Through the Center for Strategy and Innovation, Chaminade University recently received a $25,000 grant from the Kosasa Foundation to support its Emerging Scholars pilot program aimed at promoting pathways to college for rural high school students on Kauai. The first cohort of students will begin the year-long program in the fall.
Prior to the pandemic, Chaminade offered a number of early college programs as part of the statewide Hawaii P-20 initiative promoting pathways to college. When the University pivoted to online learning, dual-enrollment and pre-college courses were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Chaminade has revamped and redesigned its college readiness programs to be offered online or through a mixed online/in-person format.
There will be two types of Emerging Scholar programs: 1) a non-credit Summer Institute for high school students, which will mostly be paid for by the federal college-readiness initiative, GEAR UP, and 2) an academic year dual-enrollment program for high school students to take courses and receive both high school and college credits that can be used toward a college degree.
“We are excited to initiate this pilot program for Kauai students this fall,” said Chaminade President Dr. Lynn Babington. “The pandemic has created significant educational challenges for those residing in rural areas, including the neighbor islands. A lack of technology and broadband access has made online learning difficult for many students. The Emerging Scholars program will ensure students who are disproportionately disadvantaged by distance learning will have everything they need to excel online.”
Program administrators have identified a basic technology package—laptop, headphones, storage and backup—that will be provided on loan to its high-need college students, including those in the Emerging Scholars programs.
During the program, 40 students from Kauai high schools will take four dual-enrollment, introductory courses each semester. The courses will be enhanced with guest speakers who will participate in each course. Faculty will fly to Kauai to physically meet the students prior to each semester start. At the end of the year, Chaminade will fly the participating students to Oahu to stay overnight in the residence hall. During their stay, they will meet with advisors and faculty from each division, and participate in college prep workshops.
Chaminade is reimagining the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to adapt to changing learner needs, and to rethink and transform approaches to higher education. This program seeks to provide students on Kauai with new opportunities and ensure success in pursuit of learning.
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Chaminade University of Honolulu provides a collaborative and innovative learning environment that prepares graduate and undergraduate students for life, service and successful careers. Established in 1955, the university is guided by its Catholic, Marianist and liberal arts educational traditions, which include a commitment to serving the Native Hawaiian population. Chaminade offers an inclusive setting where students, faculty and staff collectively pursue a more just and peaceful society.