump Start. Jump Start that allows high school seniors to enroll full time in career and technical education programs at participating community colleges.
There is scholarship money available to support economically disadvantaged students so they can participate in Running Start or Early College programs. Their high school counselors can provide more information.
This is just a brief overview of these programs. If you have or know of a student who might be helped by one of these programs, more information on the details of the programs and/or scholarship assistance can be found on the DOE website.
By Joan Lee Husted, HEA Board Member