Core to College aims to foster alignment and collaboration between K-12 and higher ed to improve readiness for college and career, and increase the number of students who continue on to postsecondary education. Hawai‘i is one of twelve states to receive the Core to College grant which is funded by the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.




CCCR Definition

A statewide definition of college, career, and community readiness.




Increased alignment between K-12 and postsecondary institutions based on the more rigorous content and practices of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).



Smarter Balanced

Higher education engagement in the development of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, and in determining options for using assessment results as a tool for placement into college-level, credit-bearing courses.


College, Career and Community Readiness Definition

In September 2013, the Hawai‘i P-20 Council adopted a statewide definition of College, Career, and Community Readiness in Hawai‘i:

Purpose of Definition:

1. To create an aligned statement that serves as a framework for a P-20 network of student success initiatives.

2. To align priorities at HIDOE, UH, CTE, national organizations and others around college and career readiness.

3. To create a sense of shared responsibility between K-12 and higher education for student readiness and success.

4. To engage higher education and the workforce around the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments.

5. To foster cross-sector alignment efforts by clearly defining expectations for students.


Download CCCR Definition Flyer here.


Hawai‘i students who are prepared for meaningful engagement in college, career, and community have successfully:


Achieved proficiency in essential content knowledge


Mastered key learning skills and cognitive strategies


Acquired practical knowledge enabling successful transitions from high school to college
and career


Built a strong foundation of identity through an ongoing process of wayfinding to engage in local, national, and
global contexts



By “students”, we mean those enrolled in Hawai‘i’s education system recognizing that college, career and community readiness is a lifelong process that begins with early childhood learning.


By “college,” we mean two- and four-year post-secondary institutions, trade schools, and technical schools.


By “career,” we mean a pathway of employment that provides a family-sustaining wage.


By “community,” we mean the set of interdependent relationships among physical, social and/or cultural groups linked by shared values and responsibility for one another, the natural world, and local and global well-being.

Student Readiness Outcomes

To effectively achieve college, career and community readiness, there are key conditions for success that students should have, including:

  1. Supportive, meaningful and impactful relationships – whether at school, home, work, community, etc.
  2. High expectations for a rigorous course of study, and
  3. A sense of responsibility for their own educational success that is shared by families, schools, and other community members.

The following outcomes begin to define the knowledge, skills and/or behaviors that students who are college, career, and community ready have acquired:

Essential Content


Learning Skills
and Cognitive Strategies


Transitional Skills



Essential Content Knowledge

Students have the knowledge and skills associated with college and career readiness including those outlined in the Common Core State Standards and standards for other core subject areas such as social studies, sciences, Hawaiian and world languages, and the arts.

Students have the content knowledge and skills to be eligible to enroll in credit-bearing, postsecondary courses, workforce training and/or apprenticeship programs without the need for remediation, and complete them successfully.

Transitional Skills

Students have set goals for career, school, and life and are knowledgeable about a variety of pathways and requirements to achieve these goals.

Students are able to navigate through post secondary program selection and admissions, possess the knowledge and skills to enter into and thrive in a family sustaining career pathway, and utilize strategies to resolve problems and improve academic performance.

Learning Skills and Cognitive Strategies

Students can utilize specific learning methods such as goal-setting, persistence and self-awareness, as well as time management and organization, study skills, technology skills, and collaborative learning.

Students can formulate problems, conduct research, interpret and communicate findings, and generate innovative solutions, all with precision and accuracy.

Students can construct meaning for themselves as an active part of the learning and character development process, and begin to understand the world through many sources of knowledge.


Students are able to identify their kuleana and work hard to fulfill these responsibilities to their families, ‘aina, community, and future and past generations.

Students know what makes their communities unique and become more connected and involved through opportunities such as volunteer service, ecological stewardship, and civic engagement.

Students better understand themselves and their values and can comfortably interface with diverse perspectives, cultures, and worldviews to flourish in and sustain local and global communities.

Students take an active leadership role and engage others such as their peers, teachers, parents and other community members, to address issues that are important to them.



Policies and Projects

  • Smarter Balanced Test Scores and UH Placement Policy

    University of Hawai‘i (UH) recently announced a three-year pilot program in which Smarter Balanced assessment scores of Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) 11th grade students can be used to enroll directly into entry-level college courses at all of its 10 campuses starting in Fall 2016. While there are other measures of placement for students into gateway courses, this new agreement between UH and HIDOE further strengthens the alignment between high school and post-secondary education.

    Students can score at four different levels of achievement on the Smarter Balanced assessment. Placement into various entry-level English and Math courses at UH depends on a student’s level of achievement.  Scores are valid for placement for 24 months, and the pilot program applies to the graduating classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

    To view policy details, click here.

    To read article written by Education Northwest on the Smarter Balanced placement policy, click here.



    Continue reading →
  • Waipahu High School Going Green Project


    The Core to College Grant is funding Waipahu High School’s Going Green Project. This project, which is part of Waipahu’s Kawahakui Hale ‘iwa Lo ‘I Hui, is an interdisciplinary, community based project that is based, in part, on Hawai‘i Common Core Standards. The mission of the hui is to teach and perpetuate the concepts of Malama ‘Aina (Caring for the Earth, Stewardship of Creation), along with sharing and preserving traditional Hawaiian cultural values within the community and the world. To reach these ends, students who are a part of this project will learn about water conservation, hydro-engineering, and natural water rights.

    Continue reading →

For further information about alignment policies and projects, please contact:

Dan Doerger
Core to College Alignment Director
P 808-956-5484  |  E
Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education
2425 Campus Rd, Sinclair Library Rm 504  Honolulu, HI 96822