The University of Hawaii has received a $200,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its efforts to increase the percentage of people in the state who have college degrees.
UH joins a group of 11 other universities that are serving as laboratories for innovative approaches to higher education transformation. UH for its part is developing tools that provide students and administrators with real-time information on academic progress to help students complete their degree programs on time.
UH Interim President David Lassner pointed out in a press release that less than half of Hawaii’s population — 42 percent — holds a two- or four-year degree. Estimates suggest that, by 2018, 65 percent of jobs in Hawaii will require at least some college education.
UH wants 55 percent of the population to hold a college degree by 2025. The effort is part of a university initiative launched in 2008 that has already increased the number of degree-holding graduates by 27 percent and boosted by 30 percent the number of community-college students who transfer to a four-year campus.
Other universities participating in the Gates Foundation initiative include the University of Texas, the Unviersity of Wisconsin and the Utah System of Higher Education.
Photo: UH graduation, Fall 2011. (Courtesy of UH System via Flickr.)
— Alia Wong