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Hawaii Offers College-Caliber Courses for Future Engineers

A program in Hawaii to help students get a head start on their college studies and career aspirations has sparked a partnership between the state's Department of Education and its university system. Recently, the HIDOE signed a formal agreement with the University of Hawaii at Manoa to create a course pathway for high schoolers interested in engineering.

Two high school classes, Engineering Technology I and II, were developed to track along with the course objectives covered by the university's entry-level engineering courses. By passing both, students admitted to the university will be accepted directly into the engineering major in the institution's program.

"This partnership falls in line with our goals to provide more college-level courses for high school students that will hopefully nurture students' interests in future professions," said Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent of the department of education, in a prepared statement. She noted that by working directly with the college, the state can be assured of offering courses that correspond to college level standards "and help to ease the transition for our graduates into higher level courses towards future success."

Song Choi, assistant dean of the college, said he hoped the agreement would help high school students maintain "interest and enthusiasm" in the discipline." "With the increase in interest in engineering from scholastic robotics, innovation competitions, design competition, etc., creating a 'direct' pathway to an engineering education from high school is a necessity."

The work of developing the courses was funded through the Office of Naval Research and the Educational Leadership Program at Chaminade University of Honolulu.

This is just one of the pathways that make up the state's career and technical education program. Other areas cover arts and communication, business, health, natural resources and public and human services.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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