Early College Program Praised

In a visit to the Islands last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the strong partnership between Waipahu High School and Leeward Community College.

One of the main sources of this recognition has been the Early College initiative, which offers Waipahu students the opportunity to take classes for college credit. For students who test into college-level courses, they can enroll in classes that include English 100, Psychology 100, Speech 151, Sociology 100, Calculus 205 and Astronomy 110.

“The program is now testing as early as freshmen level, so there is a real probability that in four years, Waipahu’s Early College participants may be graduating with both a high school diploma and an AA degree from Leeward,” stated Leeward CC chancellor Manny Cabral.

The Early College program, which operates at 240 high schools in nearly 30 states throughout the country, offers college-level courses for free with a grant from the McInerny Foundation. Leeward CC reports that the initiative has increased the enrollment of low-income, first-generation college students.