In an effort to find a better way to keep students on track to enter college in the fall after graduating from high school, three University of Hawai’i campuses joined forces to bridge the summer gap with a new program called ‘Onipa’a that targeted recent graduates from Nanakuli and Wai’anae high schools.

In the past, almost one-third of those high school graduates, who were accepted at a UH campus, failed to register for classes in the fall. The goal of ‘Onipa’a is to engage the students earlier and increase the chance that they will continue on to college.

The week-long program included career aspiration and exploration, guide to college success, financial aid and financial literacy sessions, writing and math classes, college success tips, team building, and other activities that exposed the students to the exciting world of undergraduate study at Leeward Community College, UH West O’ahu and UH Manoa. The students spent time at each campus, including a night in a UHM dorm.

“We’re trying to say, ‘welcome to UH’ no matter what door you use to enter the system,” said Chris Manaseri, Leeward CC Dean of Student Services.

A closing ceremony celebrating the students’ accomplishments will be held on Friday, June 7, 2013, at Spalding Hall, Manoa campus.

Kamehameha Schools, the Hawai’i P-20 Partnerships for Education and Manoa Educational Talent Search contributed to the week-long program.

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