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WINTER 2012 NEWSLETTER
MyFutureHawaii.Org Launched to Pilot Schools
The new college and career access portal for the State of Hawai‘i, myfuturehawaii, was officially launched to 17 pilot schools throughout the state earlier this month. Select students can now register to access their accounts and begin their customized college and career planning in the system. This pilot phase will allow for schools and students to test out the site and provide feedback on how to improve the user experience. Over the past year, Hawai‘i P-20 and the Workforce Development Council of DLIR have partnered together with ConnectEDU to develop this customized portal for Hawai‘i's students. The portal will serve as a "one-stop-shop" to explore careers, submit college applications online and research financial aid and scholarship options using real-time student data provided by the Hawai‘i Department of Education.
Statewide Events Offer Families Free Financial Aid Application Assistance
More than 3,000 families received financial aid application assistance through a series of events sponsored in part by Hawai‘i P-20's College Access Challenge Grant program. In December and January, twelve "Scholarship ‘Aha" events were held statewide targeted at high school students and families to provide information on the sources of financial aid available to Native Hawaiians. These events were extremely successful, reaching over 2,340 people in high-need communities such as Wai‘anae, Kahuku, Waimanalo, Moloka‘i, Hana, Lana‘i as well as in Windward Oahu, Kapolei, Maui, Hilo and Kona.
The second event sponsored by the College Access Challenge Grant was College Goal Sunday. This annual event offers free assistance to students and their families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by showing attendees how to fill out the FAFSA line by line. The FAFSA is the application required by most colleges and universities to qualify for state and federal financial aid and scholarships including the Federal Pell Grant award. In 2010-2011, the number of Pell grants to Hawai‘i college students increased to 19,025 and the value rose to $66.4 million. These two-hour workshops served over 1,200 families over two weeks at nine different sites statewide.
Expanding Hawai‘i P-3's Role Statewide
Hawai‘i P-3 is moving beyond developing programs and building systems that impact young children (birth through age 8) in five demonstration sites throughout the state. With the appointment of Ms. Terry Lock as the Early Childhood Coordinator in the Governor's Office, Hawai‘i P-3 is able to expand beyond its demonstration sites and begin to assist in the development of policies that address the statewide needs of early learning programs.
With the recent hire of Hawai‘i P-3 Alignment Specialist, Dr. GG Weisenfeld, Hawai‘i P-20 has taken a primary role in finalizing the Hawai‘i Early Learning and Development Standards with support from Mike Fahey (Good Beginnings Allaince) and the Early Learning Council (ELC). Ms. Kim Guieb joined Hawai‘i P-3 as the Operations Specialist, working closely with the P-3 demonstration projects to identify initiatives that can be scaled up and expanded statewide.
Hawai‘i College Access Professionals Team Up for College and Career Readiness
In November, Hawai‘i P-20 coordinated its annual Hawai‘i College Access Network (HICAN) conference. Over 100 college access professionals came together to discuss effective strategies for implementing student success in their communities. Presentations focused on federal and state education trends, the University of Hawai‘i's Graduation Initiative, Hawai‘i DOE updates on Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards, parent engagement strategies and college readiness data reporting. To view copies of these presentations, click here.
This event is part of Hawai‘i P-20's on-going initiative to provide opportunities for Hawai‘i's college access professionals to network with one another and share ideas on how to collaborate and work closer together to achieve the mission of increasing the participation of Hawai‘i's underrepresented populations in higher education.
Hawai‘i Wins Core to College Grant
Hawai‘i is one of 10 states that has been awarded $200,000 per year for three years as part of an education program that seeks to prepare students for college readiness. The program is called "Core to College: Preparing Students for College Readiness and Success". The grant is being awarded to the state by the Rockerfeller Philanthropy Advisors to align Hawai‘i's K-12 Common Core State Standards initiatives to higher education entrance standards. Hawai‘i P-20 will administer the grant for the state. The organization plans to hire a director who will be responsible for implementation of the state's plan.
New Hawai‘i P-20 Staff Join the Team
Hawai‘i P-20 welcomes several new staff members to the team. To see a current listing, please click here.